Trooper Wolcott is talking about his dog Buck, otherwise known as Oregon’s first and only anti-poaching K-9.
He helps track down people who illegally hunt or capture wild animals.
“Buck is the only conservation K-9 in Oregon.”
Buck is a four-year-old yellow lab. He and Wolcott have been together since Buck started training in 2018.
Wolcott says there wasn’t a lot of training needed though, considering Buck is just using his natural instincts.
“When he’s sniffing out a firearm, he was going to smell that anyway if he’s through the area,” Wolcott said. “We just train him to alert to that firearm or that shell casing.”
Buck can also sniff out the gun powder, human clothes, or trails of evidence that troopers wouldn’t be able to see on their own.
According to OSP, three Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife management units including the Applegate Unit, Rogue Unit, and Evans Creek Unit, had 18 cases of poaching in 2019.
There are at least 65 Wildlife Management Units in the state of Oregon.
“The rural parts where these crimes are being committed are very difficult to search and they’re very difficult to find witnesses,” Wolcott said. “Every bit of extra help we can get is crucial to solving those problems.”
Wolcott says Buck has contributed a tremendous amount of help in solving poaching cases that may have otherwise gone unsolved.
“Canine buck will take our investigations a step further that we can’t already.”
If you’d like to support Buck and the anti-poaching K9 team, you can donate to the Oregon Wildlife Foundation at myowf.org.
Blakely McHugh is co-anchor of NBC5 News at Sunrise and spokesperson for In This Together, a suicide prevention initiative. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Blakely is a native of San Diego, CA.
Blakely is excited to be in southern Oregon, a place that gets all the seasons and has similar temperatures to Arizona in the summer! When she’s not at work, you can find her relaxing at home watching TV and cuddling with her cat, Dallas. She also enjoys trying new places to eat and exploring the outdoors.
Blakely loves meeting new people so if you see her out and about, say “hi!”