Multiple deer and elk killed and left to waste

OTERO COUNTY, New Mexico – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking information about two deer and several elk that were illegally killed and left to rot recently in Otero County. Anyone with information about these poachings is encouraged to call Operation Game Thief, 800-432-4263.

On Dec. 26, the department received an Operation Game Thief tip regarding a possible wildlife law violation near Calico Peak. A conservation officer responded and discovered a mule deer buck that had been shot and killed. The head was removed and all meat was left to waste. There was not an open deer hunting season at the time. This unlawful killing and waste of game is a fourth-degree felony.

The same Operation Game Thief report stated there was a bull elk carcass in the same area that looked suspicious. The bull elk carcass had an arrow in its neck and both antlers were broken off. All meat was left to waste. An officer performed a necropsy and discovered the bull died from injuries consistent with a firearm. No rifle season for bull elk was taking place during the time of unlawful killing and waste of game.

Dec. 27, a department officer responded to Apple Valley Road near High Rolls regarding three elk killed and their carcasses left to rot on City of Alamogordo property. The officer suspects the elk carcasses were one to two weeks old.

Dec. 28, a mule deer buck carcass was found in Upper Dry Canyon near Cloudcroft. The deer was shot and killed. The head was removed and all meat was left to waste. There was no ongoing deer hunting season during the time of the poaching.

The Department of Game and Fish is seeking information leading to charges being filed. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Officer Corey Smith at 505-470-6991, file a report online at

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or call Operation Game Thief 800-432-4263. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for rewards if charges are filed.