EUGENE, Ore. - An Oregon man and his son who pleaded guilty to poaching will spend the next four deer seasons in jail.
Investigators said the family hunted illegally for generations and all but wiped out the deer population in part of a wildlife area.
Under a plea deal, they will report to prison Oct. 1 - the first day of deer season - for 90-day terms each of the next four years. In addition, they have been stripped of their hunting privileges for life.
Shane Donoho, 37, admitted killing more than 300 deer in the past five years, prosecutor Jay Hall said. In most cases, Oregon hunters are limited to one deer per season.
He and his 60-year-old father, Rory, obtained other people’s tags so they could appear legitimate if a game official caught them with a poached animal, Hall said. They pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of racketeering, identity theft and poaching, the Eugene Register-Guard reported. The charges could have gotten them more than three years in prison.
The Donohos also forfeited 19 rifles and 1,600 pounds of frozen game. The meat will be given to zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers.
“Shane Donoho said the poaching goes back as far as he can remember, that he was taught by his father, Rory, who was taught by [Shane’s] grandfather,’’ Hall said in court.
Shane Donoho’s attorney, John Haapala, said the Donohos didn’t try to sell the meat but rather intended to eat it or share it with friends.