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Poaching Updates: Elk, Mule Deer Probes, Bears Over Bait

Poaching Updates: Elk, Mule Deer Probes, Bears Over Bait

Poaching of game and fish is a real problem that keeps wildlife law enforcement personnel busy all across the country.

Here's a roundup of recent reports about people doing the wrong things in the field.

(Note: Game and Fish publishes "Poaching Updates" occasionally on this website)


More 'Left to Waste' Cases Reported

Wyoming Game and Fish Department is investigation another poaching case involving an elk killed and left to waste in hunt area 105.

It was the third such report in the area during the first week of the season.

"More recently, a hunter or hunters shot and killed two elk on the west side of Windy Point, in the Bridger Basin area of Elk Hunt Area 105, probably on October 21," Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas said in a news release. "One elk was taken and the other elk was left to waste. This appears to be intentional waste of one of the two elk, as the suspect drove up to both elk, but only took one and left the second elk to waste."

Photo of wasted elk found in hunt area 105 (Photo courtesy of WGFD)

In Wyoming, hunters are required to remove all edible portions of meat from their big game animal, including all four quarters, and the loins and tenderloins along the backbone.

Anyone with information on this wildlife violation may call the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847). Tips may be reported online at, directly to Hymas at 307-279-3466, or by calling the Green River Game and Fish Office at-1-307-875-3223.

Read about other game waste cases in Wyoming 



Bear Hunting Over Bait Charges

New York authorities are investigating a suspected illegal bear killing in the town of Day last month. Officers questioned a man who claimed he had shot the bear in his yard because it was a nuisance.

But investigators identified a 275-yard-long shooting lane that led from the man's deck to an area with hanging steel targets. Underneath was a pile of corn covered in blood and black hair.

The man later admitted to shooting the bear over bait, which is illegal in New York. The man was charged, and the bear's skull, meat, and gall bladder were seized as evidence.

Read more about this story


Can't Bear to See This

Earlier this month game wardens with the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game requested assistance with an investigation of a subject from the Waco area who may have illegally killed a black bear in New Mexico and now possessed it in Texas.

Texas Game Wardens made contact with the subject at his residence and during questioning, the suspect admitted to illegally killing the black bear in New Mexico without a license or permit and transporting the skull back to Texas.

The meat and carcass of the bear were left in the field and the pelt and paws were allowed to rot.

Cases are pending in New Mexico and the suspect was issued citations in Texas for illegally importing and possessing a protected state threatened species. (From Texas Game Warden Field Notes)

Read more on this and other related stories


Reward Offered Poaching Cases

Arizona Game and Fish Department says rewards up to $1,000 are being offered as part of its investigation into two poaching cases of mule deer bucks near Prescott.

The cases involve a 3x4 mule deer shot in the neck and found dead near a cattle watering tank off Old Black Canyon Highway, and a small buck found wrapped in a trash bag alongside Iron Kind Road in Dewey.

Officials believe the bucks were killed during the week of Oct. 16.

"We want to know if anyone in the area saw or heard anything that may be related to the poaching of either of these bucks," said Dennis Fogle, an AZGFD wildlife manager, in a news release. "Poachers are not hunters — they steal one of Arizona's most precious natural resources."

The department's Operation Game Thief program encourages anyone with information about these cases or the illegal take of wildlife in Arizona to call its 24/7 hotline at (800) 352-0700 or visit

Anyone with information about the poaching of either of these animals should refer to case #17-4100 for the mule deer that was shot in the neck and case #17-004107 for the small buck found in the trash bag.

Also read this story about a bighorn sheep poaching case

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