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BIG BUCKS MAY BE COSTLY TO POACHERS

SHARE BIG BUCKS MAY BE COSTLY TO POACHERS

Three Davis County men were arrested on Oct. 16 after a Bountiful police officer found a trophy buck in the back of a pick-up truck.

Mark Adam Holbrook, Kevin Ray Simpson and Eric Theodore Weese have been charged with poaching five deer, including two trophy bucks, and face felony charges and up to $17,200 in civil assessments.Civil restitution of $8,000 for each "trophy" buck poached is also possible. A trophy is considered any buck deer with an outside antler width of more than 24 inches. Restitution of $400 may be assessed for poached deer that are not trophies.

Following a routine traffic stop, Bountiful officers notified the Division of Wildlife Resources that they had discovered a large buck deer in the back of a pick-up truck. Division officers continued the investigation and determined five deer, including two trophies, had been illegally killed since August.

As with most poaching cases, Division conservation officers seized the antlers and meat from the poached deer, in addition to the vehicles and firearms used. If convicted, all evidence may be permanently confiscated by the court.

Penrose encourages anyone who hears shots at night, or sees an animal taken illegally, to report the crime to the DWR's Poaching Hotline (1-800-662-DEER), or to notify the local sheriff's office, which can dispatch a Division conservation officer.

ALSO: Two Emery County teens were recently sentenced for their involvement in an episode of wanton destruction of wildlife that occurred Feb. 2. The offense stemmed from a three-hour shooting spree, during which at least 96 shots were fired at deer and elk. As a result of the investigation, six deer and one elk were found dead near the Mooreland/Hiawatha cut-off.

One of the participants, a 16-year-old Huntington youth, was charged with one count of wanton destruction of elk, a third degree felony, and five counts of wanton destruction of deer, Class A misdemeanors.

He received suspended probation and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,300. His Marlin .22 rifle was confiscated by the court.

Similar charges were filed against the other participant, an 18-year-old Huntington man.

On Oct. 1 the Honorable Bryce K. Bryner, 7th District Court, sentenced the 18-year-old defendant to a suspended term in the Utah State Prison not to exceed five years.

He was fined $500 and was placed on probation with Adult Parole and Probation for 36 months. The individual also received a 30-day jail sentence, was ordered to pay $1,200 in restitution and forfeited his .22 rifle.

Both individuals will be subject to hunting license revocation proceedings. If placed on revocation, neither man would be able to hunt in Utah for up to five years.