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Kansas Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching Colorado Moose

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On July 19, 2023, Colorado Parks and Wildlife released a press statement announcing the guilty plea of Steven Samuelson for the September 2021 killing of a large bull moose in Teller County, Colorado. 

According to CPW, “After a near two-year investigation that included confronting a suspected poacher at his job in Kansas, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has secured a conviction in the case of a bull moose illegally killed in Teller County and left to rot.”

“Steven Samuelson, 33, of Oakley, Kan., pleaded guilty in Teller County District Court to willful destruction of wildlife, a felony, as well as misdemeanor charges of hunting without a proper and valid big game license, aggravated illegal possession of wildlife, failure to prepare wildlife for human consumption, hunting in a careless manner and illegal take of wildlife.”

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Samuelson received a 2-year jail sentence and over $20,000 in fines. Additionally, he received 65 points against his hunting license. Just 20 points are needed for a suspension. Samuelson also had to surrender any item associated with the crime to include his bow and cell phone. 

“CPW’s Tim Kroening, Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Peak region, praised the public for calling CPW when they suspected poaching. And he credited Samuelson’s plea agreement to the relentless investigative work by CPW officers who amassed overwhelming evidence against the Kansan.”

Photos courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Photos courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Kroening said, “As the agency responsible for perpetuating the wildlife resources of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife will not tolerate poaching. Our officers are determined to stop people like Mr. Samuelson who think they can simply go kill any animal they like. I want to make it clear: Mr. Samuelson was not a hunter. He is a poacher.”

In September 2021, the poaching was reported by local citizens. CPW officers reported to the scene and collected evidence, including photographs and video from game cameras in the area. Those photos identified the time of the incident and the suspect. They also discovered that the suspect had attempted to remove the head from the animal. Instead, Samuelson attempted to hide the carcass of the moose under sticks and branches. 

“Besides the public’s help, CPW used old-fashioned police work to track Samuelson down. The investigation reached a climax when Sauder and Meier drove to Kansas where they worked with members of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to confront Samuelson at work and execute a search warrant to gather valuable evidence at Samuelson’s Oakley home.”

Photos courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Justin Townsend

Justin (Choctaw) is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passion for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, podcasts, print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard.

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