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Game wardens seek public’s help to solve rash of illegal big-game killings


Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) game wardens are investigating a rash of illegally killed big-game animals around the Reno area over the past month, and are seeking the public’s help to solve these poaching cases.

“We’ve been swamped,” said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden at NDOW.  “Between many cases locally and multiple poachings near Elko, we are on track for a very bad year for illegal killings.”

The latest case is a yearling doe shot in the head and left to waste at Bedell Flat behind Redrock, near the California border.  The animal was discovered Nov. 15, and game wardens are looking for anyone who was in the area in the very early morning hours of that day who might have witnessed the crime.

In another case a buck was shot and left to rot in the Truckee River near the Mustang exit off Interstate 80.  Only the antlers of the animal were taken.  The animal was discovered Nov. 6.  Game wardens hope some of the construction workers or visitors to the nearby nature conservancy project might have seen something unusual in the area.

There were several other cases over the last month, including two mule deer bucks and one male antelope.  All the animals were shot and left to rot in several areas around Reno.

“We worry when we have so many similar crimes right in our back yard,” Buonamici said.  “If these criminals are getting this brave around populated areas, we can only guess at the crimes going on in Nevada’s far-flung places.”

Concerned people with information can contact Operation Game Thief at (800) 992-3030.  Callers can remain anonymous and rewards are paid for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible wildlife crime.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety.   NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear.  Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license.  For more information, visit www.ndow.org.

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