Poachers kill 4 cow elk in Coconino forest - WNEM TV 5

Poachers kill 4 cow elk in Coconino forest

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Arizona Game and Fish officials said four cow elk were illegally killed in northern Arizona's Coconino National Forest on Saturday.

The elk were shot west of State Route 89A, across from the Oak Creek Vista Overlook, about 7:30 a.m., a department official said.

It appeared one of the elk was dragged to a vehicle parked near the highway, the official said. A Game and Fish officer found the spot where the poachers field-dressed the elk and found the other three cows within 75 yards of that spot.

Hunters nearby reported hearing 13 gunshots, the official said.

Game and Fish asked that anyone who might have seen a parked silver pickup truck facing north on the southbound shoulder of 89A and the poachers loading an elk into the bed to call the Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at 800-352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/thief.

"This poaching is senseless and the suspects need to be caught," said Wildlife Manager Lee Luedeker. "It's evident that these individuals have no respect for the laws in place to protect Arizona's wildlife."

A reward of up to $5,400 may be available for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s), officials said.

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