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Parks & Wildlife seeks info on turkey vultures illegally shot in Longmont

LONGMONT, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are asking the public to report any information regarding people shooting turkey vultures with a pellet gun in the vicinity of Central Elementary School in Longmont.

CPW is offering a monetary reward through Operation Game Thief for information that leads to an arrest or a citation being issued in this case.

Turkey vultures are protected by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and fines of up to $15,000 could be levied upon an individual for shooting one.

To report any information, the public can call CPW’s Denver office at 303-291-7227 or do so through Operation Game Thief by calling 1-877-265-6648 or emailing . Callers do not have to reveal their names or testify in court.

The first occurrence came to light back in May when a turkey vulture was brought into the Birds of Prey Foundation. A second turkey vulture was shot sometime around June 15 or 16.

Wildlife officers are seeking information specific to that area of Longmont by Central Elementary School and Thompson Park.

“Roosting turkey vultures can be seen as unwelcome guests because of the mess they can make, but residents are not permitted to shoot or kill them to solve this problem,” said Wildlife Officer Joe Padia. “This most likely is a resident fed up with the destruction from vultures on their property leaving feces, bones and foul odors, and is using a pellet gun illegally to take care of their problem.”

Turkey vultures nest statewide typically in caves of remote cliffs from May through August. They can also be found in open areas of suburbs as well as open areas in the countryside. They are common to this particular area of Longmont, as they roost in the area.

“There are plenty of non-lethal means to haze them such as noise devices,” Padia added of other considerations residents can make to get turkey vultures to move along. 

Padia added residents need to know their local ordinances before attempting to use any type of pyrotechnics as a hazing device.

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