GREEN RIVER, Wyo. - Deer poaching cases in southwest Wyoming are up this fall, and state wildlife officials say they aren't sure what's causing the rise.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department wardens announced Friday that two more mule deer have been discovered dead in Uinta County, just outside Evanston.
The deer had been shot in the neck and appeared to have been dumped where they were found. Nothing was taken from either animal.
Evanston Game Warden Brian Baker says "blatant" poachers have illegally killed five buck mule deer in Uinta County since late October.
Game and Fish officials tell the Casper Star-Tribune there is a high number of poaching incidents in southwest Wyoming this fall hunting season, but aren't sure of the cause.
"The amount of poaching activity this fall has been unusually high for this area," said Evanston Game Warden Brian Baker. "It needs to come to an end."
Game wardens were already investigating the poaching of a buck mule deer and young bull moose shot and killed in late October near Evanston.
In another poaching case in Uinta County, a mature buck was killed and its antlers removed in the Ashley National Forest south of Mountain View.
Additionally, two buck mule deer were poached near Piedmont in central Uinta County around Nov. 5.
In Sweetwater County, game wardens said a trophy buck mule deer was shot before the opening of deer season by poachers using high-powered rifles on White Mountain northeast of Rock Springs.
In early October, poachers shot and killed two elk on Aspen Mountain south of Rock Springs.
In the Raymond Canyon area near Cokeville in neighboring Lincoln County, poachers shot and killed a female mountain lion and its kitten sometime around Oct. 10.
Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas said the female lion's head was removed from the carcass.