SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Department of Wildlife officers are looking for information from the public about two mountain goats which were shot and killed on Quandary Peak Trail in Summit County.
Officials say the animals were found dead on July 4 about three miles up the trail. CPW tells CBS4 the goat were each shot in the head at point blank range.
The mountain goats, young males, were found about 40 yards away from each other, according to officials.
Now, investigators are looking for anyone who noticed suspicious behavior or activity on July 2 or 3 while hiking the mountain.
“It is poaching, plain and simple,” said Rebecca Ferrell, spokesperson for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Ferrell added, the goats were killed out of regular hunting season. And, tags to hunt that species are rarely handed out in comparison to species like elk and deer.
“Nothing was taken, no meat, no trophies were taken,” Ferrell said. “It looks like something someone did for their own fun.”
Ferrell said killing wild animals in an illegal fashion hurts more than just the wildlife, but also the Colorado experience for others.
“That is part of what we love about living in Colorado. Is having the abundance of views of wildlife we have. We are absolutely in their space up there,” Ferrell said. “Mountain goats in particular are pretty laid back. They don’t mind people being in their area.”
Members of the public who may have information should contact the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline at 877-265-6648. Tipsters could receive a $1,000 reward if the information leads to a citation being issued or an arrest made.
Callers can remain anonymous.
The offenders could face a fine of up to $22,000 total or one year in prison or both.