Jackson County sheriff's deputies are offering a reward — and perhaps even a deal — to unearth the person or people who dragged a portable toilet down a slope and tossed it into the upper Rogue River upstream of Shady Cove late last week.
Deputies and landowner Gary Rhinehart are putting together a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal of the toilet at a popular fishing and swimming spot called Dead Man's Hole.
The toilet bounced around several rocks over the weekend before becoming lodged in water in front of the Rogue River Lodge. Marine Sgt. Shawn Richards removed it Wednesday.
The toilet had been cleaned earlier that week, so it did not dump a large amount of human waste into the river, Richards says.
"I'd very much like to catch who did it," Richards says.
If found, the vandals face charges of trespassing and criminal mischief, as well as offensive littering in a waterway, which can carry a fine up to $5,000, Richards says.
"Whoever did it, if they want to come forward and turn themselves in, I can work it would so they won't go (directly) to jail," Richards says.
If that deal won't work, then Richards believes the reward — the amount is still undetermined — likely will shake the proverbial tree until a suspect or suspects fall out.
Rhinehart said he's placed the portable toilet there for public use during the summer boating season over the past six years as a convenience for rafters because there's no other public bathroom along the upper Rogue's south bank between Cole Rivers Hatchery and Shady Cove.
It cost him $80 per month, Rhinehart says.
"It kind of leaves a sour taste in your mouth," Rhinehart says. "I don't know if I'm going to do it again."
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a pheasant-hunting workshop for adults from 7:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at Denman Wildlife Area, 1495 E. Gregory Road.
A youth pheasant clinic will be held at the wildlife area the following weekend, on Sept. 14-15.
The adult workshop is designed for beginners as well as those who need a refresher course on upland game-bird hunting. Organizers will provide the necessary equipment, including shotguns, ear and eye protection and hunter-orange gear.
The half-day skills training will include a classroom portion on firearm safety followed by shooting clay pigeons with a coach. After that, participants will be broken into groups in the hunting areas, where they will be paired up with a trained bird dog and its handler.
The clinic costs $42, and participants will need a valid Oregon hunting license and Upland Game Bird Validation, which will be sold at the clinic. The license and validation together cost $38.
Participants can register at a point-of-sale license agent or online at https://or.outdoorcentral.us/or/license.
The youth pheasant clinic for hunters younger than 18 will closely follow the adult version, but the youth clinic is free.
Only youths with hunter-education cards can participate. An adult age 21 or older must accompany the youth but cannot hunt, and both the hunter and supervisor must wear hunter-orange caps, eye protection and a hunter-orange vest. Those who don't have their own equipment can get loaners at the clinic.
Participants must have a valid hunting license and a free Harvest Information Program tag, while those older than 14 must have an Upland Game Bird Validation.
Participants can register for the youth class in the same fashion as the adults, or call the wildlife area for information at 541-826-8778.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.