SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The reward for leading to the arrest or citation of the poachers that took two young mountain goats has increased to $5,000. The mountain goats 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. Colorado Parks and Wildlife 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.
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.
“We’ve had so much interest, so many people have called in interested in donating to the cause,” Travis Duncan said on Wednesday, a public information officer for CPW. “[The Lead Criminal Investigator] felt we had the funds available that operation game thief could increase that to five thousand dollars.”
Members of the public who may have information should contact the Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline at 877-265-6648. You can also email the unit at email@example.com. Donations will go to the general fund to help respond to all poaching cases.
Callers can remain anonymous.
The offenders could face a fine of up to $22,000 total or one year in prison or both.