The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is asking for the public’s help, after multiple deer and elk were killed and left to rot in Otero County in late December.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Operation Game Thief at (800) 432-4263 or file a report online at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/
The department provided the following details in a recent press release:
- Dec. 26, the department received an Operation Game Thief tip regarding a possible wildlife law violation near Calico Peak. A conservation officer responded and discovered a mule deer buck that had been shot and killed. The head was removed and all meat was left to waste. There was not an open deer hunting season at the time. This unlawful killing and waste of game is a fourth-degree felony.
- The same Operation Game Thief report stated there was a bull elk carcass in the same area that looked suspicious. The bull elk carcass had an arrow in its neck and both antlers were broken off. All meat was left to waste. An officer performed a necropsy and discovered the bull died from injuries consistent with a firearm. No rifle season for bull elk was taking place during the time of unlawful killing and waste of game.
- Dec. 27, a department officer responded to Apple Valley Road near High Rolls regarding three elk killed and their carcasses left to rot on City of Alamogordo property. The officer suspects the elk carcasses were one to two weeks old.
- Dec. 28, a mule deer buck carcass was found in Upper Dry Canyon near Cloudcroft. The deer was shot and killed. The head was removed and all meat was left to waste. There was no ongoing deer hunting season during the time of the poaching.