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CPW News Release
CPW News Release
Poacher sought in illegal killing of mule deer south of Rifle

Poacher sought in illegal killing of mule deer south of Rifle
Poacher sought in illegal killing of mule deer south of Rifle
Mike Porras
RIFLE, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is investigating the illegal killing of a trophy-quality mule deer buck in a private subdivision south of Rifle yesterday afternoon. At approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, eyewitnesses saw a person step out of a truck, shoot the buck on Grass Mesa Road then quickly drive away leaving the carcass behind. CPW officers salvaged the meat and donated it to a local family.

According to the eyewitness, the suspect is driving a gray, crew cab Ford that may have dual rear tires. It has marker lights on the cab and marker lights on the side view mirrors.

"Based on where the buck died and the location of the shooter, it is very fortunate that a round did not enter a nearby home," said District Wildlife Manager Levi Atwater of Rifle. "There are numerous legal and ethical issues involved here. This person shot a trophy mule deer from the road, left the carcass, and took a dangerous shot that endangered the lives of others."

Although Atwater collected useful evidence at the scene, he encourages the person responsible for killing the buck to come forward immediately.

"Along with what we found and the great information from the eyewitnesses, we believe we will find the person quickly," said Atwater. "However, I do recommend that this person do the right thing and come forward right away. We will consider that when we assess penalties in this case."

According to Atwater, the area is a private subdivision that has had several incidents of poaching over the years, including an incident on Saturday, the day before this one.

"In that case, I charged a couple of people for poaching a mule deer," said Atwater. "The residents of this subdivision are very concerned about this illegal activity and are working together to find the culprits and prevent this from occurring in the future."

Atwater asks anyone with information to contact him at 970-985-5882, or to provide information about a wildlife violation anonymously, the public can contact OGT at 877-265-6648, dialing #OGT from a Verizon phone or by email at  Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation.

For more information about Operation Game Thief, visit

CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW's work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
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