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Officials are asking the public for help to identify the person or persons who killed a bull elk in a state forest.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in Gaylord are investigating the killing of an elk in the Pigeon River State Forest in Otsego County, officials said. The forest is about 250 miles north of Detroit.

"We are currently following up on leads,” Lt. Jim Gorno with the DNR said in a statement. “We hope that the public can help us with this investigation, as they have always been helpful in the past. This is flat out poaching. A majestic elk was killed for no reason and left to rot.”

The elk's carcass was found Monday near Ford Lake Road about three-quarters of a mile south of the Grass Lake and Ford Lake Road intersection, the DNR said. The elk had antlers with six points on one side and seven on the other.

It also said investigators believe the animal was killed Saturday or Sunday.

State law prohibits hunting elk out of season, held in August and September of this year. A second season is scheduled for Dec. 14-22. A third season could be held Jan. 15-19 if needed to cull the population.

Anyone with information about the elk poaching should call the DNR Customer Service Center in Gaylord at (989) 732-3541. They can also call or text the 24-hour Report All Poaching hotline at 1- (800) 292-7800.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez

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