BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A Northglenn man has been found guilty of hunting in a careless manner after failing to locate wounded game.
According to the district attorney’s office in Summit County, a jury found Mark R. Masker, 48, guilty after a two-day jury trial for the incident that occurred in November of 2015.
“Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Elissa Knox received a phone call from concerned hunting guides about defendant Masker, who had been observed on the National Forest behind Maryland Creek in Summit County, firing 13 shots with a semi-automatic .270 rifle at elk in an indiscriminate fashion,” John Bryan with the district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Two hunters reportedly witnessed Masker waving at them after they heard shots.
“Masker was wearing all white clothing, without required safety orange fluorescent clothing. Law requires hunters to wear at least 500 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange or fluorescent pink material on an outer garment above the waist while hunting big game for safety purposes,” Bryan said.
Masker later “admitted to Wildlife officers that he had shot the rump of an elk cow, which was on a ridgeline without a clear view of the animal.”
The two concerned hunters said Masker went after the elk he shot but then hear about a dozen more shots and believe the defendant shot more than one animal.
“The two hunters concerned that there was a wounded animal, tracked a bloody trail through deep snow, but were never able to find other elk that had been shot, despite the defendant’s comments indicating that he had taken multiple animals.”
Wildlife officers investigated and found the trail of another wounded elk.
“Evidence also showed that when Masker fired at the initial elk, there was more than one animal in his bullet’s path, a practice deviating from responsible hunting, which instructs that only one animal be targeted by any one shot.”
“Rural Colorado culture depends upon responsible harvesting of wildlife. Failure to respect the natural resources of our community impugns the reputation of the vast majority of hunters who educate themselves and rigorously respect their obligations as wildlife stewards,” said District Attorney Bruce Brown. “We applaud the professional actions of Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers who through a methodical and comprehensive investigation enabled this jury to hold the defendant accountable for his irresponsible hunting.”
Masker was fined $300 and will like not be allowed to hunt in Colorado.