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Reward Leads to Successful Prosecution in Elk Poaching

January 13, 2016
PAGC

HARRISBURG, PA The Pennsylvania Game Commission, along with Shawn McMahon, Elk County's District Attorney, announced the successful prosecution of individuals responsible for the senseless killing of a bull elk in October 2013 near Benezette, Pa. The elk was shot while in the front yard of a residence, and it hobbled about 100 yards before lying down. The injuries left the elk unable to further walk or get back up. Due to its injuries, the elk had to be put down by Pennsylvania Game Commission officers.

The Keystone Elk Country Alliance, a Pennsylvania based nonprofit wildlife conservation organization, was quick to react, offering a $1,000 reward for information that led to the arrest and successful prosecution of the person or persons responsible for this act. As word spread, several businesses and one resident whom asked to remain anonymous from the local area got involved, and the reward grew to $4,300. Within three weeks, an individual provided information, as well as a list of suspects to a Deputy Waterways Conservation Officer. Over the next 18 months, Conservation Officers for both the Fish and Boat and Game Commissions worked tirelessly on evidence collection as well as interviewing witnesses and suspects. Several suspects were charged and prosecuted. The case was determined through a "closed hearing," so details cannot be disclosed.

The reward fund was instrumental in the process of solving this case as the information provided by the anonymous informant was crucial in identifying the suspects. The Game Commission would like to thank the following businesses for donating to the reward fund that led to the successful prosecution; Keystone Elk County Alliance, The Benezette Hotel, Benezette Wines, The Elk Country Store, The Medix Hotel, Big Elk Lick Campground and The Old Bull Caf.

Article Photos

The PA Game Commission have prosecuted the persons responsible for poaching a large bull elk in 2013. Photo courtesy of PAGC

Have you witnessed a wildlife crime against big game (deer, turkey, bear and elk) or a species that is protected, endangered or threatened? Call Operation Game Thief's toll-free hotline, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to report wildlife violations: 1-888-PGC-8001 or fill out an Operation Game Thief Reporting Form online at www.pgc.state.pa.us.

 
 

 

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