On April 4, 2014,
Robert Mathew Anderson from Huntington, Utah, was convicted by a jury of poaching a trophy bull elk. The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on September 15, 2012. Anderson was hunting with his father who had been issued a Manti any weapon limited entry bull permit. On the opening day, Anderson whom did not have a valid permit, shot a six point bull elk and subsequently used his father’s permit to tag the elk.
Wildlife officers were notified shortly after the event by two witnesses who had knowledge of the offense. Without any question, this case could not have happened without the willingness of these two people becoming involved and notifying officials of their observations. Wildlife officers were able to use the initial information to develop grounds for executing search warrants for the recovery of the elk and weapon used in the taking of the bull.
In 1996, the Utah State Legislature, along with support from the sportsman groups, passed minimum restitution values on trophy animals. The minimum restitution of a trophy bull elk is currently set at $8000.00. Most sportsman recognize the investment the state has in managing trophy big game.
On June 3, 2014, Anderson was sentenced in the seventh District Court, in Castle Dale. Anderson was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 36 months probation, and ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution to the help stop poaching fund. Anderson will face big game license suspension for a period of up to 14 years for the killing of the elk.
It takes the dedication of a large number of individuals to make the prosecution of this nature successful. The Division is appreciative to the sportsman who made a difficult decision to do the right thing, the professional dedication of the Emery County Attorneys Office, and the service of the citizen jurors who rendered a verdict.
Citizens coming forth with information are the key to any successful law enforcement program. Individuals with information regarding wildlife offenses are encouraged to contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Utip line at 1-800-662-3337 of any Division Office.