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It's elk season in the Rockies, but this year one hunter is stalking a different kind of prey. When the call comes in on the radio, Joe Pickett can hardly believe his ears: game wardens have found a hunter dead at a camp in the mountains - strung up, gutted, skinned, and beheaded, as if he were the elk he'd been pursuing. A spent cartridge and a poker chip lie next to his body. Ripples of horror spread through the community, and with a possibly psychotic killer on the loose, Governor Rulon is forced to end hunting season early for the first time in state history - outraging hunters and potentially crippling the state's income from the loss of hunting license revenue. But when the brutal murders eerily coincide with the arrival of radical anti-hunting activist Klamath Moore, Pickett knows the Governor's ruling is the least of his worries. Are the murders the work of a deranged activist or of a lone psychopath with a personal vendetta? As always, Joe Pickett is the governor's go-to man, and he's put on the case to track the murderous hunter, as more bodies - and poker chips - turn up.