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Possible poaching case under investigation in Columbia Falls

Published On: Nov 12 2013 05:39:20 PM MST   Updated On: Nov 12 2013 06:42:43 PM MST

Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reporting a possible poaching case in the Flathead, with a troubling twist.

Investigators think someone shot and gutted a deer in Columbia Falls, and shot and killed a pet dog.

It happened on Conn Road, just southwest of the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 40.

Officials say they got a call Monday morning about a deer gutted. The carcass was in someone's driveway, along with a dead dog that had been shot.

The dog was micro-chipped, so the dog’s owner was notified. While that can lead officials to the animal's owners, it doesn't help solve the mystery.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman John Fraley says poaching cases can be difficult to solve, so investigators rely heavily on reports or tips.

"It's a great big area.  It's a very large area.  A lot of road, network, trails, and so on.  We have 12 field wardens that patrol that area so the chances of them watching and observing a violation are pretty small," said Fraley.

If you have any information on this incident or other poaching incidents, you can call 1-800-TIP-MONT.