Information sought on poaching incident in southern Madison Valley

State officials are looking for information about a deer that was poached on private land in the southern Madison Valley and Madison County Crime Stoppers and a private party are offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.

The deer was killed in the old Cliff Lake town location on the Three Dollar Ranch on the evening of Nov. 26 or morning of Nov. 27 – the last weekend of general big game season.

Information on the crime is a bit thin, said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Jim Smolcynsky out of West Yellowstone.

The deer was likely shot from the road, dressed and drug to a vehicle and hauled away, he said. It is unknown whether it was a buck or doe. However, it was likely a mule deer.

The Three Dollar Ranch offers a large area of block management hunting, Smolcynsky said. Block management is a program with FWP that facilitates public access to private land through a variety of methods.

However, the ranch has kept the old Cliff Lake town site closed to access and the deer was drug right past a sign that said the area was closed to hunting, he said.

The ranch has had problems over the years with people poaching deer in that general area and are hoping to put a stop to the problem, particularly when they offer so much of the rest of their land to the block management program.

If you have information about the incident, you can call Madison County Crime Stoppers at 1-877-NOCRME1 (1-877-662-7631) or FWP at 1-800-TIPMONT.

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