Parks and Wildlife searches for pilot harassing wildlife near Craig | SummitDaily.com

Parks and Wildlife searches for pilot harassing wildlife near Craig

Summit Daily staff report

Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife are asking the public for help in identifying a pilot responsible for harassing a large herd of elk near Craig last month.

On Nov. 16, several witnesses reported seeing a single-engine aircraft make two low passes over the herd, disturbing the animals and causing them to scatter. Wildlife officers with Parks and Wildlife are taking the opportunity to remind the public that using aircraft to harass wildlife or aid in hunting is a violation of Colorado's wildlife laws and the federal Airborne Hunting Act.

"So far the only information we have about the incident is that the plane was either white or yellow in color, was a single-engine plane and had a low-wing design," said Evan Jones, CPW wildlife officer. "Based on the description, we believe the aircraft may have been a Cirrus SR22 or possibly a Piper Cherokee."

Jones noted that wildlife officers receive several reports of low-flying aircraft during hunting season each year, and that individuals who spot similar incidents should try and note the aircraft's tail number or catch video of the aircraft.

"Pilots should know the laws regarding aircraft and wildlife," Jones said. "It is illegal to harass wildlife with an aircraft, or to use one as an aid in hunting, including spotting wildlife and communicating their location to anyone on the ground on the same day or the day following the flight. Intentionally interfering with a legal hunt using any vehicle, including aircraft, is also prohibited."

Parks and Wildlife is asking that anyone with information on the plane in question call Jones at 970-878-6090, or call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 to remain anonymous.

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