Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DWR seeks help in solving unsolved Bull Elk Shooting Cases in East-Central Utah

PRICE, UTAH—During the 2009 big game hunting seasons, Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers, stationed in Carbon and Emery counties, have encountered multiple instances of the unlawful harvest of bull elk. In some of these cases, officers have been able to collect evidence and make arrests.

In the accompanying photo, conservation officers Brandon Baron, Casey Mickelsen and Ben Riley (L-R) are shown holding three bull elk skull caps and antlers, in which cases have been successfully prosecuted.

However, seven sets of antlers are displayed in front of the officers, for which the trail of evidence has grown cold. These bulls were poached on the Central Mountains-Manti and Wasatch Mountains bull elk units. Conservation officers are asking the public to step forward with information that may lead to the conclusion of these unsolved cases.

Yellow numbered tags have been placed in front of each set of antlers in the accompanying photo. Corresponding information is provided below, identifying the time frame, location and circumstances surrounding death of each bull elk.

#1 Spike bull found on 10-18-09 on the Wasatch Mountains unit near Long Ridge in Utah County. The elk was believed to have been shot during the last week of the general season spike elk hunt.

#2 A 5x6 bull elk was discovered on the same date and at the same location as #1. Both cases are believed to be connected. These elk were left to rot.

#3 7x8 bull poached in October of ‘08 on Black Mountain in the Muddy drainage in Emery County. Although the case is a year-old, officers continue to search for clues leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the death of this trophy animal.

#4 5x6 bull poached in Seeley Canyon of Sanpete County during the first week of the 2009 general season spike elk hunt. Possibly shot by a spike elk hunter, who may have shot into a herd of elk. Officers think there may have been hunters in the area, who may have witnessed the shooting.

#5 6x6 bull elk poached near the intersection of the Buck Flat ATV trail and the North Face Road on Ferron Mountain in Sanpete County. This bull was probably shot by a hunter during the last few days of the 2009 general season spike bull hunt. The bull had been dragged behind an ATV and then covered with branches and logs. Officers hope that another hunter may have seen someone dragging an elk with an ATV.

#6 6x6 bull elk was discovered on 9-28-09 on the Central Mountains-Manti unit near the Indian Creek drainage in Emery County. The elk was shot and left not far from the Spoon Creek trailhead. The elk was believed to have been killed during the last week of the early limited entry elk hunt. This elk was believed to have been high-graded by a limited entry bull elk permittee.

#7 6x6 bull elk poached during the overlapping 2009 muzzleloader deer/ muzzleloader limited entry bull hunt. The carcass was found in the canyon directly east of the Indian Creek Campground at the base of East Mountain in Emery County. This bull may have been shot by a muzzleloader elk hunter.

Wildlife officers would appreciate any information someone may have about these incidents. Many of these bulls are considered trophy quality. Persons, who provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators, could be eligible for a limited entry bull permit or a cash award. Please call Sergeant Casey Mickelsen at 435-820-6010.

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