The Ellis County Game Warden has asked for help from the public in locating the individual responsible for shooting and killing a blackbuck antelope.
The antelope was shot Sunday night, Feb. 24, from somewhere along U.S. Highway 66. According to an Operation Game Thief news release, the antelope was shot and left to waste behind a high-fence ranch.
Game Warden Jeff Powell said the landowner called him the next morning when he discovered the animal’s remains.
“This is actually the third time he called me in the past few months,” Powell remarked. “It happened late at night. Nobody saw or heard anything. We didn’t have any witnesses.”
The first incident Powell could recall was in November where a buck was shot and killed in Ellis County. A Corsican ram was also shot and wounded around the same time and location on Feb. 6. Powell recalled that they later had to put the ram down due to the wounds it sustained.
Powell said that the similarities between the different incidents are highly suspect. He remarked that it’s possible the same persons involved with the most recent game fatalities may be involved with the ones previous.
“After the third incident like that, where we don’t have any information, we know it’s kind of a problem,” Powell stated. “It looks like someone is riding around, shooting at animals for the heck of it.”
A $1,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this crime. Powell stated that the suspects could be charged with hunting from a public road and hunting without the landowner’s consent. Both charges are class A misdemeanors and could potentially result in a one-year jail sentence and a maximum fine of $4,000.
Powell stated that the landowner has agreed to match the Warden’s award with an additional $1,000. Anyone with any information can call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-792-4263.