Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers in Sundre are looking for information about what appears to be a poached elk found near the Olds snowmobile staging area.
The elk carcass was found by a member of the public who was quadding in the area.
A post on the department’s Facebook page features a photo of the animal looking badly mangled, with very little of the carcass remaining.
READ MORE: 100 geese found shot dead near Taber
The bull elk was a two-point elk, meaning it had an antler with two points. That’s another cause for concern.
“During the regular season for elk, you’re only allowed to harvest three-point elk,” Cox said. “This elk would not have been lawful to harvest even during the elk hunting season.”
The restriction on size of an elk that can be hunted has to do with its maturity. Antlers grow over time and their size depends on the health and age of the animal, Cox said.
Cox said officers found evidence at the scene that led them to believe the animal was shot.
They don’t know for sure whether the animal has been shot elsewhere and dumped at the spot it was found or if it was shot there and left.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife also tweeted on Wednesday, asking for information about a poached moose in the Athabasca area.
Cox said it’s not overly surprising to see animals like elk being poached. He added the most commonly poached animal in the province is the white-tailed deer.
The department is hoping anyone with information or possible tips will come forward to help with the investigation, and added people can be anonymous when submitting information.
“The more buy-in and support from the public, the more effective we can be,” Cox said.