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3 Colo. Officers on Paid Leave for Elk Shooting

January 07, 2013  | 

Photo: Roger Koenig
Photo: Roger Koenig

Two Boulder (Colo.) Police officers and a Boulder County Sheriff's deputy have been placed on paid leave for allegedly shooting an elk and failing to notify the agencies about the shooting.

Officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow, as well as an unnamed deputy, are on leave during the investigation.

An on-duty officer shot the large elk on Tuesday in the Mapleton Hill neighborhood after he said it appeared injured with a limp and antlers broken off. An off-duty officer then arrived to process it for meat.

Neighbors told the Daily Camera that the elk wasn't injured. A resident photographed Carter posing with the elk.

On Sunday, Mapleton Hill residents held a vigil for the elk that had been given many nicknames including Big Boy, George, and Elmo. About 70 people carried candles and sang songs such as "Amazing Grace" and "We Shall Overcome," reports CBS News.

Comments (19)

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19

hank hill @ 1/7/2013 5:25 PM

oh how sick- i bet these "folk" would be happy if an officer was shot instead!

Tracey @ 1/7/2013 5:35 PM

What a crock! They forgot Kumbaya...

Williamjohn322 @ 1/7/2013 6:16 PM

Too scanty on the information for me to decide what is going on. Reason for the kill ? Not reported to Game Commish ? Sup ?

RICHARD ISAACS @ 1/7/2013 6:32 PM


Tom Ret @ 1/7/2013 6:57 PM

I have had to shoot injured animals on patrol but then again I was dispatched to do so and wrote a weapon fired report before leaving shift. In my case I would have preferred that the game dept handle it but they were unavailable. These officers may be in trouble if they didn't follow dept policy and were simply looking for some good elk meat. I hope that isn't the case. The neighbors singing amazing grace etc. is over the top all right and may indicate a bias that has tainted their objectivity.

bpd3733 @ 1/7/2013 7:02 PM

To Richard Isaacs: This is not a forum for Anti-Hunting Psychos. But it's obvious you've never eaten Elk. It's damn good. Even better than beef. The officers do have to answer why they didn't report it.

[email protected] @ 1/7/2013 8:16 PM

They should have emptied their clips! To hell with the animal huggers!

Chuck @ 1/7/2013 8:18 PM

I used to live in boulder. The town is pretty, but the citizens are efing stupid. Definition of Boulder Colorado: 25 square miles surrounded by reality. The police are cool as hell, but the citizens are stupid

DaveSam5525G @ 1/8/2013 12:13 AM

I would say let the investigation run it's course...After 8 years in Colorado lots of game kills highways etc- LEOs are allowed to put down animals if they are suffering or are injured and are of such size they might hurt others or wander into traffic and cause an accident. However, there are SOPS and procedures to follow this is why the investigation needs to take place - Due Process works both ways. If you have ever been to Royal Gorge bridge I was in 1986-1987 and the deer that way run you over to get something to eat pretty tame from folks feeding them - especially during the winter when their natural food sources are less easily attainable due to snow blanketing the ground. But they are not the only one coming around for a handout and others are much more dangerous all they see is food all the way around...

Marshal @ 1/8/2013 7:40 AM

The article said that the elk was injured. Not sure how the "witnesses" who were most likely watching from their homes could tell for sure if it was or not but I'm sure they will waste money on an autopsy of the elk to see. It is common practice in Colorado for someone to take the meat of an injured deer or elk and a roadkill tag filled out and sent to DOW. We don't know all the details yet but I am sure that the Peoples Republic of Boulder will hang the officers and probably throw a benefit dinner for the elk's relatives.

Jim Kautz @ 1/8/2013 8:14 AM

There are procedures and channels to go through when an officer discharges his weapon, in this case a shotgun, on duty. The investigation continues. That being said, we're dealing with the Peoples Republic of Boulder. I could tell you a story where in 1976 the Boulder City Council declared that the City of Boulder no longer had a drug problem and ordered the department to cease it's participation in the city/county drug task force but it makes me laugh and I might wee-wee in my pants. That kind of thinking has not changed!

klt @ 1/8/2013 8:28 AM

This kind of police activity wouldn't even make the news in WY. Hope all you Coloradans stay down there with your silliness.

Mike Wightman @ 1/8/2013 8:55 AM

Please tell me the officer didn't pose for a picture with the Elk, (note the tongue hanging out to the side). Can't quite understand the use of a shotgun to put the Elk down and then bringing a truck and other officer to claim the meat and head. Gee..., we are in uniform, shooting in the city limits, taking pictures, cutting up the Elk and the neighbors are upset???? Who handled their calls for the 2 plus hours. Not smart!!!!

James Kautz @ 1/8/2013 10:07 AM

Hey folks, look, I think it has to do with the altitude and our recently passed marijuana law!

Lee @ 1/8/2013 11:57 AM

Not following procedure is always cause for an investigation, it's their own fault. A wounded animal that an LEO put down, oh well. At least they didn't let the animal go to waste. It is sad, but the people singing songs and holding vigils is a little over the top.

Jim A @ 1/8/2013 1:02 PM

I agree with one of the other readers. There is not enough information to make a determination of right and wrong here. For the guy with 20 years of LE experience who is chastising these 3 in the story, I hope that you were treated with more understanding than you are willing to give others. I am not saying you are completely WRONG, only saying your decision is premature. And a candle light vigil? What are we coming to?

DriverX @ 1/8/2013 3:43 PM

Oh my two cents... First I've been a Sheriff's Officer / Private police Officer and a Humane Police Officer here PA. We have regular wildlife issues as to most States in one form or the other. In PA we are required to get the Game Commissions authorization to put any non-varmint wildlife down, and document the discharge of the firearm. Deer is the most common, and it is either given up for meat recovery (1st come, 1st called) or disposed of at a dump site / animal disposal facility. It's sad that this was not handled correctly, and these experienced officers should have known better. Posing with the "kill" just makes matter worse and raises more questions regarding the motives of their actions.

linda dougherty @ 1/9/2013 11:45 PM

I think the police were wrong to shoot Big Boy. If Big Boy was hurt, they should call big game departrment. They would shoot Big Boy with a dart full of medicne to knock him out. They go over to Big Boy & take a look at him. They call a truck & loaded Big Boy & tke the elk to a rehab center. Then go over Big Boy real good. If he not hurt. Let him rest there for a week or 2 weeks tlo make he is recovered from his injuries & set him free back into the wild, Then put a radio collar on him to keep track of his travels. To me the police tookm advantage of Big Boy for their own pleasure by killing him. Rest In Peace Big Boy. He is in animal heaven.
Linda D.

dljessup82 @ 1/29/2013 11:00 PM

To Mr. Isaacs, based solely on your comment, I have to doubt your "over 20 year". An officer for that length of time should be able to turn the caps lock off and spell "wright" correctly as right. Also, there is this "package" where you keep these good take downs? Sounds like crap to me.

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