Somebody shot four cow elk near Flagstaff Saturday, and state Game and Fish Department officials are looking for the poachers.
According to information from Game and Fish, the poaching happened about a quarter mile off the west side of State Route 89A across from the Oak Creek Vista overlook. The shooting happened at about 7:30 a.m. during the antlerless elk season in Unit 6B.
"Evidence discovered at the scene indicates that four animals were killed and that the suspect(s) dragged one elk to (a) vehicle parked on State Route 89A," according to a press release. "The investigating officer found the location where poachers field dressed the elk they took, and then discovered three other dead elk ..."
All the elk were within 75 yards of the location. Hunters in the area when the poaching happened reported hearing at least 13 gun shots.
Game and Fish is seeking the public's help in catching whoever did the poaching. The suspect vehicle was described as a sliver pickup truck, which was parked facing north on the southbound shoulder of the highway.
"This poaching is senseless and the suspects need to be caught," said Wildlife Manager Lee Luedeker. "It's evident these individuals have no respect for the laws in place to protect Arizona's wildlife."
A reward of up to $5,400 could be available for information leading to an arrest. Please call the Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-352-0700. Callers should provide case number 13-003317.