Mountain Mail reports
An investigation by the Department of Game and Fish determined that the carcasses of 12 elk found recently near Horse Springs apparently were the remains of legally harvested animals.
Conservation officers were alerted to the carcasses Oct. 26 through the Department’s toll-free Operation Game Thief line. After visiting the site twice and consulting with the landowner and an outfitter, officers determined the elk were legally harvested and the carcasses dumped on unposted private land after processing. Ten of the carcasses were boned-out for the meat. Two were left with some meat because it had spoiled before hunters could recover the animals during early archery seasons when the weather was warm.
Conservation officer K.C. Gehrt said the heads or antlers of all the elk had been removed and all animals appeared to be legally harvested. He said he also found the carcass of a legally taken bear at the same site.
The Department encourages hunters and others to report anything that appears to be a violation of the state’s wildlife laws by calling Operation Game Thief toll-free, 800-432-4263. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for rewards if information leads to charges being filed.