GREAT FALLS — Musselshell County Sheriff Shawn Lesnik announced on Wednesday that another dead bull elk has been discovered in the southwest part of Musselshell County.
It is believed to be at least the fourth elk that has been poached in the area within the last several days.
Sheriff Lesnik said in a Facebook post that the bull was shot and left to rot like the other bulls, and this bull is 25 miles away from where the other bulls were killed.
The landowner believes the bull was killed late Monday evening or early Tuesday.
A Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks game warden is processing the scene for evidence.
Sheriff Lesnik encourages anyone with information about these incidents to call the FWP's toll-free hotline at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668), or the Musselshell County Sheriff's Office at 406-323-1402.
He also asked that rural residents of Musselshell County be alert - if you hear any shooting at night, you're asked to call the Sheriff's Office immediately. If you see anyone spotlighting or hear/see a vehicle traveling the back roads at an unusually late time, call the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Lesnik notes that there are about 650 miles of county roads spread over 1,871 square miles in Musselshell County, so "we need your help watching all that country. We must protect our natural resources."
The FWP website provides the following information about poaching:
Poaching is the illegal killing of fish or wildlife. It can include illegal killing of fish or wildlife:
- for commercial trade
- for ego gratification
- in closed areas, during closed times, or taking more than the law allows
- reduce recreational opportunities for law abiding anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts
- kill and waste Montana game animals, threatened and endangered species, and even nongame animals
- target Montana’s fish and wildlife resource for personal profit
- Poaching robs law abiding hunters of game and fish, businesses and taxpayers of revenues generated by hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing recreation, and it denies many other Montanans the ability to enjoy seeing healthy, mature fish and wildlife populations.
AUGUST 18, 2019: At least two elk poached in Musselshell County