(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in Gaylord are seeking tips from the public regarding three adult cow elk poached in Otsego County – the third elk poaching case in northern Michigan in roughly a month.

CREDIT: MICHIGAN DNR. Area residents found three illegally killed elk about 50 yards north of Hardwood Lake Road near Bobcat Trail, in the Pigeon River State Forest, east of Vanderbilt. Anyone with information is asked to call or text the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.

“This is the worst year we’ve had as far as elk poaching,” said Lt. Jim Gorno.

READ MORE: ACLU Sues Michigan State Police, Claims Racial Profiling, Black Drivers Pulled Over More

Area residents found the three elk about 50 yards north of Hardwood Lake Road near Bobcat Trail, in the Pigeon River State Forest, east of Vanderbilt. Officers believe that the three elk were shot either Saturday or Sunday while they were bedded down near each other.

“This is a loss for everyone who appreciates our state’s natural resources. It’s a true shame,” said Gorno. “If you or anyone you know has information that can help us solve this crime, we want to hear from you.”

READ MORE: Woman Finds 95-Year-Old Message In A Bottle In Michigan

Gorno said that the public tips received regarding a bull elk poached in November helped identify a suspect in that case.

Anyone with information regarding this poaching incident can contact the DNR Law Enforcement Division at the DNR Customer Service Center in Gaylord at 989-732-3541, or call or text the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800, available 24/7 year-round. Information can be left anonymously; monetary rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of violators.

MORE NEWS: Here's A List Of Bills Gov. Whitmer Signed Into Law Thursday

© 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.