MOSIER, Ore. — Poachers will pay $16,000 in fines and restitution for killing a trophy elk and at least one buck dear near Mosier in 2021, according to OSP F and W officials. The member of the public who reported a suspicious photo circulating on social media earned five hunter preference points.
Lionardo Munoz, of Mosier, will pay over $15,000 in fines and fees for illegally shooting a 6X6 bull elk. Matt Wilkinson, also of Mosier, will pay $1,000 in fines related to his part in concealing the crime. The investigation also revealed at least one buck deer Wilkinson’s wife, Rachel Hallett, poached. Additional penalties for the three include bench probation, forfeiture of meat and heads, and hunting suspensions.
The incident started on Nov. 9, 2021, when a hunter texted a photo circulating on social media to OSP F and W Troopers. Something was just not right about the photo of a 6X6 bull elk on a trailer.
Senior Trooper Brent Ocheskey, based in The Dalles, received the text and called the hunter. He had his own questions about the photo.
“It was a big elk on that trailer,” Senior Trooper Ocheskey said, “An elk is a big animal, not easy to pack out without gutting and quartering it. That in itself was suspicious, especially in our patrol area.”
Senior Trooper Ocheskey got a name of a possible hunter who had harvested the elk. After some quick research, he contacted Senior Trooper Matt Newby as backup and the two headed to the subject’s residence.
No one was home at Lionardo Munoz’ house. As the troopers drove away, they saw a truck turn down the drive. In the back of the truck was a 6X6 bull elk head along with the hide. They had located the hunter in question, and the