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Traverse City – Three elk have been shot in northern Michigan – the third case of elk poaching in the region within about a month, officials said Wednesday.

Lt. Jim Gorno of the Department of Natural Resources said this is Michigan’s worst year for illegal killings of the animals.

Local residents found the three adult elk cows north of Hardwood Lake Road in the Pigeon River State Forest east of Vanderbilt, Gorno said.

Officers believe they were shot last Saturday or Sunday while bedded down near each other, he said.

The DNR is appealing for tips from the public. Information can be provided anonymously to the DNR office in Gaylord at 989-732-3541 or the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.

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