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3 deer seriously wounded by blow darts in southern Colorado

A wildlife official was able to sedate two of the three wounded animals and remove the darts. The third deer ran off before it could be helped.

WALSENBURG, Colo. — At least three deer have been shot and seriously wounded by blow darts near Walsenburg in southern Colorado, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW).

On April 1, CPW received a call about multiple deer spotted near the 100 block of East Cedar Street in Walsenburg with blow darts stuck in them.

CPW Wildlife Officer Travis Sauder responded and found three injured deer: an adult doe with a dart through the foreleg, a young doe with a dart in the nose, and another young doe with a dart in the right side of the neck, just below the jaw.

Sauder sedated two of the deer and removed the darts. The doe with the dart in its neck ran off before Sauder was able to sedate it. Sauder is continuing to canvass the area looking for the doe.

> Video above: What to do about a wild animal in distress, published Oct. 29, 2020.

“Whoever did this was intentionally inflicting pain and causing these animals to suffer,” Sauder said. "This is illegal harassment of wildlife. It’s something we take very seriously.

"But we need the public’s help catching whoever is doing this," he said. "Someone knows who did this and can make sure they are held accountable for their cruel actions.”

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Anyone illegally injuring or killing wildlife could face misdemeanor charges including harassment of wildlife, hunting big game without a license, illegal taking of wildlife, and reckless endangerment, among other charges.

Convictions could result in fines ranging from $750 to $3,000 and up to six months in jail, depending on the charge.

RELATED: 3-county poacher pleads guilty, loses hunting license for life

Sauder encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact him directly at 719-989-1027.

To provide information anonymously about a wildlife violation, the public can contact Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648, by dialing #OGT from a Verizon cellphone, or by email at game.thief@state.co.us. Rewards are available if the information leads to an arrest or citation.

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