ORS 496.992¹
Penalties
  • revocation
  • forfeiture

(1) Except as otherwise provided by this section or other law, a violation of any provision of the wildlife laws, or any rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed with a culpable mental state.

(2) Except as otherwise provided by this section or other law, a violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, that does not involve the taking of wildlife is a Class D violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(3) A violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, that involves the taking of wildlife, other than nongame mammals and game birds, is a Class A violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(4) A violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, that involves the taking of nongame mammals or game birds is a Class C violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(5) A violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, that involves the size or quantity limits for salmon, steelhead trout and sturgeon is a Class A violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(6) A violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, relating to the size or quantity limits for fish or shellfish, other than size and quantity limits for salmon, steelhead trout and sturgeon, is a Class C violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(7) A violation of the nonresident licensing provisions of ORS 497.102 (Hunting licenses and permits) or 497.121 (Angling and shellfish licenses and tags) is a Class A violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(8) A violation of ORS 496.994 (Obstructing the taking of wildlife prohibited) is a Class A violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(9) A violation of ORS 498.136 (Hunting from motor-propelled vehicle restricted), 498.142 (Hunting with artificial light restricted) or 498.146 (Shining artificial light on game mammal, predatory animal or livestock while in or near motor vehicle and while in possession of weapon restricted) is a Class A violation if the offense is committed without a culpable mental state.

(10) The second and each subsequent conviction within a 10-year period for the taking of a raptor or the taking of game fish with a total value of $200 or more or the taking of antelope, black bear, cougar, deer, elk, moose, mountain goat or mountain sheep in violation of any provision of the wildlife laws, or any rule adopted pursuant thereto, that occurs more than one hour prior to, or more than one hour subsequent to, a season established for the lawful taking of such game mammals or game fish is a Class C felony if the offense is committed with a culpable mental state.

(11) A violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, is a Class C felony if the offense involves any of the following and is committed intentionally, knowingly or recklessly:

(a) The unlawful taking of wildlife with the intent to sell or to barter, trade, import, export or otherwise exchange the wildlife or a part of the wildlife.

(b) Except as provided in this paragraph, the second and each subsequent unlawful taking of a game mammal during a 12-month period. This paragraph does not apply to the taking of silver gray squirrel.

(c) The unlawful taking of a moose, mountain sheep, Rocky Mountain goat or wolf.

(d) The third and each subsequent taking of a game fish in excess of a bag limit during a 12-month period.

(e) The second and each subsequent unlawful taking of nonadipose clipped steelhead during a 12-month period.

(f) The unlawful taking of members of the family Acipenseridae that are commonly known as green sturgeon or that are oversized and commonly known as white sturgeon.

(g) The unlawful taking of wildlife that is a threatened species or endangered species.

(12) If a person is convicted of a Class A misdemeanor under subsection (1) of this section, in addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall impose a fine that is:

(a) Equal to the maximum fine described in ORS 161.635 (Fines for misdemeanors) (1)(a), if the person has two or more previous convictions for a Class A misdemeanor under subsection (1) of this section or if the offense involves taking three or more times the daily bag limit of any wildlife.

(b) Not less than one-half of the maximum fine described in ORS 161.635 (Fines for misdemeanors) (1)(a), if the offense involves:

(A) Failing to release a sturgeon more than six feet in length;

(B) Unlawfully taking wildlife to sell, barter, trade, import or export the wildlife, or parts thereof, or selling, bartering, trading, importing or exporting unlawfully taken wildlife, or parts thereof; or

(C) Taking a raptor and the person has a previous conviction for taking a raptor.

(c) Not less than one-fourth of the maximum fine described in ORS 161.635 (Fines for misdemeanors) (1)(a), if the offense involves taking a raptor and the person does not have a previous conviction for taking a raptor.

(13) If more than one minimum fine described in subsection (12) of this section applies, the court shall impose a fine in an amount that is not less than the highest of the applicable minimum fines.

(14)(a) If a court imposes a fine as penalty for an offense under the wildlife laws that involves the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife listed under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2), the court shall order that the defendant pay all or a portion of the fine separately to the clerk of the court for paying over to the State Fish and Wildlife Commission. The clerk shall pay over to the commission the amount that the court ordered the defendant to pay separately for that purpose. The amount that the court orders to be paid separately to the clerk for paying over to the commission shall be the lesser of:

(A) The amount of the fine imposed; or

(B) The amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing.

