WILLIAMS, Ariz. -(Ammoland.com)- The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of a bull elk, which occurred on Sunday morning, Dec. 17.
The elk was shot and left to waste in Game Management Unit 10 along U.S. Forest Service road 6, south of Martin Draw northwest of Williams. There was not a lawful bull elk season going on at the time and the elk was shot with a large caliber rifle behind the shoulder.
Investigating officers are seeking information to locate two individuals last seen wearing orange hats that may have left the scene in a low-profile Nissan Titan pickup truck accented with chrome.
“This crime isn’t the act of an ethical, responsible hunter – it is the action of a criminal,” said Game and Fish Wildlife Officer Noah Silva. “Poaching is a crime. These people are stealing wildlife from the citizens of Arizona and we need those who have information to come forward to help bring these criminals to justice.”
Anyone with information about the case can call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form online. Callers should provide case number 17-004934 and may remain anonymous upon request, and all identities will be kept confidential.
A reward of up to $1,500 is being offered in this case for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).
Operation Game Thief
OGT is a silent witness, anti-poaching program that encourages the public to report any suspicious activity or knowledge about a poaching violation. The toll-free hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to report wildlife violations.
OGT 24/7 Hotline 1-800-352-0700
Poaching is the illegal take of game or fish, trespassing, littering, theft or destroying property.
- History of OGT
- Report a violation online
- Become a good witness
Poachers are thieves who steal Arizona’s most precious natural resource – wildlife! Poaching interferes with the ability to effectively manage wildlife and wildlife habitat. It negatively impacts the ability to enjoy the outdoors and reduces opportunities to hunt and fish in Arizona.
Cellular phone calls to the OGT hotline have proven to be extremely beneficial.
An officer’s chances of apprehending the violator while he is still in the woods are greatly enhanced when the offense is reported immediately. Most calls to the OGT hotline are now toll-free. If your service is provided by either Verizon or Alltell, simply dial #HUNT, and you will be connected to the hotline.
The hotline has long tentacles. A caller may place a toll-free call not only within Arizona but also from its border states that include Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and the southern half of California.
Reported violations are usually prioritized based on the severity and/or the legitimacy of the information provided. Because the Department has limited commissioned officers statewide, it is not possible to immediately respond to every call.
All violations receive the highest priority, and every attempt is made to immediately dispatch an officer to the scene. Officers have extraordinarily large patrol areas, in addition to other responsibilities, and it is not always possible for an immediate response to a violation.
This is why it is important that you act as a good witness so that follow-up by an officer can be conducted. Rest assured that your call and assistance is important.
All reported violations are logged, tracked, and analyzed for trend data to determine violation hot-spots. Special projects, patrols, or criminal investigations are conducted directly as a result of the trend data. No matter the degree of the reported violation, your tip usually makes the difference on whether a violator will be apprehended.
The OGT program has teamed with host Don McDowell of Shake, Rattle & Troll radio to apprehend poachers.
To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit their website.