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Utah

West's Utah Code Annotated. Title 23. Wildlife Resources Code of Utah. Chapter 20. Enforcement--Violations and Penalties

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: U.C.A. 1953 23-20-3 - 8

Citation: UT ST 23-20-3 - 8


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   This Utah statute criminalizes the intentional or reckless abandonment of a carcass or killing of wildlife for pecuniary gain.  The crime becomes a felony if the aggregate value of the wildlife exceeds five hundred dollars.  The statute lists the restitution value of species protected under the code (bald eagles are covered as threatened species ($1,000) and golden eagles have been assigned a value of $500).  Further, the statute proscribes mandatory incarceration for felony convictions under the statute where the motive of the individual was pecuniary gain.  For discussion of Eagle Act, see Detailed Discussion.


Statute in Full:

§ 23-20-3. Taking, transporting, selling, or purchasing protected wildlife illegal except as authorized--Penalty

§ 23-20-3.5. Taking protected wildlife while trespassing--Penalty

§ 23-20-4. Wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Penalties

§ 23-20-4.5. Illegal taking, possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Restitution--Reimbursable damages--Assessment by magistrates-- Disposition of monies

§ 23-20-4.7. Habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Third degree felony

§§ 23-20-5 to 23-20-7. Repealed by Laws 1992, c. 27, § 6, eff. April 27, 1992

§ 23-20-8. Waste of wildlife unlawful

 

 

§ 23-20-3. Taking, transporting, selling, or purchasing protected wildlife illegal except as authorized--Penalty

(1) Except as provided in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board, a person may not:

(a) take protected wildlife or its parts;

(b) collect, import, possess, transport, propagate, store, donate, transfer, or export protected wildlife or its parts;

(c) take, possess, sell, purchase, barter, donate, or trade protected wildlife or its parts without having previously procured the necessary licenses, permits, tags, stamps, certificates of registration, authorizations, and receipts required in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(d) take protected wildlife with any weapon, ammunition, implement, tool, device, or any part of any of these not specifically authorized in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(e) possess while in pursuit of protected wildlife any weapon, ammunition, implement, tool, device, or any part of any of these not specifically authorized in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(f) take protected wildlife using any method, means, process, or practice not specifically authorized in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(g) take protected wildlife outside the season dates, location boundaries, and daily time frames established in rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(h) take protected wildlife in excess of the bag and possession limits established in rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(i) take protected wildlife in an area closed to hunting, trapping, or fishing by rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board, or by executive order of the division director pursuant to Subsection 23-14-8(4);

(j) practice falconry or capture, possess, or use birds in falconry;

(k) take any wildlife from an airplane or any other airborne vehicle or device or any motorized terrestrial or aquatic vehicle, including snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles;

(l) hold in captivity at any time any live protected wildlife;

(m) use or permit a dog or other domestic or trained animal to take protected wildlife;

(n) remove, damage, or destroy an occupied nest of protected wildlife;

(o) release captured or captive wildlife into the wild;

(p) use spotlighting to take protected wildlife;

(q) employ or use a means of concealment or camouflage while taking protected wildlife which is prohibited in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(r) possess or use bait or other attractant to take protected wildlife which is prohibited in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board;

(s) use any decoy or recorded or electronically amplified call which is prohibited in this title or a rule, proclamation, or order of the Wildlife Board to take protected wildlife;

(t) commercially harvest protected wildlife, including brine shrimp and brine shrimp eggs;

(u) utilize protected wildlife for commercial purposes or financial gain;

(v) enter, establish, or hold a contest or tournament involving the taking of protected wildlife;

(w) operate or participate in a commercial hunting area as described in Section 23-17-6; or

(x) operate or participate in a cooperative wildlife management unit as defined in Section 23-23-2.

(2) Possession of protected wildlife without a valid license, permit, tag, certificate of registration, bill of sale, or invoice is prima facie evidence that the protected wildlife was illegally taken and is illegally held in possession.

(3) A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if the person:

(a) violates any provision of Subsection (1); and

(b) does so with criminal negligence as defined in Subsection 76-2-103(4).

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1992, c. 27, § 3; Laws 1995, c. 211, § 24, eff. May 1, 1995; Laws 2009, c. 347, § 2, eff. May 12, 2009.

 

§ 23-20-3.5. Taking protected wildlife while trespassing--Penalty

(1) A person may not take or permit his dog to take, while in violation of Subsection 23-20-14(2):

(a) protected wildlife or their parts;
(b) an occupied nest of protected wildlife; or
(c) an egg of protected wildlife.

(2) A person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if he or she violates any provision of Subsection (1).

Laws 2000, c. 5, § 1, eff. May 1, 2000.

 

§ 23-20-4. Wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Penalties

(1) A person is guilty of wanton destruction of protected wildlife if that person:

(a) commits an act in violation of Section 23-13-4, 23-13-5, 23-13-13, 23-15-6 through 23-15-9, 23-16-5, or Subsection 23-20-3(1);

(b) captures, injures, or destroys protected wildlife; and

(c)(i) does so with intentional, knowing, or reckless conduct as defined in Section 76-2-103;

(ii) intentionally abandons protected wildlife or a carcass;

(iii) commits the offense at night with the use of a weapon;

(iv) is under a court or division revocation of a license, tag, permit, or certificate of registration; or

(v) acts for pecuniary gain.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to actions taken in accordance with :

(a) Title 4, Chapter 14, Utah Pesticide Control Act;

(b) Title 4, Chapter 23, Agricultural and Wildlife Damage Prevention Act; or

(c) Section 23-16-3.1.

