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Colorado seeking information on elk poachers

Colorado seeking information on elk poachers

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) officials are seeking information about a recent bull elk poaching incident in Moffatt County, Colorado. The elk was illegally killed in Game Management Unit 2—a unit that is hard to draw and can take up to 25 years to have enough points to even have a chance. 

However, a witness reported suspicious activity and, according to Channel 9 News, here’s what CPW know:

  • The injured bull elk is thought to be a 300” 6x6 bull.
  • It was spotted on the evening of Sept. 25 near the intersection of Moffatt County Roads 67 and 68 near the Sand Wash Basin.
  • Two men were seen in a pickup near the wounded elk.
  • The truck was a gray, early 90s Ford half-ton, extended cab with large mud flaps and “possibly missing its tailgate.”
  • On Sept. 26, CPW Officer Goncalves discovered an elk gut pile in the same area. 

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“Whoever commits any wildlife crime has the opportunity to do the right thing and turn themselves in immediately, and we will take that into account when determining charges,” said Goncalves. “Charges in a case like this can be substantial and penalties may include prison, the loss of their hunting and fishing privileges in 48 states and several thousand dollars in fines.”

Because of the difficulty of drawing a tag for this unit, according to Channel 9 News, “it’s considered one of Colorado’s most coveted.” Based upon the size of the poached elk, those responsible could face a $10,000 trophy penalty fine as well as other charges and penalties.

“This takes what is essentially a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity away from legal, ethical hunters,” said Goncalves. “It’s infuriating and very unfair to ethical hunters and that is one of the primary reasons CPW officers work so hard to bring violators to justice.”
If you have any information about this incident, please contact Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 or Rewards are available should your tip lead to an arrest or citation.


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Matthew J. - posted 4 months ago on 10-09-2019 06:58:55 pm
Littleton, CO

If you do know something FYI CPW usually helps other hunters out who report this kind of behavior. I know of a guy that got a bull moose tag this year for turning in a poached Moose last season.

As for the Non Resident comments. Relax. Only a few towns in the state actually notice hunter dollars now. The whole argument of we stimulate the economy is minor now considering the hikers campers leaf watchers skiers snowmobiliers, ATV folk and the rest of them stimulate year long!!! What you stimulate is the government who blows your money on dumb crap and has no intentions of management of game...just ask them they ignore intelligent comments...they want money to blow it. So thanks for feeding the government machine and sorry about your horrible hunting experience but try living here and having that every year. And then having non resident hunters tail you to see where your going. Can't hate them I know it sucks

Robert T. - posted 4 months ago on 10-09-2019 05:51:04 pm

Boy, thoughts on poaching aside i’d just like to say that I feel very fortunate to be welcomed to hunt in states other than my own.
If I don’t like the prices I don’t have to buy the tags and I darned sure would not complain about it.
I guess that what i’m trying to say is that every season I hunt in states other than my own and I fell a bit like I’m a guest in someone else’s house. I’m not required to go there but if I do I’m darned sure not going to complain bout what they serve for dinner.

Gary H. - posted 4 months ago on 10-09-2019 10:10:08 am

Taking a look at the income from non-resident hunters, If anyone is being generous, its non-resident hunters who are the ones being generous and buying the overpriced tags.

If I and everyone else kept our money year after year and never hunted your state again, your local economy's would be careful what you wish for.

Matt B. - posted 4 months ago on 10-08-2019 01:18:06 pm

Generous...lets see....if we ignore the UNLIMITED number of OTC licenses we let non-residents buy, Colorado allocates 35% of most draw permits (we are talking about elk here) for non-residents. What other Western state even comes close to that kind of non-res permit allocation? Wyoming: 15%, Montana: 10%, Idaho: 10%, New Mexico: 6%.

So you can keep complaining about how much it costs to hunt here EVERY YEAR as a non-res or you can keep your money and try your luck in other states' draw.

Gary H. - posted 4 months ago on 10-08-2019 08:38:11 am

No, I dont "empathize with poachers" you knucklehead. It was more of a pun comment as I said I can understand how it could be tempting to some people because of all of the pressure. Besides, It was probably a resident who did it anyhow. It has been my experiences when I hunt out of state all across the country that most of the laws that are broken are broken by residents who know the terrain and how to get away with things.

You would be ignorant to think that this isn't going to happen more and more with the lack of quality tags that can be achieved by everyone in the Colorado. The risk is sometimes worth the reward to some you-tubers and Facebookers out there for their "hero shot". Which is a damn shame.

"Generous policy" - You , like many others make me laugh...I guess its guys like you that call fleecing non-resident hunters by making them pay 12X more for a license "Generous"

For the record I hope they cut the poachers hands off when they catch them. I hate poachers and I dont "Emphasize with them"

Matt B. - posted 4 months ago on 10-08-2019 08:10:25 am

@Gary H. So let me get this straight - you empathize with poachers because Colorado has such a generous policy in terms of issuing out of state licenses?

Gary H. - posted 4 months ago on 10-07-2019 04:58:05 am

After enduring all of the madness in Colorado's OTC units this archery season I can understand why poaching would be tempting.

The place is a zoo these days...and everyone is stoned there....which is very annoying.

Nolan B. - posted 4 months ago on 10-04-2019 01:56:19 pm

Hang em. They give hunters a bad name, they are basically stealing from every other ethical hunter. For what? A set of big antlers with no story behind them.....