Three men in the Norwood area who admitted to being involved with poaching two mule deer bucks have paid hefty fines and may lose their hunting privileges for many years.
The wildlife crimes were detected thanks to a local resident who noticed the three men behaving suspiciously and reported the activity to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. The poaching occurred in a remote area of western San Miguel County south of Dry Creek Basin.
“The informant just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” said Renzo DelPiccolo, area wildlife manager in Montrose. “We wouldn’t have known about this if he hadn’t called. This shows how vital a role the public plays in protecting Colorado’s wildlife resources.”
On Dec. 6, 2012, a wildlife officer received a call from the informant who said he was suspicious of what three men were doing near a road in the area known as Pony Draw. After seeing the informant’s vehicle approaching, the men moved quickly from a stand of trees just off the road, got into their vehicle and drove off quickly. The informant recognized one of the men, got a description of the vehicle and returned to the location a short while later. He walked to the spot in the trees and discovered a freshly killed buck.
He then called Colorado Parks and Wildlife and two officers met him at the scene and inspected the dead animal. One of the officers drove to Norwood and located the vehicle that the informant had described. In the meantime, the other wildlife officer and the informant found another buck that had been killed nearby.
In Norwood, the officer made contact with all of the men by late afternoon and conducted interviews. The men confessed to shooting the deer.
Nathan E. Wilson, 30, of Norwood, and Weldon. R. Kavecki, 65, of Throckmorton, Tex., were both charged with hunting out of season, unlawful take of wildlife and waste of game meat. In January both men paid fines of $2,317.50. They were also assessed with 45 penalty points against their hunting and fishing privileges. Timothy Taylor, 69, of Euless, Tex., who accompanied the other two men, was charged with being complicit in unlawful take. He paid a fine of $947.50 and was assessed with 15 penalty points.
Wilson and Kavecki will be required to undergo a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission administrative hearing process to determine the length of time that their hunting and fishing privileges will be suspended. They could lose their privileges for up to five years or possibly life. Any suspension of hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado is also honored in 36 other states through the Wildlife Violator Compact.
“These deer were in the middle of the rutting period and were very vulnerable to poachers. There was no deer season going on at the time and these animals were shot from the road,” DelPiccolo said. “Colorado’s wildlife is precious to us all. We cannot over-emphasize the importance and value of citizens reporting wildlife crimes, and how much we appreciate that they do.”
If you see suspicious activity in remote areas and you suspect a wildlife crime, note the location and, if possible, get a description of people and vehicles. Do not, however, approach anyone in this situation. Call local law enforcement or Colorado Parks and Wildlife as soon as possible. You can also call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648. Reports can be made anonymously. Rewards are possible for informants whose reports result in a conviction or issuance of a ticket.
Logo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife