The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking the public's assistance regarding the poaching of a 6 x 6 bull elk, found north of Ash Fork, Ariz.
The animal was illegally shot and killed around Sept. 6-8. It was found east of Oliver Tank and north of Sevens Ranch. The mature bull elk’s antlers were individually sawed off yet left at the scene, where the entire animal was left to waste. The area is part of Game Management Unit 10.
"This poaching happened just before the legal archery season, and we hope that anyone scouting in the area at that time might have information that will lead to an arrest in this crime," says Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Benjamin Shelby. "This is not the action of a hunter. Poaching is stealing from the people of Arizona and wasting a valuable resource."
To report information on this incident, or any other Game and Fish violation, call the department's Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700 or visit www.azgfd.gov/thief . Caller identities will remain confidential upon request. Callers are eligible to receive a reward of up to $2,700 for information leading to the arrest of the violator responsible for this poaching case.
Shelby added, "Dedicated sportsmen wait many years to draw a permit-tag for this area, well known for the quality-class elk like this animal. Unlike poachers, ethical hunters harvest the animal respectfully, fill their freezers with the healthy game meat, and they support wildlife conservation through their license and tag purchases."
To learn more about the Operation Game Thief program, visit www.azgfd.gov/thief .