MONTMORENCY COUNTY, Mich. – Officials with the Department of Natural Resources are investigating are a second bull elk was found dead in Northern Michigan this week.
A deer hunter called the DNR on Tuesday to report he had found a dead elk in Montmorency County. The discovery was made just days after a bull elk was found illegally killed in Otsego County.
Conservation officers said they found the bull elk near Teets Trail, west of Voyer Lake Road. The elk’s antlers had five points on one side and three on the other.
Officers said the elk had been killed by a single gunshot. They believe the hunter mistook the elk for a deer.
“The great news is that the information we received from the public earlier this week about a larger bull elk poached over the weekend helped us identify a suspect within 48 hours,” Lt. James Gorno said. “We strongly encourage people to come forward -- either the hunter in this new case, to remedy the situation, or anyone who has information that can help us identify a suspect.”
DNR officials believe the elk found in Otsego County was shot Saturday or Sunday. They are still investigating leads in the case.
Elk are currently not in season, DNR officials said. The next hunting period for certain elk management units will run from Dec. 14 to Dec. 22, followed by an additional hunt from Jan. 15 to Jan. 19, according to authorities. The second hunt will only run if needed to help reach population management goals.
Anyone with information about either poaching incident is asked to call the DNR at 989-732-3541 or the 24-hour poaching hotline at 800-292-7800 to remain anonymous. Tipsters are eligible for monetary rewards if information leads to an arrest.