May 22, 2013
Last week, Colorado Parks and Wildlife demoted one of its employees from the field as a law enforcement officer to another park, where he now serves as a technician. The real question is why he has a job at all.
That's because Travis McKay, a park ranger at Trinidad Lake State Park, was ticketed for poaching a trophy mule deer after hunting hours using artificial light, according to The Denver Post. According to Rick Cables, director of CPW, plenty of people within the organization were upset McKay wasn't fired. No kidding.
According to The Denver Post, the officer who stopped McKay after his kill noticed it wasn't tagged properly. McKay then lied to the officer about when the deer was shot, but text messages from McKay's phone indicated it was well after dark. Eventually McKay admitted to using artificial light, was fined $11,000 and demoted to maintenance worker at another park.
We understand not everyone is as quick to fire a person as Donald Trump, but this is a bit ridiculous. After completely violating everything a park ranger — and a park service — is meant to protect, there's no way you can keep a person like that on your staff and retain your credibility as an organization. Yes, he got relegated to the Siberia of the parks department, but it's not enough. The punishment falls woefully short of the crime.
As a result, we at Petersen's Hunting are presenting McKay with the "You're Fired!" Award. It's not quite as good as the real thing, but it's just about as shameful.