St. Paul, MN (KROC AM News) -  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says two bull elk were recently found dead from gunshot wounds on state land in an area of northern Minnesota that has been off-limits to elk hunters for several years.

The carcasses were spotted during an aerial census of the elk herd near Grygla in late February. The area is home to the state’s smallest elk herd and hunting was banned their in 2012 in hopes of preventing its demise. The Grygla herd, which is one of three elk herds in Minnesota, is now down to just 18 animals.

DNR officials are asking anyone with information about those responsible contact the state’s TIP (Turn in Poachers) program.

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