Employees at the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife preserve discovered someone had cut a lock to gain access through a gate leading into the Cherokee County preserve Nov. 27.
Further investigation revealed someone had poached an elk and had already taken off with the bull’s head, antlers, hide and meat. A subsequent investigation by Oklahoma Game Wardens did produce a suspect from Oaks. Wardens also seized a 6×7 bull head in the investigation. But apparently, wardens don’t believe their suspect acted alone.
“The ODWC Law Enforcement Division is now actively attempting to identify a second male suspect who may have helped in the illegal hunting and transporting of the poached elk off the Nature Conservancy,” the wardens posted on their Facebook page. “He is being described as a white male with slightly distorted facial features. The agency is now offering up to a $500.00 Operation Game Thief reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the primary suspect’s accomplice. In addition, the Nature Conservancy, a leading private conservation organization, will match the OGT reward.”
Officers are asking anyone who knows anything about this incident or the second suspect to contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-522-8039.
The wardens also note that even an anonymous tip is still eligible to receive a cash reward.