GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officials are shocked by an extreme poaching case in Colorado’s Central Mountains.
A mother moose and her two calves were shot near the Mountain Shadows Estate subdivision in Grand County.
“It put a tear in my eye because we love wild animals that roam around here,” said Mountain Shadows resident Gary Gardner.
Investigators said they have some good leads in tracking down the suspect. They have part of a license plate and a vehicle description they hope will lead them to a suspect.
The moose were discovered in a field earlier this month by another hunter.
“This is where the cow was found dead. And actually her legs were sticking up in the air and that’s why the hunters were able to see it,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Scott Murdoch.
Inside the gated Mountain Shadows Estates near Grand Lake, the signs read “No Hunting.” While the subdivision is near National Forest land, Colorado Parks and Wildlife believe it isn’t a hunting mistake.
“This is very rare, especially multiple animals,” said Murdoch. “Definitely appears to be a thrill killing episode. These are not hunters, these are poachers. These are criminals and we’ll do everything we can to catch those folks.”
Neighbors are trying to help in the felony investigation.
“Everybody is upset and everybody feels the same. We want results for finding out who did it,” said Gardner.
The Mountain Shadows Estates Homeowners Association is talking about increasing security around the gates and offering more money toward the already $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
“My wife had seen the mother moose and the babies coming onto our property earlier in the week,” said Gardner.
“These moose were taken by someone without a license out of season and the most significant violation is that they wasted the animal. They took that animal, killed that animal and intentionally abandoned that animal,” said Murdoch.