State Pursues Elk Poachers


The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating a cow elk poaching case and needs the public’s assistance in finding the individual or individuals involved. The incident occurred on Nov. 29 in an area of Game Management Unit 7 West, approximately 10 miles northwest of Parks.

The department received a call about a wounded cow elk located just west of Little Squaw Tank, which is northeast of the intersection of US Forest Service roads 730 and 141. There was a bull elk season in progress when this incident occurred.

“We’re asking the public for any information they might have in helping us solve this case,” says Wildlife Manager Mike Rice. “Someone probably was hunting or camping in the area where this incident took place. Witnesses may be apprehensive to come forward but we want to encourage them to contact the Operation Game Thief Hotline and help us catch the poachers.”

Anyone with information about this case can call the department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700 or use the online form at Callers may be eligible for a reward for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s). All calls may remain confidential upon request. To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit

Hunter caught exceeding bag limit

A 50-year-old man from Coolidge, Ariz. was arrested after a Game & Fish Officer watched him shoot at a bull elk in the area of Clear Creek Pines, which is 8 miles north of Clints Well.

Lowel Skorick, was drawn for bull elk, but had already taken an elk the day before. Skorick was with his girlfriend at the time of the incident and she had an unfilled elk tag.

The animal in this incident was not hit by Skorick’s bullet if it had, this would have resulted in additional charges.

Skorick was charged with taking an elk without a valid license and permit, exceeding the bag limit, and hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle.

Hunter turns himself in after shooting too many elk

A 31-year-old hunter from Buckeye, Ariz. turned himself in after killing multiple bull elk during the recent hunt near Munds Park.

The hunter, Ruben Carroll, shot the elk on Friday and after realizing he killed two animals he made the decision to take one home and leave the other in the field. The next day he felt very bad about his decision and called the department to turn himself in.

After receiving more information from Carroll, Game and Fish officers searched the area he hunted in and located two dead bull elk lying on the side of a large hill in the Bootlegger Springs area.

“This is an unfortunate incident where the right decision came too late to avoid charges” says Jim Madden, Regional Investigator for the Flagstaff area.

When an animal is unlawfully killed and allowed to spoil, charges are filed and the hunter faces potential criminal fines, license revocation, and monetary damages to the state for the loss of the animal.

Typically, Game & Fish violations result in monetary fines, but judges can also sentence violators to jail.

The Game & Fish Commission reviews cases involving serious violations and can revoke a person’s hunting and fishing privileges. They also impose civil assessments for the loss of the State’s wildlife, which start at $2,500 per elk and can go much higher based on the value of the animal.


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