Four men face charges related to poaching of bull elk Appeared in print: Friday, Oct 23, 2009 http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/21953677-41/story.csp Four Lane County area men are facing wildlife crime charges following the unlawful killing of four branch-antlered bull elk Tuesday south of Cottage Grove, Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Division troopers said. During the late morning hours Tuesday, four bull elk described as a 3-point, 5-point, 6-point and 6-by-7 point were unlawfully killed on private property south of London Road about three miles south of Cottage Grove, police said. Two troopers contacted area landowners who reported that hunters had trespassed on private lands to retrieve the poached bull elks. The animals were part of a year-round herd that reached up to 70 elk. Troopers praised landowners help in the ongoing investigation. John Atwater, 50, of Cottage Grove, was cited on four counts of unlawful taking of bull elk and two counts of borrowing an elk tag. David Pruitt, 78, of Cres*well, was cited for loaning an elk tag and aiding in a game offense. Homer Rhodes, 74, of Cottage Grove, was cited for hunting on the enclosed land of another, loaning an elk tag and aiding in a game offense. Christopher Stevens, 35, of Cottage Grove, was cited for aiding in a game offense. The charges are class A misdemeanors, and additional charges may be pending, police said. All four men were cited to appear in Lane County Circuit Court on Nov. 19. The four bull elk were salvaged by troopers and the meat was taken to the Eugene Mission.