Poachers Leave Mule Deer Buck to Rot, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Investigating

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by: Universal Education/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Authorities in Moffat County, Colorado have opened a serious investigation after officials located a dead mule deer buck shot with a rifle and left on the side of the road to rot.

According to Out There Colorado, authorities found the mule deer buck’s carcass five miles northwest of Craig. Colorado Parks and Wildlife estimate poachers killed the animal during the nighttime hours between Thursday, October 6th and Friday, October 7th.

Per the outlet, wildlife officers located the dead deer off of Moffat County Route 31. As the investigation ensues, CPW officials are asking the public for help. 

“If you saw something, say something,” encouraged CPW District Wildlife Manager Schwolert. “We are asking for the public’s help in identifying the person or persons responsible.”

CPW encourages anyone with potential information that could help further the investigation to reach out to Officer Shwolert. Callers can reach the district wildlife manager at (970) 706-9874. Fox 31 further states that those who wish to remain anonymous amid the investigation into the mule deer buck’s death can reach out to Operation Game Thief. They can either call the following number: (877) 265-6648, or they can send an email to [email protected]

As authorities continue investigating the mule deer buck’s death, they’re reminding hunters that poaching is a serious crime. Per the news outlet, poaching could lead to misdemeanor charges for those involved.

Two Men Face Arrest After Brutally Poaching Two Pronghorn

When we think of trophy mounts, we think of animals like the mule deer buck, or whitetails, elk, moose, etc. However, pronghorns, which populate areas in multiple states across the Midwest, are also a highly desirable target. As authorities in CO continue their investigation into the poaching of the mule deer buck, authorities in Gillette, Wyoming recently arrested two men for poaching after brutally killing two pronghorns and leaving their severed heads by a dumpster.

The pronghorns, like the mule deer buck in the report above, were also left to rot. Authorities located the animals’ heads on August 10th, and their investigation led them to two Texans: Jeremiah A. Beason and David Hernandez.

Poaching of any kind is illegal, wasteful, and just completely disgraceful. However, the difference between the mule deer’s death and the pronghorns’ is the latter animals were killed in brutal fashion. As stated, the mule deer was killed with a shotgun, not unusual among hunters. Upon speaking with the two suspects though, Hernandez admitted to shooting one of the pronghorns from the back window of a moving vehicle with a .300 BLK. Ammunition from a .300 BLK equates to that of an AR-15 or M4 Carbine.

Upon further investigation, both Beason and Hernandez face some serious charges. Aside from poaching, Wyoming law states it is illegal to shoot game with an automatic weapon and it is also illegal to shoot game from a moving vehicle. On top of it all though, the poachers, who were reportedly hunting prairie dogs, were out doing so out of season.