Sheriff investigating 2 wild horses found shot near Overgaard

Two wild mustangs were shot near Heber-Overgaard and horse advocates say hunters are using horses as bait for bears.

Two wild mustangs have been found shot recently in the Sitgreaves National Forest in northern Arizona.

The Navajo County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

The first was found last Thursday off Forest Road 51, and another was found off Forest Road 50 the following day.

RELATED: Wild horses found dead in Apache Sitgreaves Forest

Initially, decomposition made it difficult to determine the horses' cause of death.

A witness reported seeing a white truck in the area of the first horse.

A horse advocate in the Overgaard area said the problem is ongoing because hunters may use the wild horses as bait, and some ranchers say the horses compete with cattle grazing.

“The hunters this time of year every year, I suppose horses are shot just like this one here next to this water hole," horse advocate Robert Hutchinson said. "And then maybe a bear hunter might bring dogs in and then cut a track and chase that bear and kill that bear. That would be the purpose of killing the horse is to provide bait for that bear, which is illegal to do.”

Investigators say they believe both horses were shot around the same time.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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