Info sought related to elk killed, left for waste near Rangely | PostIndependent.com

Info sought related to elk killed, left for waste near Rangely

Staff report

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials are seeking information into the killing of a trophy-quality bull elk that was shot and left for waste near Rangely earlier this month.

The dead 6×6 bull elk was found approximately 1.5 miles north of Mellen Hill, near Rio Blanco County Road 98, northwest of Rangely, in game management unit 10.

Legal hunters typically have to wait 20 years to draw a license in that particular unit, according to a CPW news release.

Investigators believe someone shot the bull between Oct. 2-4, during an early rifle hunting season, then left it to waste. A hunter scouting the area found it on Oct. 6 and immediately contacted wildlife officials.

“We’ve found some evidence at the scene and will continue to investigate until we find the person responsible for this,” District Wildlife Manager Nate Martinez of Rangely said. “But in the meantime, we would appreciate hearing from anyone that can provide information.”

Martinez said it is possible a legal hunter shot the animal but did not locate it. He reminds hunters it is their responsibility to make a reasonable attempt to track and kill any animal they wound. Failing to do so is illegal.

“In many cases, the animal does not travel very far, especially with a well placed shot,” he said. “At this point, we just want to know what happened.”

Because the bull is considered trophy-quality and the meat spoiled, the person responsible could face significant penalties including steep fines, felony charges and the revocation of hunting and fishing privileges, according to the release.

“The person that did this still has the time to do the right thing,” Martinez said. “In most cases, we take prompt reporting into account when assessing charges.

“Otherwise, there will be severe penalties for killing a trophy-quality bull, letting it go to waste and taking away this opportunity from responsible hunters that wait many years to legally hunt in the unit,” he said.

Anyone with information about the case should contact District Wildlife Manager Nate Martinez at (970) 878-6071.