AZ Game And Fish Offering Reward For Poaching Information

Published: Friday, October 27, 2017 - 5:54pm
Updated: Friday, October 27, 2017 - 6:02pm
(Photo courtesy of Brady Smith - U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest)
Mule deer near forest road 151.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is looking into two mule deer poached near Prescott, a desert bighorn sheep killed near Yuma, and other autumn cases.

There have been several poaching cases in Arizona since the beginning of fall. An official with the state’s wildlife department said it’s sent out six releases asking for information in the past six weeks.

On Thursday, the Arizona Game and Fish Department sent out news release asking for information on two mule deer poached near Prescott. The department is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Another recent notice asked for information on the poaching of a bighorn sheep near Yuma.

Scott Fischer, program manager for Arizona’s Operation Game Thief, said with cooler days and nights, autumn generally brings more poaching cases.

“Not to say that there’s any motivating factor with the month of October,” Fischer said, “but people tend to recreate more, and so that means both good guys and bad guys.”

Fischer said reward money comes from the fines poachers pay, and that many times, people who come forward with information try to decline the reward. But he insists.

“Usually once we tell them that it came from the bad guy, they’re more than happy to take it,” he said.

Poaching — the illegal killing of fish or wildlife — can happen for all kinds of reasons. According to Fischer, sometimes a legal hunter might accidentally kill the wrong animal and then not report it.

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