A Colorado Parks and Wildlife official called the shooting of a moose and her two calves "outrageous" and authorities are asking for the public's help to find the person responsible.
A reward of up to $5,000 reward is being offered by the state and Safari Club International, a sportsman and wildlife conservation organization.
The three animals were gunned down between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday in a vacant lot in the Mountain Shadows Estates subdivision along Grand County Road 6421 between Granby and Grand Lake.
A person hunting in the area reported a hearing a succession of shots, then finding the moose and one calf dead and another calf dying nearby.
"This is an outrageous incident," Ron Velarde, the state wildlife agency's regional manager for the area . "My officers are preparing an all-out effort to find the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice."
Anyone with information can call Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Hot Sulphur Springs office at 970-725-6200, or, to remain anonymous, can provide a tip to the Operation Game Thief program at 877-265-6648.
Operation Game Thief is offering a $2,500 reward, and the Colorado chapter of Safari Club International is offering a
The culprit could face felony charges, "significant fines," jail time and permanent loss of hunting and fishing privileges for poaching and abandoning the animals, the agency warned.
The agency said they had found evidence that could lead to those responsible.
"The responsible party still has time to do the right thing and turn themselves in," said Lyle Sidener, an area wildlife manager for the state. "But if they continue to evade authorities, we will do what we can to make sure they face the full consequences of this egregious act."
Editor's note: This story has been corrected in this online archive to reflect that the total reward offered is $5,000, not $7,500 as originally reported.