The Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Elk Society are seeking the public’s help in finding the person(s) responsible for the illegal shooting of four elk in the Payson area in Game Management Unit 22.
Game and Fish officers investigating the case said that two young bull elk and one cow elk, all illegally shot and left to waste, were found in close proximity to each other in the Chaparral Pines community and were most likely poached between the evening of Oct. 24 and Oct. 25.
A fourth elk, also illegally shot, was found Oct. 31 in the same general area. Investigators believe it was poached on Oct. 27 or 28.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief Program is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. An additional reward of up to $5,000 is being offered by the Arizona Elk Society for information leading to a conviction in the case.
The wasteful poaching of this many elk is a travesty to those of us that work hard to improve the health and habitat of elk in Arizona,” said Steve Clark, president of the Arizona Elk Society.
Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/thief, and please reference OGT #12-002661. All calls will remain confidential upon request.
“Poaching of wildlife is stealing from you,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Jarrod McFarlin. “Protect your wildlife by reporting poaching incidents.”
To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit www.azgfd.gov/thief.