State game and fish officials say poaching is a greater threat to future deer populations across New Mexico than any effects caused by drought, the Clovis News Journal reported.
Department of Game and Fish officials are currently investigating 22 cases across the state involving deer, elk and antelope carcasses found headless and left to rot, though none are currently reported in Roosevelt or Curry counties, Game Warden Clayer Moyers said.
Department officials are running road blocks all over the state to check for illegal hunting activity and gather data about harvesting game, the News Journal said.
They also are deploying artificial elk and deer in the field to catch poachers who try to shoot illegally at night or from the road, the paper reported.
New Mexico’s deer season runs from September to mid-January and includes separate seasons for different weapons, the News Journal said.
Hunting violations can be reported to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish 24 hours a day at 1-800-432-4263.