Colorado wildlife officials are offering a $1,000 reward to any citizens who can help ID the poacher responsible for killing an in-state moose.
State officials are still reeling after a moose was illegally shot and killed in Park County, Colorado, then partially left to rot. The poaching took place near Kenosha Pass between December 15 – 18, wildlife officers believe.
Now, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, abbreviated CPW, is offering a substantial reward as they search for the poacher of the moose. The carcass is of a cow moose (female), and came to the attention of officials on Saturday, December 19.
To make the poaching worse, most of the moose went to waste. The criminal responsible harvested the two hind quarters from the cow, and left the rest of her to spoil, CPW notes.
“This was a senseless and disgraceful act that demonstrates a complete disregard for our state’s wildlife, and the parties responsible need to be held accountable,” CPW District Wildlife Manager Dawson Swanson says of the heinous poaching.
Poaching & Wasting a Moose is No Small Matter
For context, a cow moose, while smaller than their antlered bull (male) counterparts, are still enormous members of the cervidae (deer) family. Larger than even the largest of horses, an adult moose stands anywhere from 5 to 7.5 feet tall at their shoulders. The large hump on their backs is actually enormous shoulder muscles, and is a benchmark in measuring moose height by most wildlife officials. This does not, however, take into account the massive amount of extra size granted by the large skull and antlers on bulls.
They are the largest member of the deer family, and can weigh well over half a ton. Cows are smaller at around 800-1,000 lbs, while bulls can weigh in excess of 1,400 lbs. Seeing as this poacher only harvested the hind quarters and left the rest to rot out of such a substantial animal, their massive weight gives further context to just how much this criminal allowed to go to waste.
Moreover, and more importantly, cow moose generally birth 1 or 2 calves in Spring around the month of May. Afterwards, mother moose stay with their offspring for a full year and a half to fend off predators – such as brown bear species and wolves – that try to feed on the feeble calves. If she reared young, they would have depended on her well into next year, possibly longer.
As such, the poaching may have robbed calves of their mother senselessly, since the meat and resources from this kill have gone to waste.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife Ask For Help Bringing in Poacher
To clarify, Colorado wildlife officers believe the cow moose poaching took place between the dates of December 15, a Tuesday – and December 18, that following Friday. If any state citizens know of an individual who harvested moose recently, or has seen moose game trafficked, sold, bought, or otherwise, CPW would ask they please call their Denver office at 303-291-7227.
Moreover, if any have suspicious activity to report from the Kenosha Pass area from this time period, CPW asks the same.
For any willing to come forward, a reward of up to $1,000 will be on the table for any who help bring the poacher to justice.
Anonymous tips can be sent to Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 or by email at [email protected]
“Operation Game Thief is a CPW program that pays rewards to people who turn in poachers. A citizen committee administers rewards in many poaching cases, which is [by] private contributions,” clarifies local NBC news affiliate, 9News.
As for the reward, Operation Game Thief’s board approves rewards to bring in poachers over cases like this one. They may reward up to $1,000 for this instance.