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State wildlife chief fined over hunting violation

State wildlife chief fined over hunting violation

Posted - Oct. 9, 2010 at 2:43 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Director Jim Karpowitz has been fined $138 after pleading guilty to a hunting violation.

Karpowitz said he requested that his law enforcement officers cite him after he realized he had illegally shot two sage grouse Sept. 29 at the Deseret Land and Livestock Ranch.


I can tell you that even though this is very embarrassing, it feels good to have taken responsibility for the error I made and to hold myself accountable.

–Jim Karpowitz


The Salt Lake Tribune reports that he shot the birds in Morgan County and not in Rich County for which he had a permit. The county border is unmarked on the ranch property.

Karpowitz immediately called his officers and asked that he be issued a citation for hunting outside the legal boundary of his permit. The birds were confiscated and the citation was issued by an officer he has known his entire career.

Karpowitz, a hunter for 44 years, acknowledged the mistake in an e-mail to his roughly 500 employees.

"This incident demonstrated to me how easy it is to unintentionally violate a law while hunting," he wrote. "I can tell you that even though this is very embarrassing, it feels good to have taken responsibility for the error I made and to hold myself accountable. I apologize if I have caused embarrassment to any of you, the Division or the State of Utah."

His boss, Utah Department of Natural Resources chief Michael Styler, said Karpowitz informed him immediately of the infraction and handled the situation properly.

"We all make mistakes and what you should do when you make a mistake is exactly what Jim Karpowitz did," Styler told the Tribune. "He faced the consequences rather than trying to hide the mistake."

Karpowitz, who entered the guilty plea this past week, has been with the wildlife agency for more than 30 years and has been its chief for five years.

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(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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