Three Craig men arrested for suspected poaching | CraigDailyPress.com

Three Craig men arrested for suspected poaching

Collin Smith

The Colorado Division of Wildlife arrested three Craig residents Thursday evening on suspicion of poaching.

They were booked into Moffat County Jail, but no formal charges have been filed.

Jeremiah Tyson, 32, was arrested on suspicion of one count of willful destruction of big game, a Class 5 felony, as well as three counts of hunting without a license and one count of illegally possessing three or more animals, both misdemeanors.

David Park, 37, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of hunting without a license and two counts of illegal possession of wildlife, all misdemeanors.

John Davidson, 40, was arrested on suspicion of five counts of willful destruction of big game, a Class 5 felony, as well as 10 counts of hunting without a license, one count of illegally possessing three or more animals and one count of waste of edible game meat, all misdemeanors.

According to arrest warrant affidavits, the case began between Dec. 5 and 6, when DOW Wildlife Officer Mike Swaro observed the three men move into a new home at 605 W. Sixth St. Swaro reportedly watched the men move “fresh” animal parts – including a deer head in a trash bag – into the residence along with rifle cases and bows.

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It goes on to read that “multiple parties” contacted Swaro with information about the three men.

During a warranted search of the home Monday, DOW officers confiscated 12 sets of antlers attached to skull plates, which Davidson said belonged to him. Park also identified a deer head with partial hide as belonging to him.

Other items included two more sets of antlers and 78 packages of meat, though the affidavits do not say whether officials know who owned the items.

Division of Wildlife officers from Meeker and Grand Junction offices interviewed the men the same day as the search.

The affidavits state Tyson admitted to killing six animals between summer and October and that Swaro discovered he did not have legal permits for any of them. It further states that Park admitted killing a mule deer and a buck antelope, and Davidson admitted to killing 10 animals, some as recently as mid-November.

Each of the three men also told DOW officers about animals illegally killed by the other two, according to the affidavits, and led officers to kill sites in the area, which included Trapper Mine property.

The affidavits suggest the men are not Colorado natives. The document states Tyson’s and Park’s families reside in West Virginia and that Davidson sent antlers and hides to a taxidermist in Wafordsburg, Penn.

DOW spokesman Randy Hampton said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation except to say it has not been completed.

“The investigation into these poaching incidents remains open,” he said. “There is always the possibility this could result in new charges.”

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com