New Mexico hunters used attack dogs to kill elk

Three poachers in southern New Mexico have been convicted of using assault dogs to illegally take elk, along with several other wildlife-related crimes. Otero County residents Alex Miller, Cassin Flute and Gina Levers were recently convicted of a total of 17 counts of unlawful killing of elk and deer near Marhill, according to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. The game rangers were already looking for the poachers, and an anonymous tip from a local resident bolstered their investigation.

β€œIt is remarkable how one piece of advice can turn into a much larger case that was a terrible case of poaching by several people,” said Kurt Felix, NMGF Conservation Officer. Modern poaching is rarely all about feeding a family, and it should not be confused with hunting. Fishing is a legal activity, and poaching is a crime.”

Officer Felix first received a report that Miller illegally killed an elk in July 2019. More reports followed claiming that Miller was using dogs to attack and capture bull elk so he could approach and shoot them at close range.

In the end, the department’s investigation revealed video footage of Miller, Livers, and Flute from March 2019 that showed the three individuals ordering their dogs to chase and injure an elk bull. In the video, dogs can be seen holding an elk down as individuals approach the bull and shoot it multiple times in 22 seconds. Then the bull was left to rot.

“Subsequent reports confirmed that two additional deer and one mule deer suffered the same fate at the hands of these individuals,” the NMGF explained in the press release.

read the following: Social media photos lead to charges being imposed on the men who stole the trophy

As the department explains, it is illegal to use dogs to hunt or hunt elk, deer, thistles, and turkeys in New Mexico. It is also illegal to shoot elk in a small caliber such as a .22 rimfire, and it is an offense to leave elk meat in the field to rot. In addition to all these crimes, the three individuals killed the animals in the off-season, and they did not have a hunting license at the time.

In all, the three Hunters were convicted of seven misdemeanors and 10 felonies of the fourth degree, including waste game, conspiracy to commit a felony, and tampering with evidence. Miller received four years and six months of supervised probation and a fine of $825. Flotte and Livers received three years of supervised probation, and Flotte was fined an additional $565.

Hunting and fishing privileges for all three fishermen were also canceled for the next 10 years. Since New Mexico is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violation Charter, these cancellations will be extended to every US state except Nebraska and Hawaii.

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