Accused shooter provides strange reason for firing into elk herd, Oregon officials say

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A hunter gave authorities a strange reason after he illegally fired into a herd of about 30 elk from an Oregon roadside, wildlife officials said.

The 66-year-old man said he had “elk fever” when he shot at the animals in January near Nehalem, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a March 16 news release.

“The guy came out and stopped at the road, and started shooting,” the landowner told authorities, according to the news release.

He also fired in the direction of Highway 101, wildlife officials said.

After the shooting, the man recovered a dead cow elk, tagged it and took it with him, wildlife officials said.

When wildlife officers responded to the scene, they said they “put down” one wounded cow elk.

The next day, officers said they had to kill another wounded bull elk. They also found a third injured cow elk in the Nehalem River and said it likely drowned after it ran off.

The landowner contacted the man and told him to turn himself in, and he did, officials said. He also “expressed remorse,” officials said.

He was cited with shooting from a roadway, unlawful take or possession of antlerless elk, and unlawful take or possession of bull elk.

Wildlife officials said the man had a “late-season cow elk tag and permission from the landowner to hunt.”

Meat from three of the elk was donated to the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and Tillamook County Jail.

Any reports of crimes against fish, wildlife or habitat can be made to the Turn-in-Poachers tip line at 1-800-452-7888.

A tip can also be made by email at

Nehalem is about 85 miles northwest of Portland.

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