Two bull elk were found shot dead south of Chinook in Blaine County.
On Feb. 14, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 (Harve) game wardens received a call that had nothing to do with Valentine's Day. Instead they got a TIP-MONT call regarding a 7X7 bull elk found dead just north of Cow Creek Reservoir off Lloyd Road.
Responding to the call, they came across another dead bull elk, which sported a 6X6 rack. Investigations indicated a person or persons shot and killed the elk, leaving both to waste.
Now wardens are looking to the public for help.
"This is not hunting," the FWP press release states. "This is a crime that occurred well outside of established hunting seasons."
Authorities believe the elk were shot between Sunday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call Chinook-area Warden Haden Hussey directly at 406-942-2191 or call FWP's 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where one can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.
These crimes comes right on the heels of another elk poaching incident in Missouri, which saw a bull and a cow shot and left for waste.
Wildlife agencies across the country have stepped up efforts in recent years to deter poachers, but stories still continue to surface.
"It appears these poachers simply wanted to shoot elk for fun or out of spite, and that's abhorrent," Randy Doman, the Missouri Department of Conservation's Protection Division Chief, said in a press release. "These poaching incidents are ethically wrong and represent unacceptable moral conduct."