NM Trophy Bull Poached
Received this in an email from New Mexico G&F. Thought I'd pass it along.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPT. 17, 2013:
TROPHY BULL ELK FOUND DEAD, POACHING SUSPECTED
Trophy elk recovered
ALMA – New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officer KC Gehrt recovered a dead, world-class, bull elk outside of Reserve Sept. 4. Poaching is suspected.
Hunters discovered the rotting, but completely intact, elk carcass in a canyon, a mile and a half east of Little Round Mountain. Hunters in the area last saw the massive elk alive Sept. 1.
“It’s stealing,” hunter Jeff Lewis said. “The state lost a huge amount. That’s a once in a lifetime bull.” Lewis and his hunting partner Don Roach had been tracking and shooting video of the enormous elk for three years.
“Up until this year, every time we would have an encounter with him he would disappear,” Lewis said. “But this year he was visible every morning and every night. We thought we would have a chance to have a stalk on him and have a chance to harvest. But the poacher must have seen him too. It’s really horrendous.”
After examining the elk Gehrt was able to find what appeared to be trauma to internal organs, in particular to the tops of the lungs, which would be consistent with injuries caused by a small caliber bullet. Due to extent that the elk had decomposed, Gehrt was not able to find the bullet.
“In the past, poachers have waited to return to an animal because they couldn’t find it or they were waiting to claim the animal when they had a hunting license,” Gehrt said. “That is what I suspect happened here. The wanton waste in this situation is sickening. It’s one of the reasons that trophy poaching should be a treated as a felony.”
Gehrt measured the elk’s antler length to be 422.375 inches, shy of the Safari Club International (SCI) New Mexico Big Game Record of 437.625 inches (typical).
Although archery season opened Sept. 1 in Game Management Unit 23, it is illegal to hunt elk with a firearm during archery season.
If caught, the poacher could only face misdemeanor charges and potential civil penalties greater than $10,000 for the unlawful killing of a trophy elk this size.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” said Gehrt. “We are following up on every lead.” One witness saw a silver Dodge pickup with dually-style rear wheels and New Mexico plates in the area around the time of the elk’s death. Anyone with information about this crime is urged to call Operation Game Thief toll-free, (800) 432-GAME (4263), or to visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
Callers can remain anonymous and may earn rewards if information leads to charges being filed.
I was about to do the same thing, post it on here somewhere. Definitely sickening, hope they catch the folks responsible! Anybody know how SCI scoring compares to Boone & Crockett/Pope & Young? I believe it is a different system than the later.
what a shame, theres a pic on MM in the elk section, sad day for hunters everywhere
Now that just PISSES ME OFF! That elk was gonna go 422!!! If a hunter was lucky enough to legally hunt and kill that bull it probably would have been the biggest bull killed in NM in 2013. Whoever the bonehead that did this needs to have his butt thrown in jail for thirty years and his hunting priveleges in NM taken away for life. Sorry to go on a rant but I really just cant stand poachers.
For an elk it is pretty much just a gross B&C score.
Originally Posted by tdub24
wheres the thrill!!! shoot and run????? wtf. best part of harvesting a trophy animal 'the legal way' is bragging rights after. thats the real enjoyment outside of having those fresh tenderloins laying in a bed of fried onions and taters.....
I hate poaching as much as the next guy, but why are they saying it was poached? Since it was fairly decomposed, is it possible an archery hunter hit him high and lost him? Either way, terrible, terrible loss to the herd.
solid point crimsonarrow, very true
If a broadhead would have hit the top of the lungs in that bull he would have died fairly quickly because high lung shots result in blood filling up the lungs and suffocating the elk. Therefore the blood trail would not have been a very long one. My guess is that some bozo shot the bull with small caliber bullet and left it there so he could pick up the head when he had a rifle tag for the area later in the fall.