Facebook posts lead to disturbing poacher arrests

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OKLAHOMA - A poaching problem Oklahoma's all too familiar with.

But, now, using social media, these once impossible to crack cases are being solved on a daily basis, thanks to the help of at-home detectives.

As the weather outside takes a colder turn, poachers are striking in the dead of winter.

This month alone, authorities have responded to cases across the state involving elk, deer, duck and geese carcasses left behind for others to find.

"This time of year is hunting season, obviously. It runs through the fall and into the winter," said Bill Hale with the Department of Wildlife Conservation. "So, we see a lot of disposal cases."

No case more note-worthy than the gruesome discovery of Hollywood.

The elk, famous in the Tahlequah area, was decapitated and dumped on a wildlife preserve.

But, the Department of Wildlife Conservation has a powerful tool at their disposal.

When poachers strike, they simply post a picture of the crime online and watch as the tips pour in.

"We get numerous calls about each post. Sometimes, there's 30-40,000 hits on those posts," Hale said. "Just about every case that's put on there is solved."

Take the case up in Woodward, solved with social media.

The medium now might bring justice for Hollywood, as well.

"It's become a good tool," Hale said. "I feel pretty sure that the case will be solved, probably through Facebook."

Those with a tip can either call the department's tip line or send a message directly to their Facebook page.

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