Game Law Violations

Report from Nevada

Three illegally killed bull elk were located January 26 by Nevada Division of Wildlife game wardens working on a tip provided by a mountain lion hunter who had been in the area the day before.

The three animals were found in northeastern Elko County, hunt unit 081, between Cinder Block Cabin and White Rock Mountain. Unit 081, bordered by Utah to the east and Idaho to the north, is a popular area for elk hunters. The elk were shot and left to waste sometime in December, and NDOW wardens are asking archery hunters, who may have been in the area during the December season, to help narrow the time frame of the triple killing.

Loren Jamison, NDOW warden supervisor for the area said, "It appears that someone shot into a group of bull elk and then just left them to rot, not even trying to take the antlers as sometimes happens in poaching cases."

This incident brings the number of illegally killed elk in northeast Nevada to seven since September. Jamison is seeking help from anyone who may have been in the area in December and who may have information that will help in the ongoing investigation.

"A large number of poaching cases are solved by members of the public coming forward and providing us with that one clue that enables us to start the investigation and leads us to a suspect," Jamison added.

Those with information on this or any other poaching incident may contact the Elko NDOW office, or may call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030. By using the Operation Game Thief hotline, callers may remain anonymous and may even receive a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in a wildlife crime.

Report from Idaho/Utah

It took legwork by conservation officers in two states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to track down and convict a Brigham City, Utah man for multiple wildlife violations in Idaho and Utah.

The man pleaded guilty to numerous violations and faces fines totaling $15,692 with $4,200 suspended, 1,260 days in jail with 1,110 suspended, 60 days home detention, five years probation, five years no hunting or fishing in the United States, 15 years of no hunting or fishing in Idaho, and 30 days jail time in Oneida County Jail for violating his probation.

"We received information that the man killed several large bull elk and mule deer north of Soda Springs," said Larry Hlavaty, senior conservation officer in Soda Springs. "Further information indicated he killed two large mule deer bucks found with their antlers locked together near the Black Pine area." During the same time period, the Utah Division of Wildlife received tips that the man was involved in the illegal killing and transportation of one or two six-point elk from the massive Deseret Ranch in Utah.

Working together, Hlavaty, a Utah state conservation officer and a federal agent interviewed people familiar with the man's activities in both states. The further the investigation went, the more solid evidence was produced. "Our charges on the man were well documented with extensive background information," Hlavaty said.

The man pleaded guilty to Idaho charges including the following: hunting with suspended license, taking bull elk during a closed season, hunting without a license, hunting without elk tags, and hunting without an archery permit. In Utah, investigations centered around the killing of two bull elk on the Deseret Land and Livestock property. The man pleaded guilty to killing a six-point bull elk, as charged under Utah's wanton destruction of protected wildlife statute. The man pleaded guilty to three federal charges of violating the Lacey Act through interstate transportation of illegally taken deer and elk killed in Idaho and transported to Utah.

Legal actions took place in four jurisdictions, two state courts, U. S. Federal Court and Oneida County court at the end of 2000.

The investigation required two years and was conducted by Steve Magone, U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent; Jim Gregory, Utah Division of Wildlife conservation officer; and Larry Hlavaty, senior conservation officer of Idaho Fish and Game.

"This was a blatant violation of wildlife laws and he continued hunting even after being suspended from hunting for purchasing Idaho licenses while living in Utah," Hlavaty added. "This type of blatant killing also reflects badly on the sport of hunting, especially in the eyes of anti-hunters."

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