DINOSAUR, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigators and Moffat County sheriff’s deputies are looking for two people who may be involved in the illegal killing of a bull elk within Dinosaur town limits last week, officials said.

(credit: Tamara Long via Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Residents in the small, northwestern Colorado community described the bull as “docile”  and officials say it was well known in the area due to its unusual, distinct brow tines on its right antler.

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Investigators believe the bull was shot through the abdomen on Nov. 6 and then wandered onto a local ranch and died. Investigators found the animal’s headless carcass two days later.

CPW investigators have descriptions of two vehicles believed to be involved in the illegal killing of the bull: a white ’80s model Chevrolet pickup with Utah plates and a newer silver Chevrolet pickup with its plate obscured by mud.

CPW also received a tip that two individuals were seen at the spot where the elk died, a few hours before authorities discovered the animal.

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“We’ve got good vehicle descriptions and extensive evidence recovered from the scene so I don’t think it will be long before we find the people responsible, one way or another,” said CPW Officer Garrett Smith of Rangely. “Individuals that commit wildlife crimes like this face very stiff penalties if we have to track them down. Self-reporting is always the better option, and there is still time to do the right thing in this case.”

“It appears that the only thing these individuals wanted was the elk’s antlers, which were unusual and distinct,” he said. “This was a 6 x 5 bull elk, so it is considered a high-quality animal, and they left the meat to waste, meat that could have fed a family for up to a year.”

Smith says there is a significant interest in finding the suspects due to the familiarity locals had with the poached elk.

“This occurred in Game Management Unit 10, considered a high-quality hunting unit,” said Smith. “It may take a hunter up to 20 years or more to be eligible to draw a license in the unit so it’s especially egregious. We will do everything we can to bring these people to justice.”

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Anyone with information is encouraged to call 877-265-6648.