32 Bison Shot to Death in Colorado

State authorities investigating possibly illegal hunt
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2008 9:12 AM CDT
A cowboy rides along a buffalo herd during the 39th annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup in this Oct. 4, 2004, file photo taken near Custer, S.D.   (AP Photo/Doug Dreyer, File)
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(Newser) – Hunters shot to death more than 30 bison on a Colorado ranch, and state authorities are  investigating whether they had the right to do so, the Denver Post reports. It's legal in the state to hunt bison on private land with the owner's permission, but the scope of the carnage has raised suspicion. "There are just hundreds of acres with carcasses laying out there," said the local sheriff. "There are carcasses and hides."

Investigators are untangling the legalities and the boundaries involved, and both the hunters—a group of 10— and ranch owner are reportedly cooperating. Another bison rancher said he doubted any rancher would sanction the killing of 30 of the animals. If it turns out to be unauthorized, it's an "egregious slaughter," he said. The state has about 14,000 bison, most of them privately owned.