State game wardens are seeking the public’s help to solve a rare case of moose poaching in Nevada.
According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, a “concerned citizen” reported finding an adult moose dead on Christmas Day 20 miles southeast of the Northern Nevada town of Jarbidge, about 500 miles north of Las Vegas.
Department spokesman Aaron Meier said the animal’s head and much of its meat had been taken, suggesting the work of a poacher or poachers. “If you removed the head, it’s likely you were looking for a trophy,” Meier said Tuesday.
So much of the carcass had been taken that game wardens have not yet been able to determine the sex of the animal, Meier said.
A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to a conviction in the case.
“The moose was killed sometime in middle to late December in a very visible area,” said Game Warden Fred Esparza in a written statement. “It’s very possible someone might have seen something that could be helpful in catching the individuals responsible. Even if you just saw a vehicle parked in that area or a hunter on an ATV or UTV, we would like that information.”
Moose remain exceedingly rare in Silver State. Until about a decade ago, the only ones seen in Nevada were individual animals that wandered in from Idaho, typically young bulls looking for mates.
But in recent years, cow, calf and bull moose have been sighted and photographed with increasing regularity in northern Elko and Humboldt counties, suggesting the species has taken up permanent residence in the state for the first time on record.
Wildlife officials don’t conduct formal population surveys of moose, but the number of sightings suggests that Nevada is now home to 25 to 40 of the animals.
“It’s amazing to see the reaction of people when they see a moose for the first time,” said Esparza. “It’s really unfortunate that these poachers just took that special opportunity away from the rest of us.”
Meier said there have been two recent cases of hunters killing moose by mistake in Nevada, but he wasn’t aware of another poaching case like this one.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife is offering a $1,000 reward through its Operation Game Thief program for information leading to a conviction of those responsible for poaching a moose in Northern Nevada last month.
Witnesses can call the program’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-992-3030 to report information on this case or any other wildlife related crime.
Anonymous tips are accepted and still qualify for the reward.