NEW HARMONY, Washington County — The Division of Wildlife Resources is investigating after a southern Utah legislator was accused of shooting a doe in a residential area.
Residents of the Blackridge Ranches development off Old Highway 91 near New Harmony told St. George News that a man who identified himself as Travis Seegmiller was seen pulling a deer toward his vehicle. Neighbors said they had heard a gunshot just before that.
A resident told St. George News that Seegmiller told him he was out of work and needed deer meat for his family, and he said he had gotten permission from the private property where he retrieved the deer.
When contacted by KSL.com Thursday, Seegmiller said he had no comment on the situation.
The owner of the property where neighbors said the deer died told St. George News he had never met Seegmiller and had not given him permission to shoot a deer in his yard. But Seegmiller allegedly told the residents that he had shot the doe in a yard across the street and it ran to another yard.
The property owner said the lawmaker showed him two depredation tags, which the Division of Wildlife Resources grants on short notice when a game species is causing agricultural damage. When asked why he was shooting around homes, Seegmiller "referred to his map and said he thought he was 'out in the country,'" the website reported.
In the statement provided to the Division of Wildlife Resources, the property owner said Seegmiller told him the second depredation tag was for a neighbor who was unable to hunt that day, and that he was new to hunting and didn't know all the rules, St. George News reported.
A spokeswoman for the division said the case remains an active investigation and declined to offer additional information.
Utah court records show this isn't the first time Seegmiller has been accused of illegal hunting practices. He was charged but ultimately found not guilty by a judge of wanton destruction of protected wildlife, obtaining a permit by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and written false statement, all class B misdemeanors, in 2015.