Officials: 25 antelope illegally shot, killed in field

BROADWATER, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska conservation officials say 25 antelope were illegally killed and left in a field near Broadwater in Morrill County.

The Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/1MVJCpg ) reports the animals, which included bucks, does and fawns, were shot and killed sometime last week.

Sean McKeehan with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says he investigated Monday after hearing reports about the killings from area residents. The carcasses were discovered near an access road between two main roads that are usually used by local farmers, ranchers or someone who is hunting.

“I was very, very upset when I was about halfway through finding all these antelopes,” he said. “Then to walk over another little hill, and there was that many more. I was pretty upset.”

State game officials suspect more than one person was involved because the animals were found in a winter wheat pivot field without fences, and some of the antelope were dragged off the field and hidden in tall grass.

“As far as sheer numbers, I’ve not seen anything like this,” McKeehan said. “I’ve been doing this for about 13 years now. I’ve investigated quite a few antelope, deer and elk cases. Nothing with this type of numbers.”

Officials say antelope are among the fastest big game animals in the U.S., and shooting them is a misdemeanor with a fine of $1,000 per animal.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking for the public’s help for help gathering information about the case and in identifying those who killed the antelope.

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