Reward in bighorn sheep case soars

State game wardens are hoping a larger reward will help them track down the person who shot and killed a female desert bighorn sheep and left its lamb to starve in the mountains within sight of a Henderson neighborhood last month.

With the help of several donors, the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief Citizens Board has upped its reward from $500 to $8,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. The ewe was found dead in the McCullough Range on June 6. About a week later, a dead lamb was found in the same area. Wildlife officials think the lamb probably starved to death after its mother was killed.

The culprit could be charged with felony big-game poaching and misdemeanor wanton waste.

Cameron Waithman, the game warden assigned to the case, said the ewe was shot in a remote area about a half mile from Anthem. He declined to give the exact location, but he said it was not an area where someone would be target shooting. He has described the incident as a “thrill kill.”

The reward was increased thanks to contributions from a private donor and the hunting groups Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn and the desert chapter of Safari Club International. Lamar Outdoor Advertising donated 16 rotating electronic billboards to publicize efforts to solve the crime.

Anyone with information on poaching can contact Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030. Tips can be given anonymously.

Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.

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