CEDAR CITY — A Cedar City man was recently charged in connection with illegally killing a trophy bull elk in 2019.
Jeffrey Jace Hunt, 37, was charged in Iron County’s 5th District Court with wanton destruction of protected wildlife, a third-degree felony, in September. His initial court appearance is scheduled for later this month.
According to a press release issued by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, conservation officers received information about the incident through the UTiP hotline on Nov. 28, 2019. The tip included details about a trophy bull elk that had been poached a few months earlier. A few weeks later, the officers served a search warrant at Hunt’s home after he was identified as allegedly killing the elk.
During the search, police say they discovered the remains of the bull elk in the garage of the home. After interviewing Hunt, officers reportedly learned that he killed the elk on Sept. 7, 2019, in the southwest desert of Hamblin Valley, near the border of Beaver and Iron counties.
He allegedly shot the bull elk with archery equipment after dark, which is illegal. Officials say he also didn’t have an elk permit at the time of the incident. The bull elk was a 6×6, making it a trophy animal.
“We really appreciate the public’s assistance in reporting illegal wildlife activity,” DWR Conservation Officer Kody Jones said in the press release. “It greatly helps us in protecting Utah’s fish and wildlife, and in upholding the laws that help manage and maintain healthy populations.”
If convicted and sentenced, Hunt’s hunting privileges may be suspended.
For more information on how to help conservation officers fight poaching in Utah, visit the the DWR website.
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