The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is seeking help from the public after four very large bucks were poached within the last three weeks. Three of the bucks were poached within the city limits of Susanville and the other was poached near the city.
“These poachers have shown total disregard for public safety by shooting deadly weapons in residential areas and within the city limits.” said Lassen County Warden Nick Buckler. “Almost as disturbing is the lack of respect for Lassen County’s wildlife, especially our famous trophy bucks.”
All of the recently poached bucks were killed or shot within 50 yards of houses.
Susanville residents with information that may help identify the poachers are asked to call the Californians Turn in Poachers and Polluters (CalTIP) line at (888) 334-2258.
Callers may remain anonymous. Information leading to the arrest and conviction of the poacher or poachers is eligible for a reward up to $1,000 from CalTIP. The Susanville Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation has added $250 to the reward.
The most useful information from witnesses are license plate numbers, vehicle and suspect descriptions (approximate style, size, color, age, and unique characteristics), time, location and last known direction of travel.
Recent examples in and near Susanville:
On Sunday, Aug. 27, a large buck was shot with a bow and arrow in the area of North Gilman Street in Susanville. Warden Buckler, DFG Lt. Carol Growdon, DFG Environmental Scientist Brian Ehler and local veterinarian Boyd Taylor worked with several Susanville residents who stepped forward to help. Together they sedated the buck, removed the arrow from the flesh of its ear, treated its wounds and released the animal.
On Sunday, Aug. 19, a trophy buck was killed with a crossbow in the area of South Spring Street. Warden Buckler worked with Susanville Police Department officers and Lassen County Sheriff’s Office deputies to track blood and gather evidence. Warden Buckler discovered a crossbow arrow, or bolt, buried in the buck. The crossbow bolt is being analyzed for forensic evidence.
Another buck was shot with a bow and arrow on Center Road, just west of High Desert State Prison. Another buck was killed with an arrow on McGowan Lane near Commercial Street. A fifth dead buck was recently reported to be located on Skyline Road near Lassen Community College.
Image courtesy California Department of Fish and Game