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Poachers Are Criminals

'Poachers Are Criminals, Not Hunters'

The Arizona Game and Fish Department's (AZGFD) Operation Game Thief program is offering a reward of up to $1,500 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of several mule deer near Congress, Ariz. With the generosity of several sportsmen's groups, including the Arizona Mule Deer Organization, Christian Hunters of America and the Arizona Mule Deer Foundation, these organizations are offering an additional combined reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.

Late last fall AZGFD officers found the remains of several fresh deer, including bucks and does near the intersection of Date Creek Road and OX Ranch Road northwest of Congress. Officers determined that the deer had been skinned out and the meat taken. There were no open deer hunts in the area during this time. Evidence found at the scene suggests this was not a one-time event and that the suspect(s) frequented the area and spent considerable time there.

AZGFD Wildlife Manager Brian Dietz states, "The location is near a well- traveled area along Date Creek Road. Anyone out scouting, recreating or just passing through may have witnessed something that could help us resolve this case. Poachers are not hunters; they are criminals stealing from the residents of Arizona."

Anyone who may have information (on this or any other poaching case) is encouraged to call the Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at 1-800-352-0700. Caller identities will remain confidential and callers can report anonymously if needed. You can also report online at https://www.azgfd.com/ogt/. Callers should reference OGT #20-003449 when reporting information on this case.


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