The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking public assistance in locating the individual or individuals responsible for killing a female mule deer out of season.
The deer was found in a wash north of the Butcher Jones Recreation Area of Saguaro Lake, east of Phoenix on the evening of July 10. After receiving reports of shots fired in the area, Maricopa County deputies investigated and uncovered the pregnant doe who was nearly full term.
“We hope the public will come forward with information regarding this incident,” Game and Fish Wildlife Manager Laura Orscheln said. “Losing a pregnant doe that was nearly full term equates to the loss of two deer from the population, not just one. It is a loss to wildlife enthusiasts across Arizona.”
Originally offering a standard $500 reward through the department’s Operation Game Thief program, the Arizona Mule Deer Foundation has since stepped up as well.
“Due to the egregious nature of this crime, Arizona Mule Deer Foundation has agreed to pay a $500 reward upon conviction of the responsible party,” the department announced. “In addition, the standard $500 reward payment from Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief program has been enhanced and now is up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the unlawful death of these animals.”
The Department relies on the citizens of Arizona to assist in the reduction of wildlife violations. If you have any information or knowledge about this incident, please call the Department’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll-free at 1-800-352-0700 or use the online form. Callers should reference case number 17-002615.