‘Our game wardens never stop looking’; Washington City man accused of 2016 poaching incident in Nevada

A mule deer in Utah, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Washington City man was arrested last month in connection with a 2016 poaching incident in Nevada.

Brayden Norton booking photo, May 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, St. George News

According to a statement released Tuesday by the Nevada Department of Wildlife, a joint investigation between the Nevada department and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources resulted in the arrest of Brayden Ray Norton, 21, of Washington City on May 13. He is accused of illegally killing a large mule deer buck in Lincoln County, Nevada.

Norton was charged with a category E felony, a gross misdemeanor for the unlawful possession of a deer and various other misdemeanors related to the poaching. He has never had a hunting license or a big game tag in Nevada, according to the statement.

“This is one of those cases in which the individual thought they had gotten away with something but didn’t realize that our game wardens never stop looking for new evidence or leads,” Tyler Turnipseed, chief game warden for Nevada’s Department of Wildlife, said in the statement.

“New evidence came to light and with the help of our counterparts in Utah, we were able to build a solid case against this individual.”

This isn’t the first time a hunter from Southern Utah has been busted for poaching in Nevada. In 2017, a Cedar City resident was sentenced for killing a bull elk in 2015 and leaving it to waste. He ended up paying a $20,000 fine, losing his hunting privileges for six years and given five years probation.

Read more: Southern Utah man sentenced in illegal Nevada elk killing, receives $20,000 fine

Under Nevada law, anything used in the act of poaching – such as a trap, snare, spotlight, firearm or vehicle – can be confiscated by the state. Civil penalties can also apply, with fines for poaching big game mammals running between $250 and $5,000. Poaching a trophy game animal can result in a fine of up to $30,000.

Witnesses to any wildlife-related crime in Nevada are encouraged to report information to Operation Game Thief at 800-992-3030.

Those who come across poaching and wildlife-related crimes in Utah can call the Utah Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline at 800-662-3337. Rewards are available and requests for confidentiality are respected.

Individuals charged with crimes are not convicted until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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