A trophy bull elk was recently found dead by hunters in New Mexico. Poaching is suspected. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officer KC Gehrt recovered a dead bull outside of Reserve, NM on September 4th.
This record class elk was discovered by hunters completely intact in a canyon a mile and a half east of Little Round Mountain. The last time the hunters saw this giant elk alive was September 1. After examining the elk Gehrt was able to find what appeared to be trauma to internal organs, in particular to the tops of the lungs, which would be consistent with injuries caused by a small caliber bullet.
Although archery season opened September 1 in Game Management Unit 23, it is illegal to hunt elk with a firearm during archery season. If caught the poacher would only face misdemeanor charges and potential civil penalties greater than $10,000 for the unlawful killing of a trophy elk this size.
Gehrt measured the antlers to this monarch and came up with a 422 3/8 inches SCI as an 8×7 and has incredible tine length. A true giant New Mexcio elk that is a shame it ended this way.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” said Gehrt. “We are following up on every lead.” One witness saw a silver Dodge pickup with dually-style rear wheels and New Mexico plates in the area around the time of the elk’s death. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call Operation Game Thief toll-free, (800) 432-GAME (4263), or to visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us. Photo and video.