DWR Conservation Officer Chris Schulze said, "This is, by far, the most egregious big game case I have investigated. We have indications that members of this group were traveling from Salt Lake several times per week to locations throughout Utah, solely for the purpose of poaching deer. This was a very well-organized, well-planned and strategic operation," Schulze said.
"Our deer herds are struggling. The harm done by this group of individuals will be felt for years. We're glad that we were able to put an end to this activity, but would prefer that it had never happened in the first place," Schulze added. "The investigation and prosecution of these subjects would not have been possible without the assistance of a concerned citizen who chose to step up and do the right thing."
Investigators believe the poaching took place in Washington, Sanpete, Utah, Salt Lake, Morgan and Summit counties. Investigators believe many of the deer were shot at night with the aid of spotlights, during mating season when deer are particularly vulnerable. "Poaching on this scale can be devastating," Schulze said.
In total, the accused face a dozen felonies and four class A misdemeanors.
Utah conservation officers can't do it alone. They need help to protect our wildlife. contact the UTiP Hotline at (800) 662-3337. Anyone with information can call the UTiP Hotline at (800) 662-3337, or use the online form at Report A Poacher. All calls may remain confidential upon request.