9 cases of illegally killed ‘trophy’ deer and elk currently being prosecuted
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are investigating several cases involving large, trophy-sized deer and elk that were killed illegally across the state, including several in San Juan County.
A “trophy” deer is defined in Utah state code as a buck deer with an outside antler measurement of 24 inches or greater. A “trophy” bull elk is defined as having six points on at least one side of its antlers.
Conservation officers confirmed that a total of 23 trophy deer and 29 trophy elk were illegally killed in 2022.
• In October 2022, a trophy bull elk was illegally killed in the La Sal Mountains in San Juan County. A witness provided information to DWR conservation officers, and it was discovered that the individual who shot the elk didn’t have a permit. The individual was identified earlier this month, and charges are currently pending.
• Two trophy bull elk were killed in southeastern Utah by individuals who lived out of state and applied for hunting permits as Utah residents to increase their chance of obtaining the permits. Charges are pending in these cases.
Every year, Utah conservation officers conduct numerous investigations into the illegal killing of wildlife.
In 2022, officers confirmed a total of 1,283 wild animals and fish were illegally killed, valued over $609,000.