Bighorn sheep poacher sought

Courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department

Courtesy of the Arizona Game and Fish Department

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is investigating the poaching of a bighorn ram that took place between Feb. 11 and Feb. 15.

The poaching occurred in the northwest corner of the Cottonwood Wilderness Area, directly north of Colorado City, in Game Management Unit 13-A. The ram's remains were found southeast of a rock outcrop called the "fish."

AZGFD investigators found the sheep carcass left to waste, with one bullet wound from a high caliber rifle. Officers have limited evidence and are requesting the public's help in solving this poaching case.

"Poaching is not hunting; it's stealing and a blatant violation of laws in place to protect Arizona's valuable wildlife resources," Wildlife Manager Jeremy Felish said. "We'll need the public's help to find out who killed this bighorn ram. We're hoping someone can come forward, as we have little information or evidence to go on."

Anyone with information regarding this case can call the Department's Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at 800-352-0700 or use the online form at www.azgfd.gov/thief.

Callers should provide case number 15-000504. All calls may remain confidential upon request. A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for information leading to the arrest of the violator(s).

The Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, an organization established to conserve and assist with the management of bighorn sheep in Arizona, has also posted a $1,000 reward for the conviction of the individual(s) involved in this case.