(b) If the amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife is more than the maximum fine established for the offense under ORS 153.018 (Maximum fines), 161.625 (Fines for felonies) or 161.635 (Fines for misdemeanors) or a specific fine statute, notwithstanding ORS 153.018 (Maximum fines), 161.625 (Fines for felonies) or 161.635 (Fines for misdemeanors) or any specific fine statute, the maximum fine for the offense is the amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing.

(c) If an amount paid over to the commission under this subsection is less than the amount that the commission could recover under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2) as damages for the unlawful taking or killing of wildlife, payment of the amount does not prevent the commission from bringing an action under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2) to recover damages for the unlawful taking or killing. However, notwithstanding ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife), the amount recoverable under ORS 496.705 (Damage suits for unlawful killing of wildlife) (2) by the commission as damages for the unlawful taking or killing shall be reduced by the amount paid to the commission under this subsection from a fine imposed for the unlawful taking or killing.

(15)(a) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall order the State Fish and Wildlife Commission to revoke all licenses, tags and permits issued to a person in the manner provided for in ORS 497.415 (Revocation or denial of licenses, tags or permits for wildlife law violations or failure to comply with citation) (3), (5) and (6) if the person is convicted of:

(A) A Class A misdemeanor under subsection (1) of this section if the offense involves:

(i) A violation of ORS 498.042 (Removal of parts of wildlife and waste of wildlife prohibited); or

(ii) The unlawful taking of wildlife to sell, barter, trade, import or export the wildlife, or parts thereof, or selling, bartering, trading, importing or exporting unlawfully taken wildlife, or parts thereof; or

(B) A Class C felony under subsection (10) of this section.

(b) Notwithstanding ORS 497.415 (Revocation or denial of licenses, tags or permits for wildlife law violations or failure to comply with citation) (5), upon having a license, tag or permit revoked under paragraph (a)(A)(i) of this subsection for the second time in a 10-year period, a person is prohibited from applying for or obtaining another such license, tag or permit.

(16) Upon the third conviction within a 10-year period for violation of a provision of the wildlife laws, or a rule adopted pursuant to the wildlife laws, the court shall order all guns, boats, vehicles, traps, fishing apparatus, electronic devices and other implements used in committing the third or subsequent offense to be seized and forfeited to the State of Oregon, to be turned over to the State Fish and Wildlife Commission for disposal in the manner provided for in ORS 496.680 (Seizure of unlawful devices and unlawfully taken wildlife).

(17) As used in this section:

(a) “Culpable mental state” has the meaning given that term in ORS 161.085 (Definitions with respect to culpability).

(b) “Previous conviction” includes a conviction entered in the same sentencing proceeding if the conviction is for a separate criminal episode as defined in ORS 131.505 (Definitions for ORS 131.505 to 131.525).

(c) “Raptor” means a member of the order Falconiformes or Strigiformes and includes owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, osprey and harriers. [1973 c.723 §39; 1975 c.578 §3; 1977 c.350 §3; 1977 c.353 §1; 1983 c.364 §1; 1985 c.372 §1; 1995 c.545 §5; 1999 c.1051 §106; 2009 c.778 §4; 2011 c.517 §§1,3; 2011 c.597 §§315,316; 2015 c.378 §1; 2016 c.37 §2; 2018 c.14 §1; 2019 c.274 §1]

Note: Section 4, chapter 274, Oregon Laws 2019, provides:

Sec. 4. The amendments to ORS 496.992 (Penalties) by section 1 of this 2019 Act apply to offenses committed on or after the effective date of this 2019 Act [January 1, 2020]. [2019 c.274 §4]

See also annota­tions under ORS 496.990 in permanent edi­tion.

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Violators subject to im­pris­on­­ment, (1976) Vol 37, p 1068; Criminal liability for commercial fishing licenses issued in return for N.S.F. check, (1981) Vol. 42, p 156

Chapter 496

Notes of Decisions

Fish and Wildlife Commission has statutory authority to provide by rule for is suance of special ceremonial hunting permits for specific tribes that are not otherwise allowed under hunting and fishing agree­ment between federal and state govern­ments and that tribe. Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon v. Depart­ment of Fish and Wildlife, 244 Or App 535, 260 P3d 705 (2011)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Commission authority to restrict use of boat ramp it locates on state land, (1971) Vol 35, p 900

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 496—Application, Administration and Enforcement of Wildlife Laws, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors496.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 496, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano496.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information