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Trophy blacktail buck victim of GP poaching

Oregon State Police are looking for help in finding who illegally shot and killed a trophy-sized black-tailed buck deer found dead Tuesday in a southeast Grants Pass yard.

The buck with three-by-four antlers was found dead off Frankham Road near Cloverlawn Drive and likely was a descendant of the massive six-by-eight-antlered buck called "Goliath" that was killed by a poacher in the same neighborhood six years ago, according to the Oregon State Police.

"It was a dandy, and it had to be from the same lineage as Goliath," said Sgt. Jim Collom of the OSP's Fish and Wildlife Division based in Central Point.

The buck discovered Tuesday likely died from a single arrow shot Monday, Collom said. No arrow, however, was recovered, he said.

Investigators suspect the buck was shot in the nearby Applegate Unit that Monday was open only to a muzzleloader rifle hunt and not open for archers, Collom said.

The meat was not salvageable and the OSP seized the deer's head and antlers that since have been placed in the OSP's wildlife evidence freezer in Central Point, Collom said.

The buck dubbed Goliath was poached similarly with an arrow in November 2009 and an investigation led to the arrest of a Grants Pass archer, records show. However, the case was dismissed after a nearly one-year court fight that included the scheduling and canceling of three different trial dates, court records show.

The OSP is looking for the public's help in finding the poacher involved, and a reward may result from information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case through the state's Turn In Poachers, or TIP, program.

Anyone with information was asked to telephone the statewide TIP line at 1-800-452-7888 or the OSP's dispatchers at 541-776-6111.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.