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Utah's conservation officers work to protect our wildlife heritage on behalf of ethical sportsmen and others who value wildlife. These dispatches represent a fraction of the ongoing efforts to protect your wildlife resources.

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Utah men sentenced for string of wildlife crimes

Conservation Officer Hollie Riddle and Sergeant Paul Davis display a portion of the evidence seized during the investigation.

SALT LAKE COUNTY — Two Utah men have been sentenced in Salt Lake District Court for the illegal killing of protected wildlife. The individuals operated a guiding and production company and documented many of their violations on video, which was seized during the course of the investigation.

Bryce Sheldon of Heber and Casey Jensen of Draper — both Utah residents — initially faced 17 criminal charges related to violations committed in Duchesne, Grand, Salt Lake and Wasatch Counties over the past four years.

The illegally killed wildlife included a trophy buck deer, a trophy elk, turkey vulture and grouse. Video evidence showed Sheldon shooting a bear out of season and Jensen shooting two buck deer in the Book Cliffs on the same day.

In December, 2012, Bryce Sheldon pleaded guilty to four felony counts of Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $25,960. Sheldon's hunting privileges were suspended by the court for a period of 50 years. Casey Jensen also faces license privilege suspension and was ordered by the court to pay $3,500 in restitution to the Help Stop Poaching Fund.

The DWR's law enforcement officers became aware of the activity after a tip from a confidential informant. Conservation Officer Hollie Riddle states, "The informant provided enough detail to allow us to obtain a search warrant, and the pieces came together. We eventually learned that the men were poaching to promote their business and were often leaving animals to waste."

"The excellent investigative effort of Officer Riddle, and others, led to the successful prosecution of two individuals who were egregiously abusing the people's wildlife resources. However, these crimes might never have come to light without the assistance of a concerned citizen." states Tony Wood, DWR law enforcement chief.

Many of the most significant cases successfully investigated by DWR conservation officers begin with a tip from a citizen. If you are aware of a wildlife crime, please contact your local conservation officer or the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337. Rewards are available, and requests for confidentiality are honored.

  • Sgt. Paul Davis
  • Additional contact:
    Officer Hollie Riddle

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