There’s one less moose on the loose in Colorado’s high country after someone illegally blasted a Bullwinkle near Williams Fork Reservoir about 15 miles north of Silverthorne Saturday night. Colorado Division of Wildlife officers are offering a $1,000 reward for information about the incident.
Many people are unaware that Colorado even has a moose population, but since they were first introduced to North Park (near Walden and Gould) in 1978, the huge ruminants have thrived in our relatively arid high-alpine environs.
There are literally thousands of moose now, ranging from Winter Park in the east to nearly Grand Junction in the west, where a small herd of just under 100 moose was introduced on the nearby Grand Mesa over the last several years.
Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) spokesman Randy Hampton said the moose shot Saturday was a young bull, and that investigators want to talk to the driver and passengers of a white four-door sedan spotted in the area around the time of the shooting.
It is legal to hunt moose with a proper tag during the correct season, but they are not currently in season. Most moose are accidentally shot by elk hunters, some of whom don’t even know the animals are part of the state’s wildlife population. One sure sign is that, unlike elk, moose typically do not run from humans.
Call the CDOW’s Hot Sulphur Springs’ office at (970) 725-6200 with any information, or make an anonymous report at Operation Game Thief at (877) 265-6648.