Three people have been arrested with skins of two spotted deer and several antlers in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur district, police said on Saturday.
The three men, in their late 30s, were nabbed late on Friday from Raghunagar forest area of Lakhimpur, some 200 km from Lucknow.
"Those arrested have confessed to being involved in the killing of the spotted deer and other wild animals for over five years," police inspector Ram Swaroop told reporters in Lakhimpur.
"The three used to sell the meat of wild animals to their clients in Nepal and other states of the country, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand," he added.
While the police, accompanied by a team of forest officials, arrested the three men, two of their aides managed to escape.
Those arrested have been booked under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA). "The three have given us vital clues about the hideouts of other poachers operating in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in Saharanpur and Bahraich districts," the official said.
Spotted deer, popularly known as Chital in Hindi, is the most common deer species in Indian forests. Its coat is reddish fawn, marked with white spots. Under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, injuring or killing a spotted deer is a criminal offence.