Aug. 15, 2022
CPW seeks public’s help in finding archer who poached moose in Teller County
DIVIDE, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking the public for help identifying the person who shot an arrow into a moose last fall in Teller County and left it to die.
The agency even released photos of a person of interest in the case. The photos and video were taken by game cameras at the scene where the moose died.
On Sept. 18, 2021, a call came in to CPW’s Southeast Region offices in Colorado Springs about a dead bull moose found between Forest Service Roads 363 and 362 in the Phantom Creek drainage north of Divide in northern Teller County.
CPW Officers Aaron Berscheid, Travis Sauder and Ben Meier responded to the area to investigate and were led to the mature bull moose carcass by the reporting party.
The investigation concluded a suspected poacher had shot the moose with an arrow and then attempted to remove the head of the animal. Ultimately, the suspect laid tree branches and sticks across the carcass 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 which 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 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 Sept. 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.
“Moose have become an iconic part of the Colorado landscape and have flourished since being reintroduced in 1978,” he said. “The current population is estimated to be near 3,000 animals and they have spread throughout the state. While this creates many wonderful opportunities to photograph, view and hunt these animals, it has also come with one major drawback: every year moose are negligently harvested by elk hunters.”
Sauder 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, he said.
Sauder encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact CPW at its Southeast Regional office at 719-227-5200.
To provide information anonymously about a wildlife violation, the public can contact Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648, by dialing #OGT from a Verizon cellphone, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation.
Photos are courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife
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