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Stiff penalties handed down to wildlife violators

Two wildlife cases from southeastern Utah have gone through the court system. The penalties for each case may surprise you!

In the first case, four antlerless elk hunters with cooperative wildlife management unit (CWMU) permits shot and killed two cow elk out of the unit boundary. The CWMU is located in the Gentry Mountain area of the Wasatch Plateau. The violation was reported to Price area conservation officer, sergeant Carl Gramlich. His investigation led to the conviction of the four persons responsible. The court ordered the defendants to pay a total of $1,400 in fines and $1,500 in restitution for the two cow elk.

The penalty in the second case was staggering! A Preston, Ida. hunter shot and killed a 27 inch, four point buck on the Wasatch Plateau last August. The man possessed an elk archery permit, but did not have a deer permit. The man's wife did, however. The defendant returned to camp, took his wife's permit and tagged the deer. The violation was reported by an eye witness. Conservation officers Gramlich and Alan Green responded and carried out the investigation. In the end, the wife pled guilty to aiding and assisting in the wanton destruction of protected wildlife and to obstruction of justice. She was ordered to pay a recoupment of $500 to her attorney.

The husband also pled guilty to the wanton destruction and obstruction of justice. Because the buck was considered a trophy, according to the trophy statute, the judge handed down a restitution penalty in the amount of $8,000. In addition, the man was sentenced to 15 days in jail, none of which was suspended. Following his jail term, the man will be placed on probation for two years. He will also be subject to hunting license revocation for up to 10 years.

Because the western states have a pact which prevents someone on revocation in one state from legally hunting in another, he may not be able to hunt in his home state of Idaho for 10 years as well. This judgement sends a strong and clear message, illegal wildlife activity can cost a huge amount of money and jail time too!

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