Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are asking for help in finding the person, or persons responsible for taking only the head and antlers from a mule deer found dead on the north side of County Road 300, across from the High Mesa Road.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office in Grand Junction at 970-255-6100, or if they wish to remain anonymous, they can also call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648. OGT is offering $500 for information that leads to a citation. In addition, both Williams Petroleum and EnCana have offered to match that amount, bringing the total reward to $1500.
Officers believe the buck, which had been highly visible along the roadside during the past two weeks, was likely killed on late Monday, Nov. 7 or early the next morning.
"It was a nice buck, and several people had seen it recently," said District Wildlife Manager Elissa Knox. "We ask the public to call us if they have any information about who may have taken the head and antlers."
Taking trophy parts and leaving a carcass to waste is a serious offense that carries substantial penalties, and can include felony charges.
Although the majority of hunters remain legal, ethical and responsible, poachers continue to negatively impact Colorado's wildlife resource by illegally killing game every year. Poachers often do not buy licenses and typically steal trophy wildlife, taking opportunities away from legal hunters.
"Wildlife in Colorado belongs to all the people, and poachers steal from everyone," said Knox.
Wildlife officers continue their efforts to investigate all poaching incidents and bring offenders to justice, and they encourage the public to call their local Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or Operation Game Thief if they have information about illegal activity.
Tips and information provided by the public can help Wildlife Officers stop this destructive practice, and have resulted in numerous citations, arrests, and convictions.
For more information about poaching, please visit: http://wildlife.state.co.us/RulesRegs/LawEnforcement/TurninPoachers/Pages/TurnInPoachers.aspx