Poachers Decapitate Two Bull Elk, Washington DFW Investigating

by Amanda Glover

Washington wildlife officials found two elk dead and one injured. The animals were shot and left near the Idaho border. Two were without their heads, and one was badly injured.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are asking the public to assist them in solving a recent poaching case involving three bulk elk. The poacher illegally shot three animals in a private field outside of Fairfield, Idaho. Officials believe the kills happened on or around New Year’s Eve.

On January 2nd, wildlife officials responded to a report called in by a witness. The officials arrived at the scene to find two dead decapitated bull elk. The third bull elk survived the shooting. But the poacher left the animal alone and paralyzed in the snow.

Although the responding officers humanely sent off the paralyzed elk, they also recovered all three of the elk’s bodies to salvage their meat.

 WDFW police sergeant, Tony Leonetti, released a statement. “This is an appalling act of poaching large, branch-antlered elk—a blatant disrespect of natural resource rules, ethics, and conversation.”

Leonetti continued by discussing the importance of public engagement in these situations. “The loss of these mature elk is a blow to the local population and for future opportunities for ethical hunters who are following the rules. We rely on tips from the public as they are often our eyes and ears that lead to arrests on cases like this.”

This is not the first poacher in the recent past in Idaho to illegally hunt animals. In early 2021, 55-year-old D. Coward of St. Maries received prison time for numerous misdemeanors and felony violations. Those charges included possession of drugs and paraphernalia, outfitting/guiding without a license, illegal weapons possession, hunting big game over unlawful bait, and possession of unlawfully taken wildlife.

Elk Charges Toward Tourist in Frightening Video

Elk might be cute, but they’re not our friends.

In Early October 2021, a video surfaced of an aggressive elk at Colorado’s Estes Park. Apparently, much of the aggression between these creatures starts from competing for the attention of a female elk. Well, that’s one way to win the heart of a lady.

In the video, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Manager Chase Rylands warns visitors to keep their distance from the elks. Unfortunately, the tourists were not huge fans of listening. Despite the animal’s massive size and intimidating antlers, guests appear to get closer and closer to the animals.

“They can be extremely aggressive, especially if they think somebody or something is threatening his group of females. You’d think it would be common knowledge not to approach these animals, but you still have people doing that.” Surprised?

Thankfully, Rylands revealed that no one was injured last year in Estes Park.