Moose shot and left to rot near Meeker
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are seeking information from the public about a bull moose found dead and abandoned east of Meeker, in the vicinity of Moeller Creek, near Rio Blanco County Road 115.
According to a press release, CPW learned about the moose after a hunter reported the carcass to Operation Game Thief, a CPW program that rewards citizens who turn in poachers. The moose was found completely intact, including its 42-inch rack.
Officials determined the moose died from a gunshot wound during the beginning of the second rifle season, Oct. 21 or 22. At that time, only elk and deer were in season in the area.
Meat could not be salvaged from the animal because of how much time had passed.
“This was a very nice bull and it’s a shame all that meat was wasted,” said District Wildlife Manager Ross McGee of Meeker in the press release. “We know accidents can occur during a hunt and we take prompt self reporting into account in cases like this. The responsible party still has time to do the right thing and contact us right away to let us know what happened. But if we have to continue tracking the person or persons down, they can expect to face the full brunt of the law.”
In Colorado, charges of willful destruction of big game and abandoning the animal can bring felony charge and can result in significant penalties, depending on circumstances, according to the press release. For moose, fines can be more than $30,000, up to a year in jail and a lifetime suspension of hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 44 additional members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
CPW asks that anyone who might have heard or seen something to please contact officials, no matter how minute the detail might seem.
McGee can be reached by phone at 970-942-7055, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.