Utah poachers received a jail sentence for illegally killing a trophy buck in Hyde Park. They might lose more than their freedom.
On March 2, the First District Court in Hyde Park, Utah sentenced two poachers to 18 months in jail. They killed the buck in fall 2013, during illegal hunting hours with a .22 caliber rifle.
They could also lose their hunting privileges for up to 10 years.
Shelby D. Rhodes and Steven Spillett pleaded guilty to wanton destruction of protected wildlife and interference with a public servant. Deputy Cache County attorney Jacob Gordon told reporters, “These are egregious actions that affected a lot of people. A deterrent is needed because cases like these are on the rise.”
According to prosecutors, Rhodes pulled the trigger and Spillett helped him move and gut the deer. The Hyde Park poachers will face 36 months of probation after completing their jail sentence. Judge Brandon Maynard also ordered them to pay $3,000 in fees and $8,000 in restitution. A portion of the money will benefit Utah’s Help Stop Poaching Fund.
The Hyde Park poachers could lose their state hunting privileges, because the Division of Wildlife wants to make an example of them. “No one should be disappointed in the way this turned out,” Conservation officer Matt Burgess told reporters.
Authorities found out about the poaching incident after the Hyde Park poachers posted photos of the trophy buck on the internet.
Poaching is a serious offense, so hunters should always respect the hunting laws in their area.