Officials seek answers in elk poaching near Vernal

Wildlife officials • Two bull elk carcasses found rotting.
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State wildlife officials are looking for suspects in two separate elk shootings earlier this month in the Vernal area, where the animals were left to rot.

The Division of Wildlife Resources said a bull elk was shot on or before Oct. 4 on Dyer Mountain, about 20 miles north of Vernal. After killing the elk, the shooter left the entire carcass to waste. The shooting took place at least two days before the opening of the general bull elk hunt.

On or before Oct. 10, a second bull elk was shot in the same area. Its carcass was found south of the Iron Springs campground.

"It's very unfortunate to find bulls this large left to waste," said conservation officer Bryan Clyde in a statement. "Many hunters look forward to getting a chance at bulls like these. It's disheartening to see two big bulls shot and left to rot."

DWR officers are asking for the public's help in solving the illegal shootings. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Clyde at 435-790-4630. The division said anyone with a tip that leads to a successful prosecution will be eligible for a reward.