Two young elk were shot and left to rot southwest of Custer on Pleasant Valley Road on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 13.
Residents living in the area heard shots around 7:30 a.m. that morning, but the bodies of the elk were not discovered until the next day.
Some locals speculated that the hunters might have thought the spike elk were cow elk and conservation officer Ron Tietsort said it could be a possibility.
“It is a possibility because it happens every year, where hunters shoot spikes thinking that they are cow elk. If they had a license and made a mistake we would have tried to work with them, but by leaving them there to lay and not getting ahold of us it let’s all that meat go to waste,” Tietsort said.
There are different violations depending on the circumstances of the shooting such as if the shooter has a license or not. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is seeking information on whoever shot the elk and there is a possibility of a reward for any tips that lead to a conviction.
If you have any information, please call in tips to the Turn In Poachers hotline 1-888-OVERBAG or contact Tietsort directly at (605) 431-7048.