DECEMBER 18, 2013
Poachers shoot multiple elk near Flagstaff
Game and Fish Department investigators seek public’s help
FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of four cow elk on Saturday, Dec. 7, about a quarter-mile off of the west side of State Route 89A. The poaching occurred around 7:30 a.m., across from the Oak Creek Vista Overlook on the Coconino National Forest, during an antlerless elk season in Game Management Unit 6B.
Evidence discovered at the scene indicates that four animals were killed and that the suspect(s) dragged one elk to their vehicle parked on State Route 89A. The investigating officer found the location where poachers field dressed the elk they took, and then discovered three other dead elk, all within 75 yards of that location. Hunters in the area when the poaching occurred reported hearing at least 13 gun shots.
The department needs the public’s help in solving this case. Motorists travelling on 89A that morning may have driven by as the suspect(s) were loading the elk into their vehicle. Evidence discovered on the side of the road indicates that the suspect vehicle, a silver pickup truck, was parked facing north on the southbound shoulder of 89A – facing southbound traffic – and investigators hope this sparks a memory for anyone who drove by the scene.
“This poaching is senseless and the suspects need to be caught.” says Wildlife Manager, Lee Luedeker. “It’s evident that these individuals have no respect for the laws in place to protect Arizona’s wildlife. Poaching is stealing from the residents and the state of Arizona.”
A reward of up to $5,400 may be available for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s). 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. Callers should provide case number 13-003317. All calls may remain confidential upon request. To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit www.azgfd.gov/thief.