Information Needed in Antelope Poaching Case

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Arizona Game and Fish Department officials are offering a reward of up to $300 for information regarding the poaching of a young antelope buck in Hunt Unit 8, a few miles east of Drake during the evening of Jan. 24 or the morning of Jan. 25.

Hunt Unit 8 is located south of Interstate 40 between Williams and Chino Valley. The poaching occurred on the Prescott National Forest, north of Prescott near Drake and east of Highway 89 off Forest Service Road 492. Game and Fish Department officials say the antelope buck was shot and left in the field after the skullcap and horns were removed. Evidence indicates multiple suspects were involved. People near the area where the violation occurred reported hearing multiple gunshots the evening of Jan. 24.

Game and Fish Department officers say they are having a tough time understanding the motivation behind this poaching case. “In most cases people poach wildlife for trophy status animals or for the meat and this was not the case with this poaching,” says Unit 8 Wildlife Manager Dan Gaska.

During this time of year antelope have shed the sheath—the outer covering—of their horns and they are just starting to grow. That indicates that the antelope buck probably did not have much new growth when the poaching occurred.

Anyone with information in this case is encouraged to call the department's Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.