The neighborhoods filling in around San Ramon’s popular Bridges Golf Course are dotted with areas named after local residents for which the area is known – Coyote Crossing Park, Coyote Creek school, and Falcon Bridge.
Local wildlife, one might think, are both welcome and treasured. But it appears at least one human has been targeting them – with devastating effect.
In recent weeks and, police surmise, possibly longer – someone has been shooting coyotes, an owl, smaller creatures with a low caliber weapon that wounds more often than it kills.
“The golf course workers find them on the course the next morning, obviously shot,” said a neighbor who asked that her name not be used. “They call and try to get care for them but most have ended up dying.”
The latest spate of shooting was reported June 25, with San Ramon police arriving in time to hear the shots being fired.
“Last Friday we responded to several reports of gunshots in the area of the golf course. Our officers arrived on scene and heard them as well,” said Capt. Cary Goldberg. “During the investigation, they found two coyotes, but likely dead for at least a few days (nothing fresh). They also found a dead owl and gopher (both freshly killed – Editor).”
Goldberg said investigating officers contacted a local resident who admitted to shooting at gophers, but denied shooting the coyotes and owl. The resident did admit to shooting a coyote last year, but denied shooting the two coyotes found near his residence, according to investigators.
Police said the resident was found to be in possession of a .17 caliber rifle – a type commonly used in the hunting of “varmints,” or small game – and that the rifle had been equipped with a high-power scope.
Capt. Goldberg said this site’s recent tally of five dead animals in a few days’ time was correct, adding: “there were likely more because some (reports) were directed directly to the golf course.”
Police investigation of the incidents is ongoing, according to Goldberg.