Public’s help needed to identify elk poacher | SteamboatToday.com

Public’s help needed to identify elk poacher







— A cash reward is being offered for information that leads authorities to find the person or persons responsible for illegally killing seven elk cows and calves near Steamboat Springs.

The elk were found by a neighbor along Routt County Road 56 northwest of Steamboat in mid-February. Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Manager Steve Baumgartner said the road is well-traveled with ranches and hay fields in the area.

He is hopeful someone can provide a tip — even if it seems like an insignificant detail — that will help them find the poacher.

“If you heard something, saw something or maybe heard someone else say something, please let us know right away,” Baumgartner said. “It may not seem like a very important detail, but it can be the missing piece of information that we need to solve a case like this.”

Baumgartner said the elk carcasses were decomposed when discovered. He estimated they were shot in early or mid-January. They were likely shot with a small-caliber firearm before wandering off to die.

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The elk were within 700 yards of each other.

“This is definitely a unique situation,” Baumgartner said. “To find so many dead elk in such a small area … it raises red flags.”

Baumgartner said evidence at the scene and tips from the public indicate the elk did not die of natural causes, and they did not starve to death.

Because the carcasses were so decomposed, it was not clear whether any meat had been harvested from the elk.

Anyone with information may call the Parks and Wildlife Office at 970-870-2197. Those who want to remain anonymous may call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland