Authorities are following leads in the shooting of three moose - one cow and two calves - that took place Wednesday, Nov. 14, between 8 and 10 a.m. in an empty lot within Mountain Shadow Estates.
Officials are investigating a vehicle description and some "potential individuals," said District Wildlife Manager Scott Murdoch about the incident that occurred in the subdivision located on County Road 6421 between Granby and Grand Lake.
"Several individuals in the community have stepped up [and offered information]," Murdoch said.
A witness told officials that he heard several shots fired in rapid succession and then, upon investigation of the location of the shots, found the cow and a calf dead and the second calf dying. He reported that no one immediately approached the carcasses to claim responsibility.
The meat from the moose was donated to several local individuals as well as a food bank in Colorado Springs.
Individuals who illegally kill a big game animal and abandon the carcass face a permanent loss of their hunting and fishing privileges, significant fines, felony charges, and a possible prison sentence.
Operation Game Thief, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife program that pays rewards to citizens who turn in poachers, is offering a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the suspect. And officials from Safari Club International have offered to match the reward offered by Operation Game Thief, bringing the total reward to $5,000 with additional money to be contributed by the homeowners association of Mountain Shadows Estates.
"Anytime we can get more folks involved we will," Murdoch said. "We rely on the public's input to aid us in our investigations."
Poaching continues to be a concern for wildlife officials. Officials ask that the public be reminded that poachers are criminals who take away opportunity from legal and responsible hunters, and steal wildlife from the citizens of the state.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity or who has information regarding ongoing investigations should contact a local district wildlife manager, or call Operation Game Thief toll-free at 877-COLO-OGT (877-265-6648). Callers contacting the tip line remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward if the information leads to a citation. Tips can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.