Game wardens seek public’s help in poaching cases
State game wardens are seeking the public’s help in investigating a rash of big game animal poaching in the Reno area over the past month.
“We’ve been swamped,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife Chief Game Warden Rob Buonamic. “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 backyard,” said Buonamici. “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.”
Anyone with information can call 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.