AZGFD: Help us find elk poachers

 

Bull elk front view
Photo credit: Getty Images

Officials at Arizona Game and Fish are asking for the public’s help as they search for those responsible for the illegal killing of three bull elk in northern Arizona.

According to the Arizona Game and Fish Department, three unrelated bull elk poaching incidents have occurred since the last week of August. The cases are especially significant because the elk were taken out of season, showing a blatant disregard for the wildlife management rules biologists have established to make hunting a viable and sustainable practice.

The first poaching incident occurred in Game Management Unit 5B South on the Coconino National Forest. The carcass of the 5x6 bull elk was discovered on August 29 off Forest Service Road 136, about three miles northeast of Clint’s Well near milepost 294 on Highway 87. The poachers killed the animal with a firearm, taking the meat, but leaving the antlers. Officials are offering a reward of up to $750 for the information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

The second incident involved a young bull elk poached in Game Management Unit 11M. The elk was killed either in the afternoon of August 27 or in the morning of August 28 about 1 mile southwest of Ft. Tuthill near the Coconino County Fairgrounds. The spike was shot twice with archery equipment and the entire animal was left to waste. Officials are offering a reward of up to $350 for the information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

The third bull elk was poached over Labor Day weekend. The carcass was discovered about a mile southeast of the Sky Hi Retreat subdivision near Pinetop. The poachers took the antlers, but left the meat to waste. Officials are offering a reward of up to $750 for the information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

At this point, the officers investigating the incidents have very limited evidence or information and are relying on the public to help find the poachers.

“Someone may have information about these cases and we need them to come forward,” said Game and Fish said Wildlife Manager Mike Rice. “Sportsmen and women pay for licenses and tags and contribute to wildlife conservation and management, but poachers do not. Poaching isn’t hunting, it’s stealing Arizona’s valuable wildlife resources.”

If you have any information about the cases, please call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/thief. Callers should provide case number 14-002441 for the Unit 5BS case, and 14-002414 for the Unit 11M case when calling. Callers may remain confidential upon request.

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