SHANNON COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - The Missouri Department of Conservation is looking for a person of interest in connection to a dead bull elk found along the Current River in Shannon County late last year.
MDC agents are looking to speak to the driver of a 2007-12 dark gray four-door GM pickup that was seen at the Long Yard Access along the Current River between 8:30 and 9 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2015.
Anyone who was at the Log Yard Access area any time that evening may have seen the vehicle and know the driver could be helpful to the investigation.
Conservation agents would also like to hear from the driver of the vehicle because they might have information about the death of the elk.
A $4,445 reward is being offered by the Operation Game Thief and the Conservation Federation of Missouri for information.
According to MDC, the elk appeared to have been shot and the skull plate and antlers were removed with a chainsaw.
The rest of the carcass was left intact.
A hiker alerted conservation agents about the dead elk on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
MDC staff transported the carcass to the Department's Conservation Research Center in Columbia for further investigation, including a necropsy, which is an autopsy of an animal.
The dead bull elk was one of approximately 130 animals that are part of the Department's elk restoration and management efforts.
According to MDC, the elk was originally captured in 2012 in eastern Kentucky. It was later relocated to Peck Ranch in Missouri where it grew to be a mature bull elk.
However, MDC says a poacher stopped it from contributing to Missouri's growing elk population "for nothing more than Elk 260's antlers."
Anyone with information about the 2007-12 dark gray four-door GM pickup, or anything else regarding the poaching of Elk 260, please call Conservation Agent Brad Hadley at (573)230-3706 or call the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline at (800)392-1111. The OGT hotline is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.