Below is a news release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking information about seven elk that were shot and left northeast of the intersection of Moffat County Roads 109 and 3. The area is about 20 miles north of the community of Craig.
Wildlife officers were notified on Sunday, Nov. 22 by a concerned citizen. Officers found all seven elk in close proximity to one another on BLM land. Officers believe the incident occurred on Friday, Nov. 20.
“We have processed the scene and gathered forensic evidence,” said Mike Swaro, Assistant Area Wildlife Manager. “We are hopeful that anyone who was around the location late last week can provide us with information about vehicles or people who may have been in that area. Even little things can become the clues that will find those responsible.”
A reward fund has been established by Operation Game Thief (OGT) for information in the case. Witnesses can contact OGT at 877-265-6648 or on the Verizon network at #OGT. Tips can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Rewards are available if information leads to an arrest or citation in the case. Individuals can also contact the CPW Meeker Service Center at 970-878-6090.
“This was not hunting,” Swaro stressed. “This was a poaching. Colorado law requires that a hunter prepare any harvested animal for human consumption, meaning you have to take the meat. To just leave these animals in the field is illegal and unethical and it takes from all of us.”
Waste of game is only one of the serious charges that will likely apply in the case. Swaro says officers will take all factors into consideration, including the possibility that someone involved might step up and take responsibility.
Each year more than half a million legal hunters take to the field in Colorado. The vast majority are law abiding citizens from around the world who provide financial fuel for the rural economies in northwest Colorado. Hunting and fishing recreation rival Colorado’s famed ski industry for dollars brought into the state’s economy.
“Unfortunately, this kind of incident puts hunters in a negative light with those who don’t hunt,” Swaro concluded. “Yet, as we have seen in so many cases, it is the hunters that see something and step forward with information that helps hold poachers responsible.”
For 2020, Remington partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching nationwide.
(Photo source: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)