By Alan Gionet
SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– They are beautiful photos. Mountain goats in the wild. Relaxed, not seeming to mind the human presence nearby.
Jenna Fischer took the photos as she climbed Quandary Peak on July 3. It’s wise to be off a 14er by noon given Colorado’s changing conditions and she was. Jenna reached her car by noon.
Hours later, two mountain goats were shot dead at close range say Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. They figure they were shot by pistol at about 3 p.m. Jenna was long gone.
She saw three or four mountain goats on her trek to the summit that day. She’s not sure she didn’t see one of them twice. They are shedding their deep winter coats in the July heat. Their climbing ability on the high slopes is legendary. Their hoofs grab rock as the goats fearlessly wander on Colorado’s tallest peaks.
“I’m still surprised that nobody has come forward with information,” Jenna wrote. “It’s a very popular trail and there were a lot of people there that day.”
CPW tells CBS4 the goats were each shot in the head at point blank range. The mountain goats were both young males.
Officials say the mountain goats were found about 40 yards away from each other. The offenders could face a fine of up to $22,000 total or one year in prison or both.
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.