In Utah, it is illegal for a hunter to waste wildlife or permit wildlife to be wasted or spoiled. This prohibition applies to any part of protected wildlife.
Waste of wildlife cases are often brought against hunters who hunt outside of season or allow the carcass of an animal to rot in the wild. This often occurs when a hunter takes a deer, elk or moose head as a trophy and leaves the rest of the animal’s body behind.
Although many hunters consider it to be natural to leave an animal carcass in the wild for wolves and other predators, Wildlife Resources officials consider this a serious crime.
The Division of Wildlife Resources often offers monetary rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people who commit big game hunting violations. This sometimes is enough incentive for neighbors to turn a hunter in.
Penalties for Wasting Wildlife in Utah
Leaving an animal carcass in the wild can result in charges of wanton destruction of protected wildlife. For big game animals, wanton destruction charges can be third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Additionally, the Division of Wildlife Resources can charge a hunter up to $1,000 per animal in restitution costs and revoke a hunter’s license.
Contact Our Utah Poaching Crimes Defense Lawyers
The criminal defense attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates are among the most respected defense lawyers in Utah. We have prosecutorial experience and know what tactics the other side typically uses in poaching crimes cases.
Our law firm represents individuals accused of wildlife crimes in parks and forests throughout Utah, including the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Wasatch National Forest and Arches National Park.
Contact us online or call our office at 801-651-1512 to set up a free consultation about your waste of wildlife case. Our attorneys offer weekend and evening appointments and often meet clients throughout Greater Utah.