Elk NetworkWashington Seeks Help in “Appalling” Elk Poaching Case

General | January 7, 2022

Below is a news release from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. WDFW asked for the assistance of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to spread the word.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking the public for help to solve a poaching case involving three bull elk in Fairfield, Wash.

Two bulls were illegally killed, heads removed, and the meat wasted, on or around the weekend of Dec. 31, 2021. A third bull elk was shot, left injured and paralyzed in the frozen conditions. The animals were illegally shot outside the town of Fairfield, in Spokane County, in a privately-owned field off east Adams and Marsh roads, approximately five miles from the Idaho border.

“This is an appalling act of poaching large, branch-antlered elk – a blatant disrespect of natural resource rules, ethics, and conservation,” said WDFW Police Sergeant Tony Leonetti.

The animals were found by a witness Sunday Jan. 2 who reported it to WDFW Police. The paralyzed elk was humanely lethally dispatched, and the two headless bodies were recovered by officers.

“The loss of these mature elk is a blow to the local population and for future opportunities for ethical hunters who are following the rules,” said Leonetti. “We rely on tips from the public as they are often our eyes and ears that lead to arrests on cases like this.”

The Department asks anyone with information on this case, to report in one of several ways. Call 877-933-9847, email WDFW’s poaching tip email  or send a text tip to 847411. The public can also report online on WDFW’s website. Tips can be provided anonymously. A monetary reward or bonus points toward special hunts are available for information leading to an arrest.

For 2022, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching nationwide.

(Photo credit: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)