(3) Wanton destruction of wildlife is punishable:

(a) as a third degree felony if:

(i) the aggregate value of the protected wildlife determined by the values in Subsection (4) is more than $500; or

(ii) a trophy animal was captured, injured, or destroyed;

(b) as a class A misdemeanor if the aggregate value of the protected wildlife, determined by the values established in Subsection (4) is more than $250, but does not exceed $500; and

(c) as a class B misdemeanor if the aggregate value of the protected wildlife determined by the values established in Subsection (4) is $250 or less.

(4) Regardless of the restitution amounts imposed under Subsection 23-20-4.5(2), the following values are assigned to protected wildlife for the purpose of determining the offense for wanton destruction of wildlife:

(a) $1,000 per animal for:

(i) bison;

(ii) bighorn sheep;

(iii) rocky mountain goat;

(iv) moose;

(v) bear;

(vi) peregrine falcon;

(vii) bald eagle; or

(viii) endangered species;

(b) $750 per animal for:

(i) elk; or

(ii) threatened species;

(c) $500 per animal for:

(i) cougar;

(ii) golden eagle;

(iii) river otter; or

(iv) gila monster;

(d) $400 per animal for:

(i) pronghorn antelope; or

(ii) deer;

(e) $350 per animal for bobcat;

(f) $100 per animal for:

(i) swan;

(ii) sandhill crane;

(iii) turkey;

(iv) pelican;

(v) loon;

(vi) egrets;

(vii) herons;

(viii) raptors, except those that are threatened or endangered;

(ix) Utah milk snake; or

(x) Utah mountain king snake;

(g) $35 per animal for furbearers, except:

(i) bobcat;

(ii) river otter; and

(iii) threatened or endangered species;

(h) $25 per animal for trout, char, salmon, grayling, tiger muskellunge, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and wiper;

(i) $15 per animal for game birds, except:

(i) turkey;

(ii) swan; and

(iii) sandhill crane;

(j) $10 per animal for game fish not listed in Subsection (4)(h);

(k) $8 per pound dry weight of processed brine shrimp including eggs; and

(l) $5 per animal for protected wildlife not listed.

(5) For purposes of sentencing for a wildlife violation, a person who has been convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection (3)(a) is not subject to the mandatory sentencing requirements prescribed in Subsection 76-3-203.8(4).

(6) As part of a sentence imposed, the court shall impose a sentence of incarceration of not less than 20 consecutive days for a person convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection (3)(a)(ii) who captured, injured, or destroyed a trophy animal for pecuniary gain.

(7) If a person has already been convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection (3)(a)(ii) once, each separate additional offense under Subsection (3)(a)(ii) is punishable by, as part of a sentence imposed, a sentence of incarceration of not less than 20 consecutive days.

(8) The court may not sentence a person subject to Subsection (6) or (7) to less than 20 consecutive days of incarceration or suspend the imposition of the sentence unless the court finds mitigating circumstances justifying lesser punishment and makes that finding a part of the court record.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1992, c. 27, § 4; Laws 1993, c. 4, § 65; Laws 1993, c. 178, § 3; Laws 1995, c. 63, § 2, eff. May 1, 1995; Laws 1996, c. 265, § 2, eff. April 29, 1996; Laws 2003, c. 125, § 1, eff. May 5, 2003; Laws 2003, c. 148, § 1, eff. May 5, 2003; Laws 2003, c. 228, § 6, eff. May 5, 2003; Laws 2004, c. 276, § 1, eff. May 3, 2004; Laws 2009, c. 250, § 1, eff. May 12, 2009.

 

23-20-4.5. Illegal taking, possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Restitution--Reimbursable damages--Assessment by magistrates-- Disposition of monies

(1) When a person is adjudged guilty of illegal taking, illegal possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife, other than a trophy animal, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution:

(a) as set forth in Subsection (2) ; or

(b) in a greater or lesser amount than the amount established in Subsection (2).

(2) Suggested minimum restitution values for protected wildlife are as follows:

(a) $1,000 per animal for:

(i) bison;

(ii) bighorn sheep;

(iii) rocky mountain goat;

(iv) moose;

(v) bear;

(vi) peregrine falcon;

(vii) bald eagle; or

(viii) endangered species;

(b) $750 per animal for:

(i) elk; or

(ii) threatened species;

(c) $500 per animal for:

(i) golden eagle;

(ii) river otter; or

(iii) gila monster;

(d) $400 per animal for:

(i) pronghorn antelope; or

(ii) deer;

(e) $350 per animal for:

(i) cougar; or

(ii) bobcat;

(f) $100 per animal for:

(i) swan;

(ii) sandhill crane;

(iii) turkey;

(iv) pelican;

(v) loon;

(vi) egrets;

(vii) herons;

(viii) raptors, except those that are threatened or endangered;

(ix) Utah milk snake; or

(x) Utah mountain king snake;

(g) $35 per animal for furbearers, except:

(i) bobcat;

(ii) river otter; and

(iii) threatened or endangered species;

(h) $25 per animal for trout, char, salmon, