Colorado has a unique statute specific to poaching for the purpose of acquiring parts or "trophies" from an animal with the intent of abandoning the carcass, or even soliciting someone else to do so. Taking or hunting big game, eagles, or endangered species with this intent results in a felony. The intent of the law is stated "to protect the wildlife from wanton, ruthless, or wasteful destruction or mutilation for their heads, hides, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers."
(1)(a) Except as is otherwise provided in articles 1 to 6 of this title or by rule of the commission, it is unlawful for a person:
(I) To hunt or take, or to solicit another person to hunt or take, wildlife and detach or remove, with the intent to abandon the carcass or body, only the head, hide, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers or any or all of such parts;
(II) To intentionally abandon the carcass or body of taken wildlife; or
(III) To take and intentionally abandon wildlife.
(b) A person who violates this subsection (1), with respect to:
(I) Big game, eagles, and endangered species, commits a class 5 felony and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-401, C.R.S., and, in addition, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars nor more than twenty thousand dollars. For offenses committed on or after July 1, 1985, the fine shall be in an amount within the presumptive range set out in section 18-1.3-401(1)(a)(III), C.R.S. Upon such conviction, the commission shall assess twenty license suspension points and suspend the wildlife license privileges for one year to life of the person convicted.
(II) All other wildlife species, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and an assessment of twenty license suspension points.
(2) The purpose and intent of this section is to protect the wildlife of this state from wanton, ruthless, or wasteful destruction or mutilation for their heads, hides, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers, from being taken and abandoned, or any or all of the foregoing, and the provisions of this section shall be so construed.
Repealed and reenacted by Laws 1984, S.B.78, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1985. Amended by Laws 1985, H.B.1116, § 12, eff. July 1, 1985, 19; Laws 1994, S.B.94-137, § 15, eff. May 31, 1994; Laws 2002, Ch. 318, § 295, eff. Oct. 1, 2002; Laws 2003, Ch. 144, § 3, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2008, Ch. 159, § 2, eff. Aug. 5, 2008.