There are two very disturbing things about the deer in this photo.

Of course, the first odd thing you will notice in the photo is an arrow protruding from the side of the deer. Wounding hunted wildlife without getting a clean kill is one of the worst things a hunter could do. While this typically is never intentional, it happens, and it's always bad. The result is a slow, cruel death for the animal.

Hunting with a bow and arrow requires a certain amount of skill for the benefit of both the hunter and the hunted. The hunter wants to have a successful kill, but also never wants to leave an animal wounded. It's possible there are archery hunters in Colorado who do not possess adequate skills to justify hunting with that particular weapon.

The other problem in this photo is the fact that this mule deer was shot illegally.
According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife, the deer was shot on December 31 in or near Craig. Sometime after the shooting, the deer was spotted in the 700-Block of Barclay Street in Craig. At issue is the fact that there is no archery deer season west of Interstate 25 on December 31. The season ended September 29.

Authorities say the deer was wounded with a black carbon arrow with two green fletchings and one black fletching. They say the arrow was in relatively new condition so it could have possibly been a Christmas gift.

Wildlife Officer Mike Swaro says the person could turn themselves in immediately and that would be taken into account when determining charges. Otherwise, he's asking anyone with information about the illegal shooting to utilize the Operation Game Thief program anonymously by calling 877-265-6648 or Officer Swaro directly at 970-942-8275. You may also email information at There could be a monetary reward if the information leads to an arrest or citation.

Congrats to this person on the new archery equipment, but for crying out loud, don't use our precious Colorado wildlife for target practice.

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