This buck is one of the 15–20 deer allegedly poached by several juveniles in Emery County over a several-week span. Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
DWR Press Release
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Conservation Officers are currently investigating and following up on two separate cases involving the alleged poaching of multiple deer. In both cases, officers believe the poaching took place over weeks or months. Suspects have been identified in each case and some charges have already been filed and others are forthcoming in the respective courts.
On the night of Jan. 7, 2016, the report of shots fired and the sighting of a suspicious vehicle prompted Tooele City Police Officers to stop a vehicle and detain the occupants.
Evidence suggests the two occupants had just killed a 4×5 mule deer buck. Conservation officers were called to assist. The two suspects were arrested and booked into jail for killing the 4×5 buck, and another buck back in July.
Further investigation indicates both suspects, and two others, are likely responsible for the illegal killing of at least six deer over the past several months. The two were booked into jail on one count each of Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife and one count of Aiding and Assisting in the Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife, both class A misdemeanors. They were also charged with various drug, alcohol, trespassing and weapons violations. More wildlife charges, including a possible felony, are expected for several other deer allegedly killed in previous months.
Also over the course of the last few weeks, several juveniles from Emery County have been linked to poaching multiple deer near the town of Orangeville. So far, UDWR officers have investigated between 15 and 20 deer that they believe are linked to the juveniles.
At this time, it appears two of the juveniles are responsible for killing most of the deer, but two others may have been involved to a lesser extent. The deer poached include bucks, does and fawns that were all shot and left to waste over the last few weeks. When the investigation is complete, charges for this case will be screened through the Emery County attorney’s office.
Report illegal wildlife activity
It isn’t very often UDWR investigates cases involving the illegal killing of this many deer, let alone two of this nature at the same time. Both of these cases are examples of how vulnerable deer are this time of year, when they are congregated on their winter range and just trying to survive the winter.
UDWR officers urge the public to remain vigilant and to report all known or suspected illegal wildlife activity. As both of these cases are still under investigation, if you have any information about them, or other wildlife violations, please call the Utah Turn in a Poacher (UTiP) hotline at 800-662-3337. As always, rewards may be available and your information will be kept confidential.