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Rewards offered to flush out Lake Creek poachers

More than $15,000 in reward money is now on the table for information that solves two recent big-game poaching cases along Lake Creek Road near Eagle Point.

The Oregon State Police are investigating the illegal killing and wasting of three black-tailed buck deer found dead earlier this week near milepost 4, about two miles from where a large Roosevelt bull elk was found dead with its head gone and its meat wasted.

The cases are similar and in proximity to each other and both happened in early September.

"We don't know if they're related," says Lt. David Gifford from OSP's Fish and Wildlife Division in Central Point. "We're still working it."

The most recent cases involve the three blacktails, one of which had its head cut off and the hind quarters taken but the rest was left to waste, according to OSP. The other two had their skull caps cut off and the rest wasted, police said.

A reward of $5,250 is offered for information leading the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for those killings.

In the elk case, the massive bull — most likely the herd bull for the elk herd in that area — was found dead in a field with its head and neck cut off. A $10,000 reward is being offered in that case, $4,500 of which is offered by the Cascade Ranch where the carcass was found.

The Humane Society of the United States is offering up to $5,000 in rewards in both cases. The remaining reward money in each case comes from the Oregon Hunters Association through its Turn In Poachers Program, also called TIP.

TIP tipsters can remain anonymous and still receive reward money.

Anyone with information regarding either case is asked to call OSP Trooper Josh Nugent, who is investigating both cases, at 541-727-8055, or call the TIP hotline at 1-800-452-7888.

Signups still on for Rogue Flyfishers steelhead tourney

The Rogue FlyFishers Association is taking signups through Sunday for slots and support help for its annual steelhead fishing tournament set for Oct. 11 on the Rogue River.

Driftboat oarsmen, fly-fishers and shuttle drivers are all needed for the event, which is one of the club's largest annual fundraisers to pay for conservation projects within the Rogue Basin.

The day starts with a 7 a.m. breakfast at TouVelle State Park and ends with a catered dinner around 5 p.m. In between anglers will fly-fish out of driftboats for summer steelhead. A custom fly rod made by club member Bob Claypool will be awarded to the anglers who catch the biggest fish and most cumulative inches of steelhead that day.

The cost is $150 per angler, with all proceeds going to the RFF's conservation coffers.

Breakfast will be provided once again by John Ward. Dinner will be catered.

For more information and signups, contact Will Johnson at 541-488-6454 or at will@theashlandflyshop.com; Mike Masters at 541-261-2243 or mmasters2243@charter.net; or Jon Iverson at 541-772-1762 or jaiverson19@gmail.com.

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