Mule Deer Poacher Sought By Game Officials

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Just when it seems the animal cruelty criminal charges Michael Vick admitted to are about as despicable as any acts possible, along comes news of another brutality.

But this one occurred closer to home, than did Vick's dog fighting episodes.

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials have information that a poacher killed a mule deer doe Aug. 24 or 25 along Lake Mary Road south of Mormon Lake.

The site is about one mile south of the Kiniknick Lake turnoff near milepost 319.

That's a site Payson travelers, many of whom are Northern Arizona University students, pass by when driving to and from Flagstaff.

Game officials say the doe was shot with a high-caliber rifle and was left in the field to waste.

Game officials found that the female deer had been nursing newborn fawns, which means those possibly won't survive in the wild.

The poaching took place during the opening weekend of archery deer season and probably occurred the evening of Aug. 24 or the early morning of the 25th.

The killing has raised the ire of game officials, including supervisor Larry Phoenix.

"This is a blatant example of poacher's disrespect for wildlife and the laws and seasons that are established to protect our wildlife resources," he said. "We are asking the public to help us catch the poacher. If you were in the area recently, please think back about anything you might have seen or heard, or any conversations you might have had.

"Maybe someone doesn't realize he or she has the key to solving this case."

Phoenix called the poaching of wildlife, "a major loss for the residents of Arizona and our wildlife resources."

Anyone with information about the poaching should call the toll-free Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 352-0700. All callers may remain confidential upon request and callers may be eligible for a reward up to $250.

Demolition Derby time

Jerry Honeycutt of Honeycutt Rodeo and Town of Payson parks manager Nelson Beck are continuing to gear up for the Second Annual Payson Demolition Derby.

The competition will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 9 in Payson Event Center.

At the event, a first-ever trucks-only competition, and possible lawn mower, will be held.

Beck and Honeycutt, the directors of the Payson Demolition Derby, are scouring the town searching for more entries in the trucks-only division.

At the conclusion of last year's highly successful demolition derby, drivers and fans alike clamored for a trucks-only division.

So, Beck and Honeycutt went about scheduling a trucks-only competition.

The only problem is, there haven't been many entries.

Beck hopes interest in the trucks competition heightens, so the inaugural event can be part of the derby.

"There is still time to build a truck and make it competitive," Beck said.

Also on the agenda will be the main derby, open to entrants from around the state, and a Powder-Puff division.

The main derby will feature $1,000 in added money, but the locals-only truck division will award prize money only from entry fees and $20 per truck added money. Local drivers must live within a 40-mile radius of Payson.

There is no added money to the powder-puff division and the jackpot will be paid out of entry fees. Trophies are also awarded in all three divisions.

The entry fees into the main and truck derbies is now $60.

The powder-puff fee is $20, which can be paid on the day of the event at the gate.

Beck stressed that if a driver has a car entered in the main derby and it is drivable at the conclusion of the competition, a spouse, friend or significant other may enter it in the power-puff event.

For more information, call Beck at (928) 474-5242.

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