Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bull Elk Killings in Central Utah

Price -- Wildlife officers have solved three bull elk poaching cases in east-central Utah.
Now they need your help to solve seven more.

“The seven bulls were taken on the Central Mountains-Manti and the Wasatch Mountains bull elk hunting units in east-central Utah,” says Casey Mickelsen, a sergeant with the Division of Wildlife Resources.

“Each of the bulls was killed illegally and then left to rot,” says Ben Riley, another DWR officer who is investigating the shootings. “Each one that was lost means fewer hunting opportunities for hunters and fewer chances to see these bulls while camping and hiking.”

”We need the public’s help to catch the people who killed these animals,” Mickelsen says. If you have information, please call Mickelsen at (435) 820-6010. You are not have to give him your name.

Because most of the bulls that were killed are considered trophy animals under Utah state law, you might be eligible for a limited-entry elk bull permit for the 2010 season or a cash award if you have information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

In the photo that accompanies this story, conservation officers Brandon Baron, Casey Mickelsen and Ben Riley (L-R) are holding the sets of antlers from the three cases that have been successfully prosecuted. In front of them are the antler sets from the seven unsolved cases. (Each antler has a yellow tag next to it.):

#1 5x6 bull elk found on Oct. 18 on the Wasatch Mountains unit near Long Ridge in Utah County. Officers believe the elk was shot during the last week of the general-season spike elk hunt.

#2 Spike bull that was also found on Oct. 18 near Long Ridge in Utah County. Officers believe whoever killed the 5x6 bull killed this bull too. The person left the elk to rot.

#3 7x8 bull elk poached in October 2008 on Black Mountain in the Muddy drainage in Emery County. Although the bull was killed more than a year ago, officers haven’t closed the case. They’re still searching for clues that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person who killed this trophy animal.

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

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

#6 6x6 bull elk discovered on Sept. 28 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. Officers believe the elk was killed during the last week of the early limited-entry elk hunt. A limited-entry elk hunter may have shot the animal and then left it to try to find an even bigger elk to kill.

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

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