Montana Bull Elk Poached on Private Property, Authorities Searching for Culprit

by Madison Miller

Authorities are on the lookout for the person responsible for poaching an elk on private property and then also leaving its body behind.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks team is taking over the investigation. The six-point bull elk was killed northwest of Butte, Montana last week. It was right along North Browns Gulch Road.

Poached Elk Found Near Butte

Whoever decided to kill the animal on private property also let the animal rot away. It was abandoned in a field nearby. According to Montana Standard, investigators have a witness that observed the poaching. The person identified a pickup truck that was at the scene shining a flashlight on the elk before suddenly fleeing the scene quickly.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are currently searching for the culprit using that valuable information. They are also asking anyone with more information to come forward.

It is not yet elk hunting season, meaning this was illegal for that reason. The general season is from October 23 to November 28. The kill was also on private property as well.

Man Arrested for Extensive Poaching

Meanwhile, a man in Sheridan, Wyoming was convicted for extensive poaching in the Bighorn Mountains. It’s his third county in the state to be convicted of poaching-related crimes.

According to The Sheridan Press, Russell Vick will now spend a year in jail and he also racked up a total of $70,000 in fines. He has been linked to unlawfully taking three antlered moose and a cow moose from 2007 to 2011. Vick did not have a license to hunt at the time.

Additionally, Vick is not a resident of Wyoming. Instead, he’s from Alabama and frequently comes to Wyoming for hunting season. He’s stirred up a lot of trouble in the state as well.

In Weston County, he allegedly poached a bighorn sheep. From 2003 to 2012, he was charged with a total of 42 big-game violations and 20 counts of illegally taking an animal.

“I was in a different place. I was young and stupid, and I apologize for what I’ve done,” Vick said in front of a judge last year.

A man in Colorado also pled guilty after a long poaching investigation that ended in early August, reports CBS Denver. He faces 20 counts of wildlife violations at the time and pled guilty to one count of willful destruction of wildlife, illegal possession of three or more big game animals, and hunting with artificial light.

He has paid over $3,000 in fines. This conviction also suspends him from hunting, fishing, and trapping in Colorado and 47 other states. Zac Chrisman must also donate money to the Colorado Operation Game Thief.

Poaching continues to be a problem in several states, as people avoid following proper guidelines that go along with hunting privileges.