Colorado Parks and Wildlife seeking public’s help in catching bear poacher
IDLEDALE, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking for the public’s help in identifying the person, or people, responsible for shooting a large female black bear that was found dead on June 20, in Idledale which is a part of Jefferson County.
On the evening of June 20, a local resident spotted a dead bear in a wooded area near a pond at the intersection of South Grapevine Road and Sawmill Gulch Road in Idledale, CO. Wildlife officers responded and found a large female black bear with green ear tags that had been shot and killed. The bear had been trapped and relocated by CPW as a yearling bear in 2015. Since then, she had reared cubs and seemed to be doing fine in her new location. No reports of conflicts with this bear have been reported to CPW.
“Any information related to this incident provided by the public is critical to this investigation,” said Officer Joe Nicholson, district wildlife officer. “Poaching is not only a serious crime against an animal, it is a violation of trust and a crime against the people of Colorado.”
Evidence collected by wildlife officers at the scene indicates the bear was likely shot near a home along Sawmill Gulch Road or South Grapevine Road, before it fled to the location where it later died. Local wildlife officers describe Idledale as a small, tight knit community. It is likely somebody living in the area has information about the death of the bear.
Wildlife officers patrolling Jefferson County investigate illegally killed bears every year; most commonly the result of a frustrated homeowner who decides to unlawfully take matters into their own hands. CPW reminds the public that officers can provide education to neighborhoods and assistance to residents living in bear country. The agency is asking for anyone with information about the death of this bear to come forward with information.
Members of the public who may have information related to the incident should contact CPW’s Northeast Region Office at 303-291-7227, Wildlife Officer Joe Nicholson at 303-906-4364 or the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can report your information through the Operation Game Thief hotline: 1 (877) COLO-OGT (265-6648).