Trail cameras are amazing devices. As hunters, they provide us with an invaluable scouting tool — an omnipresent eye — that allows us to track the exact time and location that game animals pass through a specific area. Automated and triggered by motion, “trail-cams” photograph everything from black bears, moose and mule deer, to that bull elk that seemingly poses for his photo-op each summer and then mysteriously disappears once the fall hunting seasons begin.
But sometimes, trail-cams, like security cameras in a bank or convenience store, also capture illegal activity. Unfortunately, when it comes to abiding by fish and game laws, not everyone plays by the rules. Those who don’t, called poachers, give legitimate hunters and anglers a bad name. Poachers also steal opportunities from those of us who purchase licenses and abide by established season dates and bag limits.
Last summer, a trail camera located in northwest Colorado near Grizzly Creek Cow Camp in the Flat Tops, captured the illegal take of a dusky (blue) grouse. The photo, taken sometime between July 18-20, 2013, depicts a middle- to late-aged man carrying a dusky grouse on his backpack.
“Obviously, dusky-grouse season does not open until Sept. 1,” said Dan Cacho, DWM in Glenwood Springs. “This was a blatant violation, and we hope that someone can help us identify the person in this photo.”
If you have information about this incident, or if you can identify the individual depicted in this photo, please contact District Wildlife Manager Dan Cacho at the Glenwood Springs Service Center (970)947-2920, or contact Operation Game Thief at: 1-877-COLO-OGT. You can help protect Colorado’s wildlife resources by sharing information and remain anonymous.