Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking for help to find a hunter who shot and killed a moose last weekend in the Dunckley Flat Tops Area in south Routt County.
“It probably happens maybe half a dozen times a year,” said District Wildlife Manager Justin Pollock, who received a tip about the violation. “What we ask people to do is to self-report, and if they do, we have a completely different approach. This could potentially be a felony, but if somebody is going to self-report, we’re obviously not going to do that. If they came forward, we would work with them for sure.”
Wildlife officers found the carcass on Oct. 17. The person who illegally shot the animal, left it behind and made no attempt to field dress the moose. The meat was left to rot.
“I think an elk hunter mistook the moose for an elk,” Pollock said. “I’m just pleading with somebody to do the right thing and say, ‘Hey, I made a mistake.’”
Pollock doesn’t think it is a situation where a hunter went out to shoot a moose and then leave it.
CPW is asking the public to call 970-629-1247 if they observed anything suspicious on Oct. 16 along Austrian Creek in the Dunckley Flat Tops Area, approximately 9 miles southwest of Oak Creek.
Pollock said tips can also be made anonymously by contacting Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to CPW, poaching is a serious and costly crime robbing legitimate sportspeople of game and fish and robbing businesses and taxpayers of revenues generated by hunting and fishing. Wildlife is a valuable natural resource that makes Colorado so special.
“The violation for this crime may include a felony, and felonies change people’s lives. I don’t want that, but I do want to ensure justice for our wildlife,” Pollock said, “It’s not too late to contact me.”