Colorado BHA and Colorado Parks and Wildlife Offer Reward For Information On Elk Poachers

Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers are offering a $1,250 reward for information leading to an arrest or citation being written to the person or people who illegally killed two bull elk northeast of Norwood in the Uncompahgre National Forest during early November. The animals, found in Game Management Unit 61 in the Sanborn Park area, were killed and left to rot early in the third rifle season, likely sometime from Nov. 3-8.

“Gathering and eating from nature are ancient sacred acts. To kill and waste is at once sinful, slothful and staggeringly stupid,” renowned hunting ethicist and Colorado BHA founder, David Petersen, said (in his book On The Wild Edge).[1] “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is an organization that promotes legal, ethical hunting and fair chase, so we are compelled to speak up on this terrible incident,” Craig Grother, Colorado BHA’s Central West Slope Regional Director, said.[2]

“Whoever did this shows a total lack of respect for wildlife and ethical hunting,” exclaimed Mark Caddy, CPW Norwood District ranger. “Colorado’s hunters are ethical, respect wildlife and follow regulations. This was not done by a hunter; it was done by a criminal.”[3] “We greatly appreciated the help that Operation Game Thief and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers are offering,” Caddy added.[4] Operation Game Thief, a Wildlife Crimestoppers organization, is offering a $1,000 reward and Colorado BHA is offering an additional $250 reward.

The loss of two bull elk in prime breeding age is especially troubling because of struggling elk populations in Colorado, CPW public information officer, Joe Lewandowski, said. “We have licenses and regulations to perpetuate the wildlife resource, and when we have something like this, it takes away from everyone in Colorado,” Lewandowski added. “We rely on the public to solve these tough cases that happen in remote areas. If anyone has any inkling of what happened, we would like to hear from them.”[5]

“It’s unfortunate that a small minority of folks who obtain hunting licenses are sending out an extremely negative image of hunters in general,” Colorado BHA co-chair, Don Holmstrom, said. “We are all-in on helping CPW track down these criminals—all hunters finds these acts reprehensible. This type of behavior is the absolute antithesis of everything we stand for in BHA.”

To make poachers pay fines commensurate with their crimes, Colorado passed the “Samson Law” during the 1990s.[6] Today a poached 6x6 bull elk, for example, carries a $10,000 fine. A bighorn sheep with a horn length of at least one-half curl costs a poacher $25,000.[7] Anyone with information about this crime can make a report to the Montrose wildlife service center at 1-970-252-6000, or to Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648. Informants can remain anonymous. For additional information, also see:

-Jim Mimiaga. “Parks and Wildlife offers reward in elk poaching case: Two trophy bulls killed northeast of Norwood.” The Journal: 12/4/18.

-“Reward offered for elk poaching incident.” Alamosa (Colo.)Valley Courier: 12/6/18.

-Jim Mimiaga. “Parks and Wildlife offers reward in elk poaching case: Two trophy bulls killed northeast of Norwood.” The Durango Herald: 12/7/18.

-Craig Press Staff Report. “Parks and Wildlife offers reward for information in illegal killing of elk.” Craig Press: 12/9/18.

-Spencer McKee. “Reward offered for information about poaching of two bull elk.” OutThere Colorado: 12/10/18.

Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, BHA is the sportsmen’s voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With over 26,000 members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories, including chapters in 39 states and two international chapters—in Alberta and British Columbia—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. Since the Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter), they’ve grown their boots-on-the-ground presence to over 1,900 dedicated hunters and anglers.[8]

[1] David Petersen.  On The Wild Edge.  New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2005, p. 127.

[2] “Reward offered for elk poaching incident.” Alamosa (Colo.) Valley Courier: 12/6/18.

[3] Craig Press Staff Report. “Parks and Wildlife offers reward for information in illegal killing of elk.” Craig Press: 12/9/18.

[4] “Reward offered for elk poaching incident.” Alamosa (Colo.) Valley Courier: 12/6/18.

[5] Jim Mimiaga. “Parks and Wildlife offers reward in elk poaching case: Two trophy bulls killed northeast of Norwood.” The Journal: 12/4/18.

[6] http://www.westernhunter.com/Pages/Vol02Issue24/glv.html;http://www.coloradolifemagazine.com/The-Legacy-of-Samson/

[7] Frank Miniter, field editor. “Making Trophy Poachers Pay.” American Hunter: April 2017, p. 25.

[8] Katie McKalip. “BHA Membership Is Young, Active, Nonpartisan, Demographic Survey Shows: Two-thirds of members are 45 or younger, identify as Republican or Independent.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 8/7/18.

About Brien Webster

Colorado and Wyoming Chapter Coordinator

See other posts related to Colorado BHA Colorado BHA Issues & News