Doe shot at Basalt gun range | AspenTimes.com
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Doe shot at Basalt gun range

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is considering closing the Basalt shooting range after a person illegally killed a deer there Sunday.

The wildlife division is offering $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the poacher, according to Kelly Wood, the wildlife officer for the Basalt district.

The high amount reflects the wildlife division’s level of concern about the incident, she said. Two deer were illegally killed after wandering into the range two years ago. That case remains unsolved.

If no one is caught for this latest incident, the agency will consider temporarily shutting down the range or even a closure, according to Wood. “It’s sort of jeopardizing the shooting range,” she said.

The shooting range is intended to promote better and safer hunters, and the surrounding Christine State Wildlife Area is supposed to benefit game. That’s why the wildlife division finds poaching on the preserve’s land particularly irritating.

In the latest incident, a doe was shot once on the rifle range on the western end of the property. It was reported by target shooters who found the carcass at about noon Sunday. Wildlife officer Kevin Wright investigated and concluded it happened earlier that morning “because it was still pretty warm,” Wood said.

Deer frequently wander down to the shooting range in the spring. There is good exposure to the sun there so the grass turns green sooner. Wood said she has witnessed deer coming there even when shots are ringing out in the pistol range.

Anyone with information about Sunday’s poaching can call the Division of Wildlife’s office in Glenwood Springs at 947-2920 or call the division’s Operation Game Thief at 1-800-332-4155.

[Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com]


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