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10/23/2013 6:00:00 AM
Reward offered in elk poaching case (WARNING: Graphic content)
Someone took head, abandoned the body
Officials are looking for information about who slaughtered an elk, took only the head as a trophy and left the meat to waste. (Courtesy)
Officials are looking for information about who slaughtered an elk, took only the head as a trophy and left the meat to waste. (Courtesy)

KINGMAN - A poacher shot and killed a bull elk sometime over the weekend northwest of Ash Fork, cut off its head for a trophy and left the meat to waste.

Operation Game Thief has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

"An officer has collected evidence at the scene, but we are looking for additional information," said Zen Mocarski, the public information officer for the Game and Fish Region 3 office in Kingman.

The elk was killed about one mile north of Stone Lake in Unit 10 on the Diamond 7 allotment on the south end of Bishop Lake Plateau, said Mocarski, who noted there was no bull elk season in Unit 10 at the time of the killing.

"It is important to remember this is not the act of sportsmen or (sportswomen)," said Mocarski. "Poaching is a crime. It is important for anyone with information to come forward. There's a lot of territory for an officer to cover and the eyes and ears of the public are critically important in bringing poachers to justice."

Mocarski said information provided to Operation Game Thief in the past has played a vital role in apprehending poachers.

Poaching is a class 2 misdemeanor in Arizona. The poachers in the weekend incident would face charges of unlawfully taken wildlife, taken out of season, waste of game meat and, potentially, taken without a tag or license.

Each charge comes with a $750 maximum fine upon conviction as well as a possible civil fine and license revocation.

Anyone with information regarding this case, or any wildlife violation, should call the Operation Game Thief Hotline at (800) 352-0700. Online submissions can be reported by going to Identities will remain confidential. Callers are asked to reference case number 13-002889.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: Wiley Coyote

Whitewashing the trophy hunting industry in Arizona by implying it is about harvesting food is misleading to the general public. Here's the cost to outfit a trophy elk hunt in the White Mountains copied and pasted from Cabela's website:

2013: $18,000 (1x1) plus a $3,000 trophy fee if your bull net scores Boone and Crockett (min. 375" typical or min. 385" non-typical). 7-day hunt.

These ridiculous and artificially high costs for a hunt are for the trophy, not the food. The poachers that killed the elk in the photo above got their $21,000.00 trophy for free and left the meat behind.

Posted: Friday, October 25, 2013
Article comment by: Zen Mocarski

Unsure where you get some of the information, but for one I've had one raise in 11 years, which is the case with most state employees and we now pay for more benefits than five years ago.
"Trophy" hunting is term that refers to a large animal, but that animal must still be consumed or it is a waste of game meat. I can't speak on the thought process of the poachers in this particular case, but I'm hopeful they'll be caught and punished.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Wiley Coyote

Hunting and fishing for subsistence isn't the issue here and the attempt to smear them together with trophy hunting as if they're the same thing discredits the scientific integrity of Game & Fish. The fact that the agency is dependent on funding from the "harvest" of wildlife appears to be a conflict of interest that further compromises whatever scientific objectivity these surveys are based on.

This elk was killed for the trophy by someone looking for a status symbol to hang on their wall.The glorification of legal trophy hunting as conservationism in this newspaper boosts funding of G&F salaries and bennies, but it also encourages more illegal poaching at the same time.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Zen Mocarski

Hi Captain:
Money collected from the sale of OHV decals goes into the state’s OHV Recreation fund, not the General Fund. Sixty percent of the money from the OHV Recreation Fund goes to the Arizona State Parks, where it’s used to provide info on where to ride, permits, OHV education, mine shaft safety, parks operation and more. They also administer grants to make money available to OHV groups (and appropriate government agencies) to maintain trails, provide OHV education, update maps, etc.
Thirty-five percent of the OHV fund goes to the Game and Fish Department to pay for OHV enforcement officers, OHV online and hands-on courses, educational materials such as the state OHV Guide, all decal renewal notices, and increased OHV safety education statewide. Our enforcement officers provide equipment checks, safety and travel advice, and when necessary, cite those who disobey OHV laws.
The final 5 percent goes to the State Land Department, which uses their share to develop programs allowing OHV users with the decal to cross State Trust land on existing trails and designated roads (unless otherwise prohibited), mitigate damage to the land, and for necessary environmental, historical and cultural compliance activities on State Trust lands.
Your OHV decal can also reduce the cost of registering your OHV. Ask about this when you register your OHV at the MVD.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

I have a lot of respect for Mr. Mocarski. He has answered questions for me about my adopted state.

"... first, that money spent to hunt and fish goes directly back into conservation efforts."

Once again, it's the fees paid by hunters and fishermen-state and federal- as opposed to the chronic anti hunting complainers that pay for conservation so the freeloading tree huggers can enjoy the outdoors.

The ones who have their Disneyesque view of nature, can't fully understand the hatred real hunters feel for poachers and the wanton waste in this case.

I despise poachers and I hope this killer is caught.

One suggestion, why don't you anti-hunters buy a license, just to support conservation efforts.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Capt. Nice

Zen, we were told the ridiculous tags we have to buy for our quads ($25) were for keeping up trails and such.
After doing research I found out the millions that they make off this fiasco goes into the Arizona general fund and has nothing to do with trails etc.
This is probably different than the funds they collect from hunting and fishing licenses, but can we believe anything the government says?....I sure don't!

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: What the???

...And besides, all totally against hunting and killing animals unless its for survival out in the wilderness when theres nothing else to eat.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Zen Mocarski

Wiley, first, that money spent to hunt and fish goes directly back into conservation efforts. Survey efforts that led to determining the best locations for the sheep crossings on Highway 93 was sportsman dollars. Secondly, the number of animals that can be legally taken listed in the regulations is the result of population surveys. These surveys determine the number of animals that can be removed without adversely affecting the overall population. Lastly, and most importantly, waste of game meat is a violation whether during a legal hunt or not. Even if the individual had a hunting license and a tag, the waste of the meat would still result in a citation. You can search for AZGFD Kingman on Facebook to learn more about all the on-the-ground efforts done by GF to preserve and enhance existing wildlife populations.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Wiley Coyote

Get serious. What is really the difference between trophy hunting after you pay the G&F for a tag and hire an outfitter to get your picture in the paper, and trophy hunting without paying them off? Nothing but the money.

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Article comment by: Mr. D

This person stole from me and everyone else in Arizona. He did not do it for the meat but for a trophy. I don't condone poaching for subsistance and there are other avenues that a person can try to get help. Family, Churches, Food Banks and you can apply for food stamps. I also plead to anyone out there who has heard or seen something to please call in. This persons action will have an adverse effect on the wildlife for many years to come.

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