Dead elk near Shepherd was hit by car, killed by passerby, then beheaded- but not poached, say wildlife officials

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jul 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 18:20:33-04

BILLINGS – A decapitated elk carcass found on the side of a Shepherd road had been wounded by a vehicle, euthanized by a passerby, then beheaded by a man and boy from Shepherd, but no one faces charges, Montana wildlife officials said Thursday.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said several tipsters helped them piece together what happened to the animal last weekend after they issued a statement seeking help on the suspected poaching.

Following those tips, Game Warden Matt Ladd said he spoke with the Shepherd man and teenager had removed the elk’s head. Since they did not kill the elk and the carcass was unfit for consumption, the two were not charged with poaching nor waste of game, according to Fish and Wildlife.

Instead, Ladd gave them both warnings for unlawful possession of game parts and littering. The news release did not state whether they were allowed to keep the head.

The Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) hotline number is 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668) where people can report possible violations anonymously.