This one was told to us back in '93 by the state game cop who ran across it.
The city guy, from Portland, OR came into the diner on his way back from the elk hunting trip in NE Oregon. Was on top of the world that he got his elk. Game cop happened to be in there eating, and asked to see it and check that the tag was properly punched, etc. It was a special cow hunt, so they were doing a count to see what the harvest ratio to tags issued was.
He was more than happy to tell the cop exactly where he got it, and the cop was local to the area and knew every land owner and rancher up there. Cop got all the guys information from him, took a couple of pictures, congratulated him on the animal, and sent him on his way back to the city.
Cop went back in and finished his meal, and told those that asked, yeah, guy got what he thought was his elk, I have to go to the rancher and tell him something.
Game cop goes to the rancher, and hands him a piece of paper with the hunters name and address, and tells him, you are going to be short a MULE, and here's the guy that has it so you can send him the bill, and I'll get you prints of the pictures I took.
City guy though it was an elk, and the game cop said he just shook his head and thought that at least the elk herd was safe from at least one idiot.
Not just beef that take a hit during hunting season. Have heard of some ranchers that will spray paint "cow" on the sides of thier range stock to cut down on the incidental take. At times out here, we call beef on grazing allotments "slow elk".