BULL ELK FOUND HEADLESS AND LEFT TO WASTE – Earlier this month, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officials discovered a mature bull elk that was beheaded and left to waste in Dinosaur, Colorado.  They learned from residents of Dinosaur, that this 6×5 bull was known for its’ unusual docile behavior.  It soon became very clear to the officials, that this act of poaching was committed for the sole purpose of removing its’ trophy parts.

However, CPW officials are confident in their ability to bring justice to those involved in this crime.  They were able to obtain vehicle descriptions for both suspects.  One was driving a 1980’s style Chevrolet pickup with Utah license plates.  The other was driving a newer silver Chevrolet with its’ license plates covered by mud.  Furthermore, two individuals were seen in the immediate vicinity of where the elk died.  One of the individuals is reported to have been wearing a camouflage hoodie.

The illegal killing of big game animals in Colorado amounts to a class 5 felony.  This offense comes with a fine of between $1,000 to $20,000.  In addition, a suspension of hunting privileges from anywhere between one year to life.  The act of killing a big game animal without making a reasonable attempt to make use of the animals’ meat for consumption amounts to a misdemeanor, which comes with a fine of $3,000 dollars and a suspension of fifteen license points.

According to a News Release by CPW, this bull was killed within game management unit (GMU) 10.  This GMU is one of the most coveted locations in the state of Colorado to hunt trophy bull elk.  In fact, it takes approximately twenty years for a hunter to draw a hunting tag to hunt there.

Poaching is such an act that casts a bad reputation throughout the hunting community as a whole.  It is also a blatant disrespect of the law and the conservation ethic surrounding our commitment to sustain healthy ecosystems and wildlife populations.  Colorado has a very simple way of reporting wildlife violations.  Simply call 1-877-COLO-OGT, or email game.thief@state.co.us.  Under Colorado’s Turn in Poachers Program, people who turn in poachers can receive preference points or even hunting licenses as a reward.

What are your thoughts regarding the amount of punishment the individuals who committed this crime should receive? How do you think poaching can best be prevented?

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