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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) -- Guide Richard Daniel Lockwood has pleaded no contest to wanton destruction of protected wildlife in a hunt in which pro golfer Jack Nicklaus and another hunter killed two trophy bucks.
Lockwood, 38, Cornish, entered the plea to the third-degree felony Tuesday in 1st District Court. Prosecutors recommended probation and a fine. Sentencing will be Sept. 3.
Lockwood was the guide for Nicklaus and William Dunbar of Alaska on Sept. 1, 2001, when they killed the bucks near Promontory, at the northern end of Great Salt Lake. One rack was five-by-five and the other was five-by-six.
Nicklaus' deer was 52 yards outside of the Golden Spike cooperative wildlife management unit, on which he had a permit to hunt.
Investigators said Lockwood should have known better.
"They (Nicklaus and Dunbar) paid enough that they had a right to expect that Mr. Lockwood would know where the boundary was," said Brad Smith, deputy Box Elder County attorney.
Smith did not know how much the hunters paid.
Wildlife officials interviewed Nicklaus before he left the area, including once at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
"He (Nicklaus) was very cooperative from the beginning," conservation officer John Pratt said. "He answered every question truthfully."
Lockwood, who until recently owned Willow Valley Sportsman, a hunting and fishing guide service based in Logan, has several prior wildlife-related convictions.
In 1990, Lockwood spent 60 days in the Weber County jail after pleading guilty to burglary for breaking into a Morgan barn and stealing seven pairs of antlers.
He has had several wildlife-related misdemeanors in Cache County, from fishing without a license to operating a commercial hunting area without a certificate of registration.
In 2001, he pleaded guilty to illegally releasing pheasants near Promontory, then guiding hunters to the birds.
Dustin Shields, who now owns Willow Valley's certificate of registration and manages the commercial hunting areas, said the company is committed to upholding the law.
"All rules will be followed. And I can guarantee that if something does happen inadvertently, the state will be the first to know," Shields said.
The company now guides only anglers and upland game hunters, a management decision unrelated to the Lockwood case, Shields said.
Lockwood still owns the fly-fishing shop and will continue to be involved in some of the guided fishing trips.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)