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.
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.
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