Mule Deer Arrow
Travis Smola

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Investigating Urban Deer Shot in Head With an Arrow

Colorado officials looking for details on buck shot with arrow.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is appealing to the public for leads after officials had to remove an arrow from a mule deer's skull on January 10. In a short press release on their social media channels, CPW said the buck was found Durango after someone spotted it walking around with an arrow in its head and reported it to authorities. The buck was found near West Third Avenue and Crestview Drive.

It seems likely CPW will pursue this as a poaching case since there is no hunting allowed within Durango, even during established seasons. Authorities were able to tranquilize the buck and remove the arrow shaft. Other than that injury, the buck appeared to be in good health. The wound and arrow appeared to still be fresh.

The Durango Herald further reports that the arrow did not break any bones in the skull, despite going through the animal's nasal cavity.

After removing the arrow and checking for signs of infection, the buck was given a drug to awaken it and it wandered away. Authorities have already identified the arrow as not being a hunting-grade piece of archery equipment, but rather a cheap target arrow found in big box stores during hunting season. You can see the gruesome injury in the photo below. Thankfully, it sounds like it looked worse than it was.

On Sunday (Jan. 10th) our On-Call Wildlife Officer received a call regarding a deer that had been shot with an arrow...

Posted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife - Durango on Friday, January 15, 2021

The make of the arrow has led authorities to believe it was not a hunter who took the shot. As you might expect from this type of incident, CPW spokesman Joe Lewandowski blasted the actions in a short interview with the Herald.

"This has nothing to do with hunting," Lewandowski told the Herald. "This was someone being stupid."

Most hunters will likely agree with that statement. Anyone with information on this incident is being asked to contact Colorado's Operation Game Thief Hotline at (877) 256-6648 or the Durango field office for the CPW at (970) 247-0855.

We'll keep an eye on this story and bring you any new developments on if someone is caught in the case right here at Wide Open Spaces.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels