$2,000 reward offered in dual elk poaching

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August 3rd, 2009

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public’s help in finding the individual or people responsible for the illegal killing of two elk on the evening of July 5. A cow elk was killed in a meadow a couple hundred yards from the visitor center at the Sipe White Mountain Wildlife Area, and a bull was shot adjacent to Forest Road 275 near State Highway 191, just south of Nelson Reservoir.

“While the locations of the two animals killed are about 2 miles apart, according to department law enforcement personnel investigating the scenes, evidence shows the same weapon killed both elk,” says Bruce Sitko, spokesman in the department’s Pinetop office. “The poacher left the animals to waste, and we need assistance from the public to find the individual who committed these senseless acts.”

“These aren’t the actions of a hunter,” adds Sitko. “They’re acts of a criminal stealing wildlife assets and resources from the people of Arizona.”

Sipe is located in eastern Arizona, a few miles southeast of Springerville and Eagar. Wildlife viewers regularly visit to enjoy watching and photographing the elk herds that frequent the wildlife area.

To report information on this incident, or any Game and Fish violation, call the department’s Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700. Caller identities may remain confidential upon request. Callers are eligible to receive a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of the violator in these poaching cases.

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