Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are asking the public for help in identifying the person or persons responsible for shooting and injuring a high-quality mule deer buck with an arrow approximately Sept. 9 or 10, in the southwest side of the city of Craig, according to a CPW press release.
The four-point buck had a distinctive “kicker” on the right branch of its 30-inch rack and was often seen in the vicinity of Woodbury Park and Cedar Mountain Village. It survived the initial wound but was euthanized by CPW on Friday, Sept. 11 due to the severity of the injury.
CPW investigators say that based on the evidence, the buck was likely not shot by a legal hunter.
“At this point, all we want to do is find out what happened,” District Wildlife Manager Mike Swaro, of Craig, said in a statement. “We are asking whoever shot the animal to come forward as soon as possible, or if anyone has information, to let us know right away.”
Swaro stresses that CPW will conduct a thorough investigation using currently known information and evidence gathered from the deer.
“As is the case with any poaching investigation, we will do what we can to find the person responsible,” Swaro stated. “But if the person who did this comes forward right away, we will absolutely take that into consideration.”
Swaro added that he was able to salvage the meat from the buck and it will be donated to local charities.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds the public that many poaching investigations are solved with tips from the public and encourages everyone to report illegal wildlife activity immediately.
To provide information about this case, contact District Wildlife Manager Mike Swaro directly at 970-942-8275. To remain anonymous, contact Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 with your tip about this case or any wildlife violation. Rewards may be offered if the information leads to a citation.
For more information about Operation Game Thief, visit www.cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/OGT.aspx