Arizona hunting guide pays over $30,000, loses hunting privileges for illegally taking trophy bighorn

Larry Altimus poses with the desert bighorn ram he killed illegally in Southern Utah. Taking the sheep cost him dearly: he can't hunt in 47 states for the next 10 years. And he paid more than $30,000 in restitution and fines, Kane County, Utah, circa 2014 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Bagging a bighorn sheep in Southern Utah last year while using an illegally-obtained hunting license has cost an Arizona hunting guide his hunting privileges and over $30,000.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reported Monday that Larry Altimus, of Pearce, Arizona, was found guilty of wanton destruction of protected wildlife, in this case a trophy desert bighorn sheep, which is a third-degree felony in Utah.

The verdict was handed down from an eight-person jury in Kane County in June 2017, according to the DWR. Testimony given during a three-day court hearing detailed how Altimus obtained a Utah resident hunting license through fraudulent means.

Each year, hunters apply to the state for big game hunting tags. When they do not get a tag, those hunters get a bonus point toward the next year’s draw. The more points a hunter has, the better his or her chances of getting a tag next time.

By 2013, Altimus had earned 21 points for desert bighorn sheep in Utah, yet still had a slim chance of getting a tag as a nonresident.

This issue was worked around by Altimus claiming residency in Utah, said Mike Fowlks, director of the Utah DWR.

“He knew he had a good chance of drawing a permit reserved for Utah residents,” Fowlks said.

Altimus rented a house in Kanab in August 2013 and ultimately moved back to Arizona in June 2014. In between this time, he drew a Utah resident tag for bighorn sheep, thus gaining the hunting tag though fraudulent means, DWR officials said in the press release.

By the following October, Altimus bagged a bighorn using the ill-gotten hunting permit.

Illegally taking a trophy bighorn sheep in Utah is not only considered a felony, but also carries a $30,000 fine. Altimus was slapped with these penalties plus an additional $750 fine, as well as had his hunting privileges stripped in Utah and 46 other states for the next 10 years through the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

“If you lose your hunting privileges in one of the states,” Fowlks said. “You automatically lose your privileges in all of them. Altimus won’t be hunting in any of the 47 states for a long, long time.”

Utah DWR investigators also seized the head and horns of the illegally taken ram.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • PlanetU January 23, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    What a beautiful animal, just magnificent. If only we could reverse this photo and have the ram behind him smiling wrapping his legs around your f*#@’in head. Glad your name is out there and your proud photo. Shameful.

  • Honor1st January 24, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Hunting for food is wholly different from trophy kills .
    Trophy killing is a mental illness linking to barbaric times .
    Are any of our medical scientists looking into treatment for this psychosis ?

    • Real Life January 24, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Exactly. HUGE difference between providing for your family and just killing because you are probably not “well endowed”.

  • Who January 24, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    Man, there’s a lot of hatred in this town.

    • Chris January 24, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      If you are referring to hatred of poachers, it is entirely justified. This dork should lose his hunting privileges for life and should have been sentenced to prison. What he got was basically a slap on the wrist.

    • bikeandfish January 25, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Yeah, the comments section here can be hateful.

      The guy had the book thrown at him, which I support. I think he got the maximum sentence and losing hunting rights for 10 years in most of the states is a major outcome for a hunting guide.

  • Redbud January 25, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Got exactly what he deserved!

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