GARFIELD COUNTY — Northern Utah resident, Michael Gardner, was charged with a class A misdemeanor for the illegal harvest of two bull elk during the 2012 general season any weapon spike elk hunt on Mt. Dutton unit.
A concerned sportsman contacted conservation officers with The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources after observing the man shoot a spike elk and a 3x3 bull elk in quick succession. DWR officers responded to the area and interviewed the subject and his hunting party. Their investigation revealed the individual used his wife's tag for the spike elk and used his own tag for the branch-antlered bull.
The court fined Gardner $750, to be paid to the Help Stop Poaching fund, and placed him on probation for one year. He faces the potential suspension of his big game hunting privileges for five years in Utah and 35 other Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact member states.
DWR officers implore hunters to keep in mind that "party hunting" is illegal. This practice reduces the opportunity for other sportsmen to legally take game animals.
If you suspect an individual or group of individuals are violating wildlife laws, please contact the UTiP Hotline at 1-800-662-3337. Gather as much information as possible: Names, clothing, location, vehicle descriptions and license plate information. Avoid making contact with violators, simply be a good witness.