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Wildlife officers investigate Mesa County poaching case involving desert bighorn ram

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Posted at 11:24 AM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-02 13:30:50-04

DENVER — Colorado wildlife officers are investigating a poaching case involving a desert bighorn ram in Mesa County.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking for help from the public in identifying the person who illegally killed the animal off Colorado State Highway 141 between Gateway and Grand Junction.

The mature desert bighorn was discovered off the highway on Monday after a rock climber called CPW to report the animal, according to a news release from the agency. Officers determined the ram had been shot at least 24 hours earlier.

“The ram was shot and left there with nothing removed from it,” said CPW wildlife officer Kevin Duckett in the release. “There is a desert bighorn sheep hunting season in that unit, but it does not start until Nov. 1, and this ram was killed out of season and left to rot.”

CPW said willful destruction of a big-game animal is a felony in Colorado and can result in a lifetime suspension of hunting and fishing privileges. Convictions could result in fines and jail time, depending on the charge, the agency said.

CPW is asking the public for any information regarding the parties responsible for the killing of this desert bighorn sheep. Duckett can be reached at 970-275-3556 or kevin.duckett@state.co.us. Wildlife officer Stuart Sinclair may also be reached at 970-209-2370 or stuart.sinclair@state.co.us.