Carbondale man faces charges for killing four mule deer

Andre Salvail
The Aspen Times

A Carbondale man faces a slew of misdemeanor charges related to the illegal killing of wildlife Jan. 17 in unincorporated Eagle County, a state wildlife officer said Monday.

So far, John A. Golman, 40, faces four counts of hunting out of season, four counts of illegal taking of mule deer, four counts of waste of edible game wildlife and one count of hunting in a careless manner, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife agent John Groves. The investigation is continuing, Groves said, and there’s a possibility that prosecutors in Eagle County will file additional charges.

Golman killed four mule deer — three bucks and one doe — with four shots from a .270-caliber hunting rifle, the wildlife officer said. Three were shot in the chest area and one was shot in the neck, he said. The killings reportedly occurred on private property in the El Jebel area near a neighborhood in the vicinity of Valley Road.

As careless destruction of wildlife in the Roaring Fork Valley goes, “I haven’t seen anything like this in 10 years,” Groves said.

Residents became alarmed as soon as the shots rang out, he said. They immediately called emergency dispatchers, who then alerted the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. State wildlife department agents arrived on scene shortly after deputies.

Golman was not there when they arrived. He apparently shot the deer and abandoned them after noticing that neighbors were concerned, Groves said. One resident who contacted The Aspen Times on Monday said the incident shook up the normally peaceful neighborhood.

“When I got there, it was originally thought that just one deer was dead, but once I started the investigation, we found three more dead deer,” Groves said.

Carbondale police picked up Golman about 30 minutes after the initial call and detained him at its office until wildlife agents arrived, Groves said.

The man was hunting on property belonging to an occasional employer without permission, Groves said. Permission was irrelevant, though, because it’s not hunting season.

“(Golman) fully knew it was not hunting season,” the officer said.

He faces up to $45,000 in fines in connection with the incident, Groves said. The meat was donated to a charity in the valley.


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