FLAGSTAFF -- The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating two unrelated bull elk poaching incidents that occurred in Northern Arizona during the last week of August. The cases are especially significant because both elk were taken out of season, and rewards may be offered for information leading to arrests.
One incident took place in Game Management Unit 5BSouth on the Coconino Forest. The carcass of a 5X6 bull elk was discovered Aug. 29 off Forest Service Road 136 near "the park," about three miles northeast of Clint's Well near milepost 294 on Highway 87. The poachers shot the animal with a firearm, took the meat, and left the antlers. This is a case of wildlife taken out of season, and it shows blatant disregard for wildlife management practices biologists have established to make hunting available to the public. A reward of up to $750 may be available for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).
The second case involved a spike (a young bull) elk poached in Game Management Unit 11M. The elk was killed about one mile southwest of Fort Tuthill near the Coconino County Fairgrounds, in the afternoon Aug. 27 or in the morning of Aug. 28. The bull was shot twice with archery equipment and the entire animal was left to waste. A reward of up to $350 may be available for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).
Officers investigating the cases 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."
Anyone with information about the cases can 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.