Wildlife officials investigate illegal fatal shooting of moose
SUMMIT COUNTY – Local wildlife officers are investigating the illegal shooting of a moose east of Green Mountain Reservoir.
According to Tom Kroening, district wildlife manager with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW), the incident happened just over a week ago.
Someone illegally shot an approximately one-and-a-half year old bull moose on National Forest land, just off of Williams Peak Road.
Though several moose are accidentally shot during deer and elk season each year in Colorado, “this is the first I know of in Summit County,” Kroening said. The hunters responsible usually turn themselves in and/or field dress the animal (removing the animal’s innards) so the meat can be used.
On this occasion, however, the parties responsible for shooting the animal did neither.
Another hunting party came across the carcass and reported it to wildlife authorities, but the meat was spoiled by the time officials reached the carcass.
“We’re still following up leads but have no strong suspects at this point,” Kroening said.
When hunters prepare to shoot an animal, it’s important they are sure it is the correct species, Kroening said.
Though moose are not as numerous as deer and elk in Summit County, they can be found in many of the same areas – all over the county.
Should a hunter accidentally shoot an animal for which they do not have a license, wildlife officials recommend they turn themselves in.
While those hunters will still incur a fine, it will be substantially less than if they are later found to be responsible.
In Colorado, a hunter can be fined an additional $10,000 for shooting a bull moose illegally and not reporting it.
Operation Game Thief is a CDOW program which pays rewards to citizens who turn in poachers and those selling parts of wildlife, which is illegal. All information and tips are anonymous.
Anyone with information about the moose shot last week is asked to contact Kroening (970) 468-5848.
Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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