The Operation Game Thief Citizens’ Board is also offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
The mule deer, an otherwise healthy buck with velvet-covered antlers, was shot in the spine with a small-caliber bullet. Evidence from the scene shows signs of prolonged struggling, wardens reported. The animal was found a few miles east of Pioche off the Four Mile Well road.
“Poaching in itself is always bad, but this crime is even more sinister because the poacher left the animal to suffer for perhaps as long as hours before it died,” said Cameron Waithman, a game warden from Boulder City. “The damage from the bullet was predominantly isolated to the spine area, and the deer likely died of shock or blood loss.”
The small-caliber bullet and the deer’s location right next to a road would have made the animal’s crippled condition obvious to the shooter, a report said. There are no hunting seasons open, Waithman said, and the shooter could not possibly have had any reason to be out looking for or killing big game.
Anyone with information on the poaching can call 800-992-3030. Calls will remain anonymous.