Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


Former Cop Guilty in Colorado Elk- Killing Case

BOULDER, Colo. June 4, 2014 (AP) A former Boulder police officer was convicted Tuesday of killing a bull elk that had become a treasured companion in an upscale neighborhood and whose death sparked marches, prayer vigils and at least one tribute song.

A jury found Sam Carter guilty of nine charges. He could face up to six years in prison after shooting the animal known as "Big Boy" last year as it grazed beneath a crabapple tree, The Daily Camera reported. Boulder animal activist Jessica Sandler applauded the verdict. "It is so rare for an animal to get any semblance of justice in our court system," she told the newspaper.

Carter argued that the elk had become dangerously domesticated and aggressive. But prosecutors told the jury the killing was a case of poaching by an officer who sought to use his position to get an illegal trophy mount.

After shooting the elk, prosecutors said, Carter called a friend and former officer to pick up the carcass and butcher it. They also said Carter later forged a tag to pass off the dead animal as road kill. "They had no right to use their standing as police officers to poach this animal and lie about it," Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said. Witnesses said the sight of the hulking animal was a highlight of countless hikes and jogs.

The charges against Carter included three felonies — forgery, tampering with evidence, and attempting to influence a public official. Misdemeanor counts against him included misconduct, illegal possession of a trophy elk, conspiracy to commit illegal possession of wildlife, unlawfully taking a big game animal out of season, and unlawful use of an electronic communication device to unlawfully take wildlife.

January 23, 2013 PREVIOUS Colorado police officers facing felony charges for shooting of 'Big Boy' the elk resign amid ongoing investigation

Two Colorado police officers facing felony charges for shooting a massive elk known as 'Big Boy' by locals have resigned amid an ongoing internal investigation into its death. Sam Carter and Brent Curnow handed in their letters of resignation to the Boulder Police Department on Tuesday following the January 1 shooting which momentarily placed them both under arrest on Friday.

'The Boulder Police Department does not tolerate this kind of behavior,' Police Chief Mark Becknersaid in a statement obtained by ABC. 'Police officers and other members of this department will be held accountable for their actions and behavior, and we want the community to know how seriously we take this breach of trust.'

According to an arrest affidavit, Carter told police the day after the shooting that he encountered an elk on January 1 that he said was injured and needed to be put down. Carter then blasted the animal with a shotgun, and Curnow, who was off-duty at the time, came to pick up the carcass with the help of an on-duty Boulder County sheriff's deputy, identified as Jeff George, the affidavit states.

Carter did not report the incident or notify his supervisors that he had fired his weapon that night, though he told investigators that he called in the incident and said he did not know why dispatch had no record of it, according to the affidavit. However, cell phone records obtained from phone carriers for Carter, Curnow and George show the shooting was premeditated.

Both men face felony counts of tampering with physical evidence, attempt to influence a public servant and forgery, as well as misdemeanor charges of unlawful taking of a trophy elk, a Samson law surcharge, killing an elk out of season, use of an electronic device to take an elk, and official misconduct, said District Attorney Stan Garnett.

Carter and Curnow could face prison time and the loss of their official police certifications. An internal investigation will continue past their resignation, according to police. The officers, who had been on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation by the Boulder Police Department, were released on $20,000 apiece, the Denver Post reported.

Carter texted Curnow at 2:56am, about ten hours before the shooting, on New Year's Day saying, ‘found wapiti (elk) you up?’ That was followed by a text at 4:14am saying, ‘Should I go hunting?’ Carter also texted George that night.

At 2:45pm, Curnow texted ‘You should have killed it’ to Carter. Carter responded, ‘Oh he's dead tonight. His right side is broke off at main beam. And he looks a little smaller. He may not be wapiti, but he's gonna die.’ When Curnow texted ‘Get him’ to Carter after 10pm, Carter replied, ‘Too many people right now. ’Two minutes before midnight, Carter texted ‘Elk down’ to Curnow.

All of the texts and phone calls from that night had been erased from Carter and Curnow's phones when they were seized for evidence. Carter allegedly had also applied for a road kill permit with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department, saying the elk had broken an antler off.

Investigators believe Curnow had sawed the antler off. According to the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, a Colorado police officer could lose his certification for any felony conviction or one of 43 misdemeanors, including first-degree official misconduct.

The neighboring Colorado community was shaken by the loss of their beloved elk and held a walk to honor the creature while accusing the local police department of cruelly misusing their authority. Several dozen residents of Boulder marched in a silent protest earlier this month, some blaring elk calls on their outstretched cell phones. We’re concerned about the larger culture of misconduct that needs to be addressed in order for taxpaying voters to regain trust in the department,' a resident involved in the walk told CBS Denver.

The walk was just one in a series of events for the late Big Boy. The week prior, the community held a candlelight vigil in his honor. The massive creature was described as their 'guardian' by some.

Curnow had been with the department for 14 years, according to the Boulder Daily Camera. The Daily Camera revealed that the suspended officer owns a taxidermy website, which advertises 'quality taxidermy at an affordable price,' according to the paper. It is believed that Curnow and Carter were going to cut up the animal for its meat. There were mixed reports from Boulder residents that the bull elk had been behaving aggressively before it was shot.

Two Elk Killed and Beheaded, One Left Paralyzed in 'Appalling' Act of Poaching

January 5, 2022 https://www.newsweek.com/two-elk-killed-beheaded-one-left-paralyzed-appalling-act-poaching-1665990

Investigators with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are searching for the perpetrator or perpetrators of a poaching incident that took place in Fairfield, Washington. Officials said two bull elk were illegally killed and their heads were removed, while a third bull elk was shot, injured and paralyzed. The injured elk was left in freezing conditions until a local resident found the animals.

"A passerby who lives in the area came across them," Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Tony Leonetti told Newsweek. "They caught a glimpse of the antlers. Snow blows pretty hard down there and it isn't typical to find an elk laying down."

Leonetti said that hunting season is currently closed for the area in which the elk were found. The three were likely in close proximity to one another in a privately-owned field, and Leonetti believes it was an isolated incident. "This is an appalling act of poaching large, branch-antlered elk—a blatant disrespect of natural resource rules, ethics and conservation," Leonetti said in a release published by the department.

For one to hunt ethically, they are required to hunt within legal hunting seasons, use the appropriate equipment, respect property rights, get permission to hunt on private land and follow the rules and regulations set by the state.

The elk left injured and paralyzed was estimated to have laid in the field for at least one full day. When officials found him, the elk was humanely lethally dispatched. None of the meat from the animals was usable. Leonetti said the individual or individuals involved in this likely were not licensed hunters. "This was an act of thrill killing," Leonetti said.

Per the department, elk are found throughout Washington state. Two different subspecies live on opposite sides of the cascade range. The Olympic National Park is home to about 5,000 elk, which is the largest number of elk living anywhere. Rocky Mountain elk are found in more mountainous areas in eastern Washington.

Related News: Poaching and Pit-lamping BC; the blood continues to flow; pregnant rhino massacred; trophy victims, US dentist lures & assassinates Cecil the lion; Pedals, upright walking bear, murdered

Similarities Between Trophy Hunters And Serial Killers

First off, I should make the distinction between these two terms. Serial killers kill humans; trophy hunters kill any animals other than humans. Power, dominance, and control over their victims

Trophy Hunters & Serial Killers:

Compelled to keep a trophy souvenir from their victims
The killing is addictive and leads to more killings
They seek fame, attention, and notoriety
The kills are premeditated (who, what, where, how)
The killing gives a surge of adrenalin ("thrill kill")
Stalking the victim gives a feeling of excitement
Killing becomes a compulsion (addiction)
The killing is seen as a "sport" or "game"
There's a down time ("cooling off" period) between killings
Gives the killer a feeling of power, dominance, and control over their victim
They are titillated by "the hunt" and fantasize about the kill
Many document their kills via photos and/or videos to gratify themselves later

What kind of people are we allowing to walk among us ? And even to be among those who lead us ?

Do you really want, say, as your doctor or pastor or president someone who can coldly look through the eye-piece in his gun and shoot a pathetic deer  who must come to a stream in order just to get a drink of water ? What honour is there in that?

“Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one.” Edward Abbey (1927 - 1989), A Voice Crying in the Wilderness 

The major common denominator with those who commit thrill killings is that they usually feel inadequate and are driven by a need to feel powerful. Sadism is fairly common in thrill killings.