Jun 20, 2014 11:41 PM by Maddie Garrett
The Colorado Department of Wildlife is asking for the public's help in solving a deer poaching case. Park goers found the deer Thursday morning at Bear Creek Park. Wildlife said it had been shot with an arrow and beheaded, and someone had left it hidden in some bushes at the dog park.
Department spokesperson Abbie Walls said the most likely reason the deer was killed and beheaded is for trophy purposes, to collect the antlers.
Killing an animal and taking only a "trophy" part of it, and killing it for meat or population management, is the very definition of poaching.
"We don't consider this hunting at all, this is poaching and this is stealing wildlife from the general population," explained Walls.
Poaching disrupts a wildlife population in Southern Colorado that is carefully managed and regulated.
"You can really mess everything up that we've worked so hard to protect," said Walls about poaching.
And poaching is nothing new to Colorado Springs.
"This is at least the third deer that we know of that's been poached in Colorado Springs this year," said Walls.
But there are likely more cases she said, "There could be many many more that we just don't know about."
Walls said often times poaching is done at night and in inconspicuous places, so many times it goes unreported.
Wildlife is asking anyone in the public who might have seen something unusual, to report it.
"Anyone who may have seen someone at the park with archery equipment or a neighbor with a recently acquired deer head should give us a call," said Dan Skinner, District Wildlife Manager. "During this time of year deer would still have velvet on their antlers so that would be another clue to look for."
Operation Game Thief is offering a $500 reward for information leading to a citation being issued or an arrest being made. Email tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Verizon cell phone users can dial #OGT. Callers to Operation Game Thief may remain anonymous if they wish.