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Couple fined nearly $2K for illegal moose killing in southwest Colorado

A husband and wife were fined for an illegal moose killing near Lake City on Oct. 4.
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LAKE CITY, Colo. — A Mesa County couple has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay nearly $2,000 in fines for an illegal moose killing near Lake City earlier this month, according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW). 

An investigation led by CPW revealed that Susan Boyles, 67, shot a cow moose on private property where hunting was not allowed on Oct. 4.

Susan Boyles was charged with hunting on private property without permission, as well as unlawful take of wildlife, and was required to pay a fine of $1,646.50. She did, however, possess a valid moose license, CPW said.

Her husband, Donald Boyles, 68, was charged with hunting/trespassing without permission and paid a fine of $276.50, CPW said. 

“During an interview with CPW officers the couple did express remorse," said J Wenum, area wildlife manager in Gunnison. "The couple said that they did not see the 'no hunting' and 'no trespassing' signs posted around the property. Hunting is not allowed on that property. The bottom line is you need to know where you are and what is legal in areas where you go, and that applies to all recreational users.”

After the moose was killed, the hunters reported seeing two moose calves nearby. Susan Boyles later told wildlife officers that she would not have shot if she had seen the calves. Luckily, according to CPW, the calves had already been weaned. A wildlife officer who inspected the moose carcass discovered that its udders were dry. 

According to CPW, the meat from the moose was confiscated and donated to local families.

The husband and wife are also required to undergo a CPW Commission administration hearing to determine the length of time that their hunting and fishing privileges could be suspended. 

CPW wants to remind hunters to be cautious about where they are hunting.

“First, make sure you are hunting where you are legally allowed,” district wildlife manager Lucas Martin said. “And next, think about the setting. If it is an area that is highly visible to the public, you might want to hunt somewhere else.”

Anyone who has information about any possible crimes against wildlife is asked to call CPW or report it anonymously to Operation Game Thief by calling 1-877-265-6648. 

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