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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Help needed to solve Clints Well elk poachings

Information needed to solve two elk poachings in northern Arizona

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is seeking the public’s assistance in finding the individual or individuals responsible for illegally killing two bull elk in separate incidents near Clints Well (37 miles north of Payson) in September.

The first poaching occurred sometime over the Labor Day weekend, just before the legal archery season. The bull elk was killed near the junction of Forest Roads 96 and 321, about eight miles east of Clints Well, in Game Management Unit 5A on the Coconino National Forest. After the animal was killed, only the head and a small portion of meat were removed. The rest of the animal was left to waste.

The second poaching occurred around Sept. 18 or 19. The bull elk was shot with a rifle off Arizona Highway 87, about four miles north of Clints Well. The subjects in this case removed the head and some major portions of meat, including the shoulders and hind quarters. The rest of the animal was left to waste. The only hunting season open at the time of the poaching was archery elk.

“We’re asking the public for any information they might have in helping us solve either of these cases,” says Wildlife Manager Garrett Fabian. “Someone may have been scouting in the area and seen or heard something, but may be apprehensive to come forward. We want to encourage them to contact the Operation Game Thief Hotline and help us catch the poachers.”

Anyone with information about either of these incidents can call the department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/thief. Callers may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500 in each case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s). All calls may remain confidential upon request.

To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit www.azgfd.gov/thief.

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