Culver man sentenced for wildlife offenses
A Culver man, Thomas Ray Campbell, 27, has been sentenced for illegally poaching bobcats and other wildlife, after posting accounts of his trapping on social media.
In the Jefferson County Circuit Court on Sept. 13, Campbell pleaded guilty to a violation of wildlife license/tag/permit requirements and taking, angling, hunting or trapping in violation of wildlife law or rule, both Class A misdemeanors, which occurred on Dec. 29, 2017, and May 8, respectively.
In the arrest affidavit, Oregon State trooper Charles Lindberg reported on his investigation, noting that on Dec. 29, Campbell had posted a picture of himself holding up a dead bobcat from a location that appeared to in Culver, on his social media account.
In a Jan. 1 photo from a game camera, Campbell commented on his post, "New toy today. Only need 19 more of them though. Here kitty kitty."
"The hash tags (#cougar, # bobcat, etc.) associated with the game camera post suggested that Thomas Campbell was going to be using a game camera to assist in his trapping endeavors and would be attempting to trap coyotes, bobcats and cougar. Investigators noted that it is illegal to trap cougar even if a person has a trapping license," Lindberg wrote.
Several more social media posts were mentioned. Officers checked to see if Campbell had a furtaking license or bobcat record card, and none was found.
On Jan. 21, Campbell posed a photo depicting a dead bobcat laid out on a wooden deck, and on Feb. 10, a photo showed a bobcat with its right rear foot caught in a foot hold trap along with the caption, "Kitty kitty." March 3, a picture showed piles of bobcat pelts inside a building.
A search warrant was obtained to search Campbell's home in Culver, where poaching evidence was found, including traps, bait, lures, and wildlife cameras.
Campbell was sentenced to three days in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, and two years of bench probation. His hunting license was suspended for three years, and he must pay restitution of $1,400 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
He forfeited items used in committing the wildlife offenses, including trail cameras, snares, cell phones, sporting goods, game meat, firearms, and hunting equipment.
Six additional counts of taking, angling, hunting or trapping in violation of wildlife law and three additional counts of violation of wildlife license/tag/permit requirements were dismissed.