Public tip solves case of ‘poached’ elk

LANDER, Wyo. — The case of the poached elk found Rock Creek Reservoir has been solved, and the culprit is:

A simple misunderstanding.

The elk was reported in Rock Creek Reservoir by a party who believed it had been poached. When Lander Game Warden Brady Frude checked out the scene, he agreed it looked like a crime. The elk’s head and antlers had been removed, but the body was left to waste.

But members of the public saw Game & Fish’s press release and realized they knew what had happened — they were responsible, in fact. A little over a week ago, they had found the elk already deceased and called a Wyoming game warden to ask permission to take the head and antlers. Game warden said OK.

The initial reporting party saw the press release came forward to tell Frude and help him put the pieces together. No crime, no foul.

After yesterday’s press release, members of the public came forward to help put the pieces together on an elk found in Rock Creek Reservoir.

Public tips are vital to solving wildlife cases and all the reporting parties did the right thing by contacting Game and Fish about what they found and getting approval from a warden prior to collecting the head and antlers of the elk.

Game and Fish has multiple law enforcement personnel across the state, and this is one of the busiest times of the year, sometimes wardens may go for days without checking in with one another. Wardens are grateful to all individuals involved in helping solve this mystery.

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