Nearly two weeks after the illegal poaching of two pregnant elk at Sandcut Creek near Jordan River, conservation officers are still searching for suspects.
The animals, who were part of a small group of Roosevelt elk living in the area for the past couple of years, were found shot and stripped of their hides and flesh a week apart.
Conservation officer Peter Pauwels, who found both elk, said the public expressed many concern over the incident, but no tips have come in yet.
Under the circumstances, chances are the case will never be solved.
“It’s really tough to solve these types of incidents because they likely happened at night and there’s probably not that many people who have any knowledge to share with us,” Pauwels said.
No further activity has been seen in the area, though Pauwels said the small group of elk disappeared from the area following the shootings.
“They may have moved off somewhere else, or scattered, we don’t really know, but we’re hoping they’ll make it through this.”
Pauwels said the chances of the same thing happening in that area is less likely, as many locals who live out there or travel through are now watching more closely.
“Even if we don’t catch anybody, at least we get them to stop coming back.”
The forestry company in the area is also going to keep its gates locked, as it will deter people from driving up there at night, Pauwels said.
“It’s always going to be someone with a vehicle, and usually more than one person. It’s a big job to process one of those animals,” he said.
“If they can get past the gates, it’s easy, because they know they’re not going to run into anybody.”
The incident came as a major blow to local elk populations, which been making a slow comeback in the past 30 years after getting hunted nearly to extinction a century ago.
If anyone can provide any helpful information but wish to remain anonymous, they can call 1-877-952-7277.