The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) seeks information in the case of two adult elk shot Friday, Feb. 8, near the Log Yard area of Shannon County. One of the elk was a 10-year-old bull, brought to Missouri from Kentucky in 2011. The other was an adult cow, born in Missouri. Conservation agents note no parts of either animal were removed.
“It appears these poachers simply wanted to shoot elk for fun or out of spite, and that’s abhorrent,” said MDC’s Protection Division Chief Randy Doman.
Doman said this marks the fifth known elk poaching incident since the elk population was restored in 2011. Elk poachings in the state also include an adult bull in December of 2015, a two-month-old calf in August of 2018, and a bull calf this past January.
In the 2015 case, the poachers removed the bull’s antlers with a chainsaw and left it otherwise untouched in the woods where it fell. Doman said it’s important to note that poaching is not hunting, and poachers are not hunters.
“These poaching incidents are ethically wrong and represent unacceptable moral conduct,” he said. “We know Missourians care about conservation, wildlife and the laws that protect their wildlife resources. These actions don’t represent the values of Missourians and hunters here.”
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation assisted with the successful restoration of wild, free-ranging elk onto their historic Missouri range in 2011.
“The restoration of elk is appreciated by many people, businesses and organizations in the area,” Doman said. “The citizens here take great pride in their hunting traditions and their wildlife resources. A healthy, growing elk population brings significant economic and cultural benefits to these communities, and the senseless waste of the people’s resources should not be tolerated.”
If you have any information, call (573) 226-3616, ext. 226 and leave a detailed message including your contact information, or call the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline at 1-800-392-1111.
(Photo source: Missouri Department of Conservation)