Reward of $20,000 offered for information in disturbing poaching case near Pahrump

Nevada hunting ... it's big business. But not everybody is hunting by the rules, giving local legal hunters a bad name. (KSNV)

The reward is climbing for information about a disturbing case of poaching.

Last September, someone shot eight mule deer and left the animals to rot in the sun near Pahrump.

Make no mistake, this was not done by hunters.

According to the Nevada Division of Wildlife, it was a thrill kill. And after a year, with no arrests, they're upping the ante to pull in tipsters.

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Fix it, clean it, customize it. When it comes to firearms, Shawn Fairbairn can do it all.

A native Nevadan, he grew up in the Southern Nevada mountains and is an avid hunter.

"A true gunsmith can take a block of metal and make it a gun," said Fairbairn. "It's home, it really is."

News of eight mule deer shot and left to waste in the hills near Pahrump gets his attention.

"They're criminals, they're not hunters, they're not sportsmen. They're poachers," said Fairbairn.

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The animals were shot last September, with game wardens following countless leads.

Now, they're offering a fresh incentive for would-be witnesses to step forward. The reward for information in this case now sits at $20,000.

"My guess is there's somebody who knows," said Doug Nielsen with the Nevada Department of Wildlife. "And they really don't need to know the whole picture. Sometimes just a little string of information can open the door somewhere down the line."

Much of the reward money is coming from the hunting community.

Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and Nevada Sportsmen's Alliance are joining forces with the Humane Society and Operation Game Thief. The hotline to call is 1-800-992-3030.

"The thing that's interesting about this case, it was over a period of three weeks. So that's why we think it was repetitive motion on somebody's part that substantiates that thrill kill portion," said Nielsen.

Poaching can also hurt legal hunters, reducing the number of animals available.

"You kill a doe, you're taking three to five deer out of the equation," said Fairbairn.

It's a crime that law enforcement wants solved with $20,000 now up for grabs.

"That might trigger some memories," said Nielsen.

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