Oregon Mail Tribune
Police say a Wasco County man tried to reap his own personal bumper crop of mule deer,
but instead ended up sowing the latest set of misdemeanor charges for targeting a
Brian LaFaver allegedly rammed “Scruffy,” Oregon State Police’s decoy deer, with his
pickup off a Forest Service road during a Wildlife Enforcement Decoy operation Dec.
7 in southern Wasco County.
The impact sent the decoy flying 12 feet, severely damaging the decoy named for its
bullet-tattered hide from past poaching cases, police said.
LaFaver, 34, of Tygh Valley, was cited on charges of unlawful take of a deer in closed
season and second-degree criminal mischief for damaging the decoy, police said.
LaFaver, who had his wife and two small children in the pickup, also was cited for
driving without a valid operator’s license.
Investigators believe it was the second time someone has tried to turn Scruffy into
roadkill, but ended up in court.
“I think we charged the guy with criminal mischief in that one, too,” says Lt. David
Cleary, who supervises wildlife enforcement for OSP’s Fish and Wildlife Enforcement
“It’s not real common, that’s for sure,” Cleary says.
Troopers were in the Rock Creek/Wamic area of the northeast Oregon county on Dec.
7 after several large bucks had been poached there recently, with only their heads
or antlers removed and the carcasses left to rot, OSP said.
The decoy was placed about 30 feet off a Forest Service roadway in a clearing that
included some trees, police said.
LaFaver, who told police he was Christmas tree hunting, allegedly drove the pickup
off the road and through a ditch before ramming the decoy, OSP Senior Trooper Swede
“Sitting there watching it, I’m thinking, ‘Is he going to do it? I think he is. Yep,
there he goes,’ ” Pearson says.
The impact knocked Scruffy’s antlers off and broke two of its legs, Pearson says.
Pearson says LaFaver told him at the scene that he was not trying to hit the decoy.
LaFaver claimed he thought it was a real deer and wanted his kids to get a closer
look at it, Pearson says.
Reached by telephone at his home, LaFaver said he had no comment this week about the
case and hung up.
LaFaver was set to appear Monday in Wasco County Circuit Circuit Court on the misdemeanor
charges, records show.