GREAT FALLS — The Musselshell County Sheriff and a Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks warden recently responded to the report of a dead bull elk east of Roundup.
In a Facebook post, the Sheriff's Office said they determined the mature six-point elk died of a single gunshot, and was left to rot in the field.
A short time later, they updated the post to say that second mature bull had been located in close proximity to where the first bull was located, and the Dispatch Center also received information about a third elk being located.
Sheriff Shawn Lesnik wrote: "This is a horrendous crime and the individuals that perpetrated it need to be held accountable!"
If you have have any information about this crime, you are asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 406-323-1402, or 1-800-TIP-MONT.
The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where people can report violations of fish, wildlife, or park regulations. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction
Sheriff Lesnik concluded: "This type of crime is incomprehensible and should not be something that members of our community can turn a blind-eye too."
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.