BILLINGS – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is offering rewards for information as they investigate two new crimes in which poachers killed game animals illegally, removed the heads and left the meat to waste.
On either Nov. 1 or Nov. 2, someone killed a large bull elk on private property along the Big Timber-Rapelje Road. The perpetrator removed the elk head and left the rest of the animal to waste. The carcass was discovered by the landowner.
Anyone who reports information that leads to a conviction in either case is eligible for a reward of as much as $1,000 by calling FWP game warden Derek Fagone at 406-860-7809 or FWP’s anonymous 24-hour crime-reporting line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668).
Earlier, someone illegally killed a buck pronghorn antelope, removed the head and left the carcass to waste in a coulee north of Billings, west of Highway 87 along 21 Mile Road. While the carcass was found Oct. 26 on public land, FWP game warden Sydney Young said there is some question about whether the animal was killed there or elsewhere and dumped after the head was removed.
Anyone who reports information that leads to a conviction in the case is eligible for a reward of as much as $1,000 by calling Young at 406-598-8114 or the 800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668 line).
The two crimes are the latest in a string of similar incidents in which trophy bucks and bulls were killed illegally, heads were removed and all meat was left to waste.
“The vast majority of Montana hunters pursue game legally and ethically.” FWP game warden Connor Langel said. “The few who choose to unlawfully and unethically poach wildlife and leave it to waste are stealing from all the people of the state and depriving those who do it right of opportunity.”
The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where people can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers may remain anonymous. It is similar to the well-known Crimestoppers program and offers rewards for information resulting in conviction of persons who abuse Montana’s natural, historic or cultural resources.