As is usually the case with poaching incidents that we report about in Montana, this one is sad, vicious and senseless.

While the National Bison Range on the Flathead Indian Reservation is best-known (obviously) for its opportunities to get visitors in close, reasonable proximity to those breathtaking beasts, some other inhabitants of the range have taken on iconic personalities, too.

One such animal is known as Harold. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes report that Harold, a magnificent and somewhat non-typical bull elk, had become widely known by many Bison Range visitors over the years. But it appears that Harold was the victim of a cruel poaching, and the CSKT Tribal Warden is investigating.

A poached bull elk was found in the canal on the Bison Range. It had been beheaded. Authorities have been searching areas where Harold was known to frequent and have not been able to locate him. So while still unconfirmed, there are some pretty strong indications that this was the iconic Harold.

Many elk can be spotted on the National Bison Range, and authorities say that they typically lose about four bull elk annually. Of course, that is usually due to natural causes or injuries sustained during the rut. But this?

Harold or not, authorities want to get to the bottom of this. CSKT authorities say that, "all efforts are being made to find out any information concerning this case and all leads are actively being investigated."

Here's hoping that someone brags about the awful thing they did and/or gets careless on social media, and a concerned citizen picks up on it. If anyone knows anything, they are asked to contact Tribal Game Warden Garrett Fenton, (406) 360-8193, or email garrett.fenton@cskt.org.

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