In our neighboring state, a 26 year old Oregon hunter named Brennon D. Witty has plead guilty to illegally shooting a radio-collared gray wolf in Grant county. He was out hunting for coyotes on private property when he shot and killed the radio collared wolf named OR-22. While gray wolves are currently delisted under the state of Oregon’s Endangered Species Act (ESA), gray wolves still remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Additionally, the shooting happened one month before the wolves were delisted under the state ESA. As a result, Mr. Witty has pled guilty to the “taking” of a threatened or endangered species. Because of a plea deal, a companion charge of hunting with a centerfire rifle with no big game tag was dismissed.
Witty was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $1,000 of restitution to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The rifle he used to illegally kill the endangered wolf was confiscated by the state. He faces zero jail time.
It is a Federal and State Criminal Offense to Kill Endangered Species