Wildlife ranger Travis McKay fined for poaching mule deer

DENVER - A Colorado Parks and Wildlife ranger has been fined and demoted, but not fired, for using artificial light while poaching a trophy mule deer after legal hunting hours last October.

Travis McKay, then a state park ranger and certified police officer in a Trinidad State Lake Park, was in the Bosque del Oso State Wildlife Area Oct. 13, 2012, with a friend when he shot a deer after dark, using a spotlight, according to records found by the CALL7 Investigators during six weeks of reporting.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager Bob Holder, along with a federal officer, came along and found the deer in McKay's truck, the citation report shows.

McKay eventually admitted to poaching the deer and was issued a fine of more than $11,000, most of which stemmed from the deer being a trophy animal.

McKay lost this ranger job, he can no longer be a certified police officer for the state agency, his hunting privileges were taken away for three years and he was transferred to another job in parks and wildlife as a technician. His pay is slightly lower.

The CALL7 Investigators have been working on this story for weeks, asking questions about why the Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Wildlife Manager promised repeatedly to keep the incident out of the media and hidden from the public.

7NEWS will air the results of that investigation Wednesday night at 10 p.m.