PINE, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering a $2,000 reward for information on elk that were poached near a residential community in Pine, about 15 miles northwest of Payson.
Reports to the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline over the past two months led wildlife managers to several elk that were shot in separate instances in the vicinity of Pine Canyon. The meat was left to waste. Not only were the animals were killed outside of the legal season, it is illegal and unethical to waste game meat in Arizona. Because the carcasses were found near residences, it is possible that someone saw the suspect leaving the area.
“Poachers are not hunters; they are criminals who steal from Arizonans and waste our state’s valuable natural resources. We would like to find those responsible and are looking for the public’s help. Whether you witnessed suspicious activity or noticed a post on social media that may help us solve this senseless crime, please report it,” said Amy Burnett, AZGFD spokesperson.
If you have any information or knowledge of this incident, please contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief hotline and refer to Case # 16-000542 at 1-800-352-0700 or on the web at www.azgfd.gov/ogt.shtml. For this case, callers may be eligible for a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest. Callers can remain confidential upon request. Money for rewards comes from criminal poaching fines, civil restitution by violators who commit wildlife crimes, and donations.