TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KXRM)— Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest or citation of an archer who shot a bull moose and left the animal to die in the fall of 2021. Warning: some images and descriptions are disturbing.
According to CPW, a call came in to the department’s Southeast Region offices in Colorado Springs on September 18, 2021, about a dead bull moose found between Forest Service Roads 363 and 362 in the Phantom Creek drainage north of Divide in Teller County.
CPW Officers responded to the area and were led to the body of a mature bull moose by the reporting party. Through their investigation, CPW concluded that the moose had been shot with an arrow, and the poacher had tried to remove the animal’s head before ultimately covering the body with branches in an attempt to hide it.
Officers collected physical evidence from the site, including photos and video from the reporting party’s game cameras in the area that seemed to pinpoint the time of the incident.
“This is poaching and it’s illegal and we want to catch the person who did this,” said Travis Sauder, assistant area wildlife manager for the Pikes Peak region. “This moose was treated unethically and that is something we take very seriously… But we need the public’s help catching whoever did this.”
One of the game cameras at the site captured the bull moose alive in the vicinity on the morning of September 16 and then captured an unidentified archery hunter about 5 hours later.
“We’re asking the public to help us identify the hunter in the photos and video,” Sauder said. “We rely on honest sportspeople to help us solve these types of cases.”
Sauder said CPW is hopeful someone saw something such as a hunter or a vehicle parked on the roads or heard conversations about the moose being killed. He also encouraged the person responsible to come forward.
“We understand mistakes happen,” he said. “We hope whoever did this can own that mistake and turn themselves in.”
Sauder said anyone illegally injuring or killing wildlife could face misdemeanor charges including harassment of wildlife, hunting big game without a license, illegal taking of wildlife, and reckless endangerment, among other charges.
Convictions could result in fines and surcharges ranging from $750 to $13,000 and up to 6 months in jail, depending on the charge, Sauder said. Anyone with information about the incident is urged to contact CPW at its Southeast Regional office at 719-227-5200.
Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation.