Elk NetworkHeadless Elk Leads to Poaching Felony

General | May 3, 2017

A judge in Nevada sentenced a Utah man to pay more than $20,000 for shooting and leaving a bull elk to rot. The judge also issued a 32-month suspended prison sentence to Zackry Holdaway who pleaded no contest to unlawful killing and possession of the elk.

“It is definitely the most severe sentence on any case I’ve ever worked,” John Anderson, Nevada Department of Wildlife game warden, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “It is also the most egregious case I’ve ever worked.”

The investigation began in 2015 near Pioche in east-central Nevada. A trail camera on private property that was set up to monitor elk activity recorded images of elk and two people on an ATV. One of them turned out to be Holdaway.

As the investigation continued, Holdaway took a job as a guide in New Zealand. Authorities arrested him upon his return to the United States in the summer of 2016.

“We manage these units for big trophy bulls, as far as sportsmen are concerned (poaching one) is blatant theft,” Anderson said. “When we are able to solve a case and get a good conviction we really take a lot of pride in that.”

(Photo source:  Nevada Department of Wildlife)