A man from Texas has had his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges suspended in 48 states — and been sentenced to pay more than 53,000 in fines — after pleading guilty to illegal hunting activities in Colorado.
Raymond P. Muse, 50, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of willful destruction of wildlife, as well as 11 other misdemeanor charges, in connection with the illegal poaching at least five elk from Evergreen and Conifer, “right under the noses or in the backyards” of local residents, officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said on Friday.
Officials say they caught a break in the case in Sept. 2018, after a resident of Evergreen saw Muse carrying what appeared to be a headless elk across his property. The sheriff’s office responded to find Muse, who they say promptly fled when they attempted to make contact, according to a news release.
A subsequent search of the area turned up the headless elk, as well as several pieces of hunting equipment and a bike, which the CPW says Muse would use to arrive at the locations of his prey, leaving his vehicle parked far away to avoid suspicion.
Officers were able to determine Muse’s identity after obtaining a search warrant for a backpack and phone that Muse allegedly abandoned in the area when he fled. Muse’ phone also led the CPW to determine that this elk was not the only animal he may have illegally killed in Colorado.