We think this guy may be gone. He had been hanging around for weeks and we would see or hear him on a daily basis. Ne never strayed over 3/4's of a mile from here. Last Sunday we heard a vehicle going down our road who we assumed may be poachers. Camouflaged vehicle driving very slow and quiet which appeared to be suspicious. Our road runs parallel to another road just down from us by 3-400 yards. We heard some weird elk bugles coming from between our road and the next one down that morning. they did not sound natural and were just out of sight of our house but directly between the two roads. Then at 10:15 that morning the above mentioned camouflaged vehicle came down our road, turned around a few hundred yards past our house and parked. The two occupants went across our friends private property up the mountain like they were looking for something. I called 911 and the sheriff responded quickly. The Game Warden was unable to respond as he was in a meeting. The Sheriff Deputy found the vehicle didn't have any tag's on it, and nothing to identify it.
He couldn't wait for the prior occupants to come out of the woods so he left having taken photo's of the vehicle (Army type). Asked me to let him know when it left and he would head back out our way to head them off.
I called him back but he didn't head them off as I suspect it is being kept within our community and never leaves the Park. I was told he couldn't arrest them anyway due to fear of a lawsuit even though he knew they were up to no good. It it turned out they had permission to cross the property and he arrested them the Sheriff Department would be sued. I gave him our neighbors phone number to call to verify they did not have permission to be on or cross their property.
We have not heard the above elk bugle since and we guess that it may have been wounded, ran up the mountain and they came up to our road to try to track it down. This isn't the only time we have seen a trophy bull elk mysteriously vanish. To catch these brazen poachers is a real problem. If you catch them while waiting for the game warden to get out of his meeting or come from the other side of the county and end up shooting them it would be us that go to jail. In reality it appears that poachers have the edge and will probably get away with their illegal activities for a very long while. We have security to prevent poaching that are rent a cops but when I called their number I got an answering machine. No help there as they were not available either. I think it is tragic that this elk suddenly disappeared having been around every day for several continuous weeks. Sometimes it is not a just world we live in and proves that illegal activity or crime does pay, especially when the risk of getting caught is so minimal.