Idaho woman charged in connection with illegal killing of trophy elk in Summit County

An Idaho woman was recently charged in connection with the illegal killing of a trophy bull elk. Photo Courtesy: Utah DWR

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — An Idaho woman was recently charged in connection with the illegal killing of a trophy bull elk in Summit County.

Crystal Alsbury, 35, of Rigby, Idaho, was charged in Summit County’s 3rd District Court with wanton destruction of protected wildlife, a third-degree felony, and failure to wear hunter orange, a class B misdemeanor, on March 17, said a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Her initial court appearance is scheduled for May 18.

“Utah DWR conservation officers received a call on Jan. 31 about a possible poaching incident at the Henefer-Echo Wildlife Management Area in Summit County,” said the news release. “A DWR officer responded to the area and located Alsbury with three men. The group stated that Alsbury had a bull elk permit issued by the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation and that she had killed a bull elk in the area. The men helped her move the elk to the bottom of a nearby canyon so they could field dress the animal and prepare to haul it out of the area.”

However, Alsbury’s permit was only valid for hunting on unoccupied federal property, and the wildlife management area where the elk was killed is currently owned by the state of Utah. It has not been unoccupied federal land at any point in the determinable past.

None of the members of the group were wearing hunter orange, which is required by law for this type of elk hunt, the news release said.

The 6×6 bull elk was considered a trophy animal under Utah law, which raises the wanton destruction of protected wildlife charge to a third-degree felony. The minimum restitution value for a trophy elk is $8,000, per Utah state code.

If Alsbury is convicted and sentenced, conservation officers will also recommend a hunting license suspension.

For more information on how to help conservation officers fight poaching in Utah, visit the DWR website.


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