Game Law Violations


$2,200 Reward Offered in Elk Poaching Case

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Dixie Wildlife Federation and the Division of Wildlife Resources are offering a reward of up to $2,200 for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the persons responsible for poaching a bull elk in the Hamblin Valley area in mid-April. Hamblin Valley is northwest of Cedar City.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Division of Wildlife Resources at (435) 865-6100, the Iron County Sheriff's office at (435) 586-9445 or the DWR's Help Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-800-662-DEER.

$1,000 Reward Offered in Bull Elk Poaching Case

The Division of Wildlife Resources is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally taking a bull elk on Danish Bench by the Huntington Power Plant in central Utah.

The bull was apparently shot during the antlerless elk hunt in December or January. The head and antlers were sawed off and the rest of the bull was left to rot. Depending on the information received, the reward may be as high as $1,000 or a Central Mountains, Manti mature bull elk permit.

Conservation Officer Kip Draper in Emery County is leading the investigation. He is asking that anyone, having knowledge of this poaching incident, call him on his cell phone (435) 749-1492 or at the Division of Wildlife Resources office in Price (435) 636-0260.

All information will be held in strict confidentiality, and the caller may remain anonymous.

"Please help us apprehend the poacher or poachers who have stolen a nice bull elk from sportsmen who might have had the opportunity to hunt this animal next fall," Draper said.


Elk Poaching Near Flagstaff Prompts $750 Reward

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering up to a $750 reward for information about the poaching of two cow elk and the wounding of a third elk on the evening of April 10, in Hunt Unit 7 East, north of Flagstaff.

The poaching occurred north of the San Francisco Peaks and Saddle Mountain, about one-half mile east of Highway 180 near Forest Road 523.

Wildlife officers said it is unknown how many people were involved, but it is apparent that the poacher or poachers shot into an elk herd, killing two cow elk and wounding another. Evidence found at the scene indicates that a .30-30-caliber rifle was used and nine shots were fired. The two killed elk were left in the field and the wounded elk has not been recovered.

The Game and Fish Department is offering a reward up to $750 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved in the poaching case. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the department's Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.

$10,000 Reward Offered in Wolf Killing Case

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting death of a Mexican gray wolf in Arizona on or about March 8.

Wolf recovery team members picked up a mortality signal emitted from the animal's radio collar along Forest Road 117 in the Green Peaks area of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, south of Highway 60, northwest of Springerville.

The killing of a Mexican gray wolf is a violation of both federal and state laws. Violations of the federal Endangered Species Act can invoke criminal penalties of up to $25,000 and/or six months in jail, or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.

Anyone with information they believe may be helpful in solving this crime, or the killing of any Mexican gray wolf that has occurred since 1998, should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (480) 967-7900 or the Arizona Game and Fish Department Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700.


Wardens Race the Clock to Catch Poachers

More than 150 miles north of Las Vegas lies the town of Panaca, Nevada, home to nearly 1,000 Nevadans. Panaca has no traffic lights, one gas station and somewhere around Panaca, a poacher who has yet to be caught.

Time is running out to find the poacher(s) responsible for killing and leaving three bull elk to waste in southeastern Nevada in mid-2001. Though they had promising leads early on, game wardens investigating the crime have been unable to pinpoint the poacher(s) responsible for the two-year-old crime.

Since the grisly discovery of the three poached elk, the statute of limitations for Nevada has all but run out. "Our state's statute of limitations is two years," says Rob Buonamici, deputy chiel warden and Operations Game Thief (OGT) coordinator for the Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW). "Our deadline has nearly passed for state charges."

The animals were poached on the Nevada/Utah border, about 25 miles from Panaca in an area called Prohibition Flat. Since the animals were poached on the border, certain federal laws apply to the crime, giving the game wardens at NDOW a second chance to catch those responsible.

"Poachers are not hunters," said Dennis Roden, game warden in Panaca. "Poachers masquerade as hunters, so they can steal our state's resources."

Unfortunately, like the state statute of limitations in Nevada, the clock is ticking on the federal charges. To get more information, and hopefully a break in the case, game wardens are asking for help from the public.

"It's very hard to get a bull elk tag in this state," said" Roden. "Nevada's bull elk are prized among hunters from all over the country who appreciate the animals because of their quality and size. When these animals are poached, the number of tags drop, making it that much more difficult for hunters to get a tag."

The poaching case centers around three bull elk that were left to waste in the parched Nevada desert. The heads were missing on all three, but during the investigiation, game wardens located where one of the heads had been hidden. The discovery gives game wardens a very good idea of when, where and how the elk were poached.

"A legal hunter will never have an opportunity to hunt these elk," said Buonamici. "It's not like a stolen car. These elk were taken from all Nevadans with no chance of recovery. All we can do now is catch those responsible."

A VHS videotape is available with scenes re-creating the poaching. Anyone with information on this crime should contact the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 800 - 992-3030.

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