Boulder elk shooting: Suspended cop has taxidermy business

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Around 11 p.m. on New Year's Day, Boulder police officer Sam Carter shot and killed an elk that's lived peacefully in the Mapleton neighborhood for the past several years, allegedly because it had a broken antler and seemed to be limping. Carter is then said to have called fellow officer Brent Curnow to the scene, where assorted photos with the felled animal were snapped. However, the shooting wasn't reported, and the elk was allegedly taken to Curnow's home to be processed for meat.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Curnow may have had a professional interest in the kill. He's the registered owner and listed contact for Buffalo Peaks Taxidermy, which touts "quality taxidermy at an affordable price" on its website. Here's a screen capture from the site:

Curnow also called in sick the night the elk was killed.

This news was not yet out when Police Chief Beckner met with more than fifty members of the community concerned about the elk's shooting. He provided details about the investigatory process being undertaken by the Boulder Police Department and Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and stressed that if information surfaces implicating the officers in illegal activities that rise to the level of firing offenses, they will indeed be dismissed.

After the meeting with Beckner, the Justice for the Mapleton Elk Facebook page posted an item that poses the following question: "So you've had a vigil and a meeting with the chief. What's the next move?"

Here's a sampling of the answers:

GO NATIONAL -- It's all about social media. Hire a bright youngster who has the skills to kickstart the social media campaign to keep the pressure on, publicize the NO Hunting yard sign campaign, Get on Colbert Report, Brian Williams NBC Nightly News, Bloggers. Get Wayne Pacelle HSUS involved , PETA , and have a quick fundraiser to get someone going to direct this....

Keep the pressure on, if it appears that interest is waning they will back off the investigation.

Return the carcass, cremate him, spread the ashes and put up a memorial. Make the police pay for it all with the $10,000 poaching fine.

Hire a lawyer, class action suit.

Here's a video from the Beckner meeting, courtesy of the Daily Camera. That's followed by our earlier post.

Continue for more about the Mapleton elk shooting, including photos and multiple videos.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts