One bull elk, three cows, and two calves were illegally killed and left to waste in Gross, Nebraska. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission announced the poaching incident on July 22, the same day they received a report of the carcasses. Gross is a small unincorporated community in Boyd County on the Missouri River, which forms part of the state’s border with South Dakota.
Details on the case remain slim, but the poachers made no attempt at salvaging any of the meat, which means wanton waste charges will apply to the case. NGPC is offering a $2,000 reward to anyone with information about who might have committed the crime. But according to commenters on the NGPC’s Facebook post regarding the incident, that might not be enough money for people to talk.
“They need to up the reward,” one commenter wrote. “Someone knows something.”
At the time of publication, no new details regarding the incident had been released, although NGPC and local law enforcement are actively searching for the poachers and investigating the incident.
Gross is officially listed as having three residents, and the population of Boyd County is 1,789. That’s lower than the state’s elk population, which has been a major success story over the last six decades. Elk were wiped out of Nebraska completely by the start of the 20th century due to unregulated market hunting, but eventually reappeared in the state around the 1950s and 60s. Since then, the state’s elk population has grown to roughly 2,500 to 3,000 animals. Nebraska hosted its first modern elk hunt in 1986.
Today, only residents and nonresident landowners can hunt elk in Nebraska. In a strange departure from all other states with elk populations, spearing is a legal form of take for elk in the Cornhusker State.