Poacher shoots elk in Sky Mountain Park | AspenTimes.com

Poacher shoots elk in Sky Mountain Park

Richard Landrey is shown with the head of the 2 1/2 year old bull elk he shot Sunday at Sky Mountain Park.

A Woody Creek man is facing criminal charges and a hefty fine for shooting a bull elk Sunday in a popular mountain biking park between Aspen and Snowmass Village, according to sources and documents.

A Pitkin County Open Space and Trails ranger saw Richard Landrey, whose residence is also listed as Craig, hiking out of Sky Mountain Park around 2:15 p.m. with parts of the animal, including the head, strapped to his external frame backpack, according to an Open Space and Trails report.

Landrey told the ranger he had checked the Open Space and Trails website but didn't see any regulations prohibiting hunting, the report states. The ranger included screen shots in the report of the website showing where it says hunting is not allowed on any Open Space and Trails property.

However, the ranger noted in the report that there is one limited hunt allowed on Sky Mountain Park property in November, when five licensed hunters are chosen to be able to hunt only cow elks, according to the report.

Landrey admitted to the ranger that he "always" accesses the park behind the Hidden Valley Cemetery Road, and that he shot the elk at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday about 600 yards from a communication tower in the park, the report states.

Other rangers later located three bags of meat hanging in thick oak brush downhill of the Skyline Ridge Trail.

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The Open Space and Trails ranger initially issued Landrey a $1,000 fine and citation but later voided the punishment so an official with Colorado Parks and Wildlife could take over the investigation, the report states.

That agency later charged Landrey with hunting in a closed area and unlawful taking of a bull elk and fined him $1,700, said Mike Porras, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman. It also docked 15 points from his hunting and fishing privileges, which could be suspended if he is docked another five points, he said.

Perry Will, parks and wildlife area supervisor, said his agency also seized all the elk meat. The elk was a 2½-year-old bull, he said. The charges are misdemeanors, he said.

Landrey "made an honest mistake" and didn't know he couldn't hunt in Sky Mountain Park, Will said.

Will praised Pitkin County's Open Space and Trails rangers for spotting Landrey's truck and noticing a long-gun case and other hunting-related gear inside it.

"They did a really good job," Will said.

jauslander@aspentimes.com