Wildlife agency offers reward for information in trophy deer poaching

Deer glances back, location and date unspecified | Photo by Brent Stettler, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The poaching of a trophy mule deer in Beaver County has state wildlife officials offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons involved.

Earlier this month a conservation officer with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was made aware of a poached trophy buck near Minersville, according to a DWR press release issued Wednesday.

A trophy mule deer suspected to be the victim of poaching near Minersville, Utah, Aug 11, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

The mule deer was killed around July 24 and was reported to the authorities Aug. 11.

As the deer’s meat and head had not been removed, it is believed the deer had been shot and left to waste, the press release states.

The buck was killed sometime between July 20 and 29. With a 27-inch antler spread, it is considered a trophy buck deer by Utah state statute.

Anyone with information leading to the successful prosecution of the person or persons who poached this deer will qualify for either a monetary reward or a poaching-reported reward permit from the DWR.

If you have any information about the illegal killing of this animal or any others, please call the Utah Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline at 800-662-3337. Rewards are available and requests for confidentiality are respected.

Consequences of poaching

“Because Utahns value wildlife so highly, convicted poachers face steep consequences,” wildlife officials state on the DWR website. “In addition to paying fines and restitution, poachers may also face jail time, the confiscation of hunting equipment and the loss of hunting and fishing privileges in multiple states.”

When someone is convicted of illegally killing or possessing protected wildlife, they often have to make restitution payments. These payments go into the Help Stop Poaching Fund, which pays rewards to hunters who help catch and convict poachers.

The Utah Legislature has set the following amounts as minimum restitution for Utah’s trophy animals:

  • $30,000 for either desert or Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
  • $8,000 for deer with 24-inch antler spread or larger.
  • $8,000 for elk with six points on at least one side.
  • $6,000 for moose or mountain goat.
  • $6,000 for bison.
  • $2,000 for pronghorn.

If the DWR determines that a poacher’s crime is intentional or reckless, he or she may lose the right to hunt and fish in Utah and many other states. Utah is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which is an agreement among nearly three dozen states to honor each others’ decisions to deny licenses and permits to poachers.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

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

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26 Comments

  • Real Life August 29, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Poachers are lowest of the low, somewhere around the level of pedophiles. Hopefully karma catches up with them and something very bad happens to them.

    • Striker4 August 30, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Poaching is ok with me

  • mesaman August 29, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I have no use for a poacher, any poacher however slight, but to take down a trophy deer is a slap in the face of every sportsman in our state. if apprehended they should be banned from hunting in Utah for the remainder of their lives.

  • Just Guessin August 29, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    So let me get this straight in my own mind.
    The photo is of a dead buck, nothing gone from the carcass but what the other animals ate unless the poachers wanted the Deers entrails? Nothing to alert us to how it was killed and when I was hunting and guiding in Utah 30″ was the mark for Trophy but that’s besides the point.
    Poachers are there for the HEAD and horns in the off season.
    Hungry people leave the head and take the carcass, so how do we classify this is poaching?

    • Real Life August 29, 2018 at 10:09 pm

      What the hell would you call it then? Do you have a new definition for a holes that just shoot the deer for no other reason than to kill it, and leave it to rot? The animal was not harvested, or even put on a wall for a trophy. Your comment does not make much sense.

      • Striker4 August 30, 2018 at 10:03 am

        I call it good sportsmanship

    • bikeandfish August 30, 2018 at 10:00 am

      Poaching is just illegal hunting. Its done for many reasons. Just because a trophy sized deer is poached doesn’t mean it was for trophy reasons. Sadly, in Utah and across the West, many people poach deer and elk for the fun of it, nothing else.

      • Just Guessin August 30, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        Give me some FACTS on this one PLEASE bikeandfish cause I would like to read them.

        • bikeandfish August 30, 2018 at 10:43 pm

          What part?

        • bikeandfish August 30, 2018 at 11:01 pm

          “Poaching” doesn’t appear in the relevant Utah Code but “illegal taking … of protected wildlife” does:

          https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title23/Chapter20/23-20.html

          Per types of poaching, just read the accounts on the DWR page. Its common for wildlife to be poached and left in the field whole. In those cases it will be reported as “illegal taking” and/or “wanton waste”:

          https://wildlife.utah.gov/officers-on-patrol.html

          If the poachers were after meat or trophy’s then why are the carcasses fully intact? Just like legal hunters, many do so for other motives like fun, challenge, etc. Its not remotely a controversial conclusion if you have spent time researching the subject.

          • Just Guessin August 31, 2018 at 7:26 pm

            Good answer bikeandfish, thank you for the research but to me it comes down to the same question every time.
            I don’t research poaching and not slamming the Author but He is just printing what the DWR gave the Author.
            A Narrative that it is poaching, and who gets to decide that. The public or Big Brother.

          • bikeandfish September 1, 2018 at 5:57 pm

            Utah wildlife law/statutes/policy are largely influenced by the citizens. If you are a hunter you know much credence is given to public input by the wildlife board. If you’ve been to a RAC meeting and watched policy changes through the years you know many policies are implemented because of popular sentiment not sound science.

            Big Brother is a lazy trope.

    • mesaman August 30, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Your name says it all, “just guessin” and in this case, just ignoring the obvious. The deer was shot for the soul purpose of the thrill it gave to the cognitively impaired shooter. That’s all and there are no clues to point otherwise..

      • Just Guessin August 30, 2018 at 9:51 pm

        Think I said that in this thread mesaman thanks for stroking my back on the name…. kisses.

  • Just Guessin August 29, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    Real Life and mesaman please enlighten me with your definition of a Poacher.
    Quick google search for what that’s worth says this: asking someone above you for PERMISSION to eat what a higher power created for us on planet Earth IMHO.

  • Just Guessin August 29, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    Settle down Real Life you gonna have a heart attack. I would call it what it is.
    Either a kid for bragging rights or a rancher/farmer protecting his fields.

  • Jeannette August 29, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    Any illegal killing of fish or game is, “poaching,” regardless of how remains are or aren’t used.

    • Just Guessin August 30, 2018 at 9:00 pm

      Exactly my point Jeannette thank you. In order for it to be “ILLEGAL” means you have to get permission, License, tags, waiting lists, and what next for a creature that was created for my sustenance from somebody that thinks they are smarter than you.

  • Lee Saunders August 30, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    From personal experience, I have to say that I believe all poaching is not “bad”. I know, having been one, of ranchers and farmers who take wildlife out of season, always just for the meat. I also know that (some) of the game wardens turn a blind eye to this, acknowledging that the ranchers feed the wildlife (that compete with their livestock for food) every day of the year. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only form of poaching I can condone. In the case of this deer, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was put down by one of the “if it moves, shoot it” folks that are so common in this NRA part of the country.

    • bikeandfish August 30, 2018 at 5:37 pm

      Ranchers and farmers that poach are still poachers. Most have access to a myriad of state programs from free land owner tags to cost recuperation for crops lost or land damaged. And a conservation officer that turns a blind eye to such poaching should be brought up on administrative charges and potentially lose their job if its a habit. Its not up to them to decide who is reported or not.

      • Just Guessin August 30, 2018 at 9:38 pm

        My reply to this bikeandfish is … IT’S NOT UP TO THEM to control my life. It’s up to me. The sooner everybody gets a grip on that the better we will be.

        • bikeandfish August 30, 2018 at 10:33 pm

          Except when its a public resource protected by law.

          • Just Guessin August 31, 2018 at 7:31 pm

            What is a public resource and why would, by that definition, it be Illegal.
            I think they are statues and not LAW BTW.

          • bikeandfish September 1, 2018 at 6:03 pm

            You are getting into the weeds with the splicing hairs about wildlife “law” and statutes. And the scope of what is a public resource and why/history is beyond the scope of this type of platform.

            It sounds like you take libertarianism to an extreme when it comes to resource use. History, law and legal precedent don’t align well with your thoughts. State “ownership” of public resources is well established in this country. We see minor impacts by the occasional legal challenge but they tend to very nuanced and few and far between. We are long past the time in which each individual gets to harvest/take whatever wildlife they deem necessary. Best of luck and I hope you deal with the full weight of legal repercussions if you do poach though sadly many people get away with it each year.

          • bikeandfish September 1, 2018 at 6:04 pm

            You are getting into the weeds with the splicing hairs about wildlife “law” and “statutes”. And the scope of what is a public resource and why/history is beyond the purpose of this type of platform.

            It sounds like you take libertarianism to an extreme when it comes to resource use. History, law and legal precedent don’t align well with your thoughts. State “ownership” of public resources is well established in this country. We see minor impacts by the occasional legal challenge but they tend to very nuanced and few and far between. We are long past the time in which each individual gets to harvest/take whatever wildlife they deem necessary. Best of luck and I hope you deal with the full weight of legal repercussions if you do poach though sadly many people get away with it each year.

    • Just Guessin August 30, 2018 at 9:30 pm

      Quote.
      “As far as I’m concerned, that’s the only form of poaching I can condone. In the case of this deer, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was put down by one of the “if it moves, shoot it” folks that are so common in this NRA part of the country.” End Quote.

      So you have admitted you have poached, what was your reason? Hungry? or Trophy?. It doesn’t matter, what concerns me here is you dragged in another group… the NRA. REALLY. You don’t think they were big brother from the start. Show me your claims of NRA of “it moves shoot it” PLEASE

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