Colorado Parks & Wildlife increases mountain goat poaching reward to $5,000 | SteamboatToday.com

Colorado Parks & Wildlife increases mountain goat poaching reward to $5,000

Summit Daily

CPW investigators seek information on the poaching of two mountain goats on Quandary Peak on July 3. The goats were shot at close range near the peak's summit.

FRISCO — The investigation into the poaching of two mountain goats on Quandary Peak trail is ongoing as Colorado Parks and Wildlife launches a criminal investigation and sifts through tips from the public.

Two mountain goats were shot on the trail at about 3:30 p.m. July 3, according to CPW. The goats were found 40 feet apart, about a half-mile from the Quandary Peak summit. The goats were shot with a pistol at point-blank range, and their remains were left on the mountain.

Quandary Peak is one of the most visited 14ers in the state, and CPW officials hope the increased holiday traffic means more opportunities for clues or leads about any suspicious or unusual activity. CPW urges anyone with any information to call 877-265-6642 or email game.thief@state.co.us. The reward for information that leads to an arrest has been increased to $5,000, thanks to donations to the Operation Game Thief fund.

CPW spokesman Mike Porras said that while the agency has received several tips from the public, none has been the big break they’re looking for.

“We need any tip we can get, no matter how inconsequential,” he said. “It’s the little, tiny details that break a case wide open — a passing comment, bar talk, a social media post, anything.”

CPW regularly investigates poaching incidents across the state and devotes significant resources to finding the criminals responsible.

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“This is poaching, and it’s illegal. Colorado’s wildlife belongs to everyone in the state, and whoever did this stole a precious natural resource from all of us,” he said.

The illegal killing of a special animal like a mountain goat is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail as well as a fine of $1,000 to $100,000. Porras said other penalties might apply, including Samson’s Law for trophy animal poaching that slaps on an additional $10,000 fine per mountain goat.

The two goats, usually roaming around near the summit, had become familiar to hikers. The killings sparked outrage in the Summit County community.

“If the person or persons who did this reads this story, we strongly encourage you to do the right thing and turn yourself in,” Porras said. “We are willing to listen and want to know what happened. But if our officers have to spend time and resources to track you down, that will be taken into consideration when it comes to penalties. There’s a very small window of time to get that chance, and it’s quickly closing.”