The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking information about the poaching of a pregnant mule deer in Game Management Unit 19A, east of Chino Valley.
Game and Fish officers are continuing to investigate the crime, and the department’s Operation Game Thief program is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.
On June 29, Game and Fish received a call regarding a dead doe. On June 30, officers found where the carcass had been dumped after the desirable meat had been removed. At the gut pile, officers discovered two, full-term fawns that were due within days.
“The residents of Arizona lost three deer with this one criminal act,” said Zen Mocarski, information and education program manager for the department’s regional office in Kingman. “The fawns were simply discarded as the poacher, or poachers, were field-dressing the doe.”
The doe was killed east of Chino Valley behind a subdivision the night of June 28. The gut pile was found near Muldoon Tank, located off Forest Service Road 638, just north of the Haystack Ranch.
Evidence was collected at the scene, but help from the public is needed.
“Maybe someone saw something and didn’t think too much about it,” Mocarski said. “Or, maybe someone overheard someone talking about it or saw something on social media. The department needs this information to try and bring those responsible to justice.”
If found, those responsible may face criminal charges, including take of big game wildlife during a closed season and waste of game meat. After the case is adjudicated, those responsible also face a potential civil assessment by the Game and Fish Commission and possible license revocation.
“This is not the act of a hunter,” Mocarski said. “Poaching is a crime. True hunters are conservationists and would never show such disrespect for modern wildlife conservation.”
Anyone with information regarding this case, or any wildlife violation, should call the Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700. Information also can be reported at http://www.azgfd.gov/ogt.shtml. Identities will remain confidential. Anyone calling should reference case number 15-001965.
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