Six elk were illegally shot in northern Lincoln County and are being sought after by the State game wardens. Three of the carcasses were left to rot.

In an Assoiciated Press release, the Nevada Department of Wildlife asked for help in finding the poachers of the four cows and two calves, in two different locations in Lincoln County. NDOW spokesman Edwin Lyngar said, “We’re out of leads on this, so any help we can get is appreciated,” on Wednesday.

The sites of the two cases are only 10 miles apart, according to Chief Game Warden Tyler Turnipseed, but it’s not believed they are connected.

Two cows and a calf were found on the west side of Mount Grafton about 40 miles south of Ely. Turnipseed said almost all the meat had been left to rot. The first three carcasses were discovered Oct. 5, ten miles further south, by Patterson Pass.

“This level of senseless wildlife crime is unacceptable,” Turnipseed said. “People wait years for the opportunity to hunt and harvest an elk,” he said, “and it is unconscionable that some thoughtless person would shoot so many of these animals and leave them to rot.”

Fines for killing a big game animal illegally range from $250 to $30,000, along with being a felony in the state of Nevada, and one to four years in prison, as well as additional civil penalties. Leaving the animals to waste was a separate crime on top of the killing. Punishment for the charge is up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

Because of the many people hunting in the area, Turnipseed said, “we think someone may have seen something that might help us catch these criminals.” He also said, “We depend on sportsmen to help us solve these kinds of crimes because we can’t be everywhere at all times. This kind of egregious act should prompt outrage from the hunting community.

Anyone with information is invited to call the Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030.