Tipsters help bust poacher

SANTA FE – A poacher has been convicted based on an anonymous tip provided to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Operation Game Thief hotline.

Cody Davis, 37, of Dickinson, N.D., recently pleaded no contest before Bernalillo Magistrate Delilah Montano-Baca to unlawful hunting, killing and possession of a deer during a closed season and waste of game.

Davis, formerly of Lindrith, was ordered to pay $432 in court fees and donate $3,000 to the Operation Game Thief fund. His jail sentence was deferred upon successful completion of 90 days unsupervised probation. Game and Fish will also seek civil restitution for the loss of the trophy-sized buck.

Department conservation officers began investigating Davis following a Dec. 8, 2015, anonymous call to the hotline about a headless deer carcass rotting near Lindrith in Rio Arriba County. The caller accused Davis of killing it.

The case remained unsolved until March 2016 when another anonymous tip came in suggesting where Davis might have hidden the mule deer’s head.

June 7, officers watched as Davis picked the head out of some thick brush alongside N.M. 95 north of Lindrith and then headed toward Bernalillo. Davis was observed dumping the head into the Rio Grande from the N.M. 550 bridge. Officers and fisheries staff with diving equipment recovered the evidence.

“This case is a perfect example of someone doing the right thing and making a call to OGT and it resulted in the successful prosecution of a case,” said Capt. Ty Jackson, a conservation officer with Game and Fish.

Anyone with information about any wildlife crimes is urged to call the department’s 24-hour toll-free Operation Game Thief hotline, (800) 432-4263. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for rewards if charges are filed. Reports also can be submitted anonymously online at