CEDAR CITY — Felony charges may be filed in relation to a poaching case in Iron County last month, state wildlife officials said Wednesday.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials said three men used archery equipment and a spotlight to kill a buck mule deer in an area north of Pine Valley about 3 a.m. on Aug. 20. The buck’s antlers measured at 24.5 inches, making it a felony-level offense, officials said.
Further details about the case weren’t immediately released.
However, officials said they were able to identify the three individuals they believe were responsible in the case with help from the public. DWR spokeswoman Faith Heaton Jolley said all three are from Washington County and the Iron County Attorney’s Office is still screening charges. The agency doesn’t plan to release any names until official charges are filed, she added.
Someone found guilty of poaching can face fines, cost of restitution, loss of hunting privileges or even jail time, wildlife officials said. According to the agency's website, a buck with 24-inch antlers or more in size results in a minimum of $8,000 in restitution.
Earlier this year, DWR officials requested the public's help trying to gather information about a separate poaching case in Iron County. On March 3, a wildlife conservation officer found a dead doe and fawn that had been poached near Cedar City. That case remains under investigation.
There are a few ways to report poaching cases in Utah. DWR has an online portal to report poaching. People can also dial *DEER from their cellphone or call 1-800-662-3337 to reach the agency's 24-hour, 365-day hotline.