Poacher launches boulders at injured deer and drives off with it, Utah officials say

Wildlife officials say they are searching for a man seen hurling large boulders at an injured deer and then driving off with it in southwestern Utah.

Worried residents reported the poaching incident to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources after they witnessed it near Beaver, about 175 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, on Oct. 14, officials with the agency said in a news release.

The witnesses said they saw the man shoot a buck along a road on the south side of the Beaver hunting unit — at a time when no deer hunts were going on, officials said.

After he injured the deer, witnesses saw him launch “several large boulders at the deer, one of which struck the animal in the head,” officials said.

Then he “loaded the dead deer into the back of a beige pickup truck” and drove off, witnesses told wildlife officials.

Officials ask anyone who sees a truck with a similar description in the area to report it to agency conservation officers, especially if they can report the vehicle’s license plate number.

Those with information regarding this case can contact officer Jeremy Butler at 435-310-0238, officials said. A reward “may be available” for information that leads to the prosecution of those responsible, and tipsters can remain anonymous.

People can report this and any other wildlife-related crimes in Utah to the agency in a number of ways: by calling the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337, reporting it on the UTDWR Law Enforcement app, by texting 847411, or online through the division’s website, though contact with an officer might be limited.

Utah conservation officers investigate more than a thousand poaching incidents each year, officials said.

“In 2022, officers confirmed a total of 1,283 wild animals and fish were illegally killed, valued over $609,000,” officials said.

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