On Friday of last week, the Payson Roundup ran this picture and a letter from a citizen regarding a dead elk that was found. That letter indicated hunters were responsible for this action, casting hunters in a bad light.
This bull elk happens to be a road kill from which someone took the antlers. The Game and Fish Department appreciates the concerns and assistance of the Payson area citizens, and values their help in assessing the causes of death of animals discovered in the field.
Unfortunately, the Arizona Game and Fish Department does deal with its share of irresponsible people who try to take more than their fair share of Arizona's wildlife. Those people are not hunters, they are poachers.
Hunters, as a group, are law-abiding, ethical, and responsible. More poachers are caught as a result of information provided to the Game and Fish Department by hunters than by any other means.
Anyone wishing to report a suspected wildlife violation can do so 24 hours a day by calling the department's Operation Game Thief hotline at (1-800) 352-0700. The department offers rewards for information leading to arrests for some violations.
Craig McMullen, field supervisor, Arizona Game and Fish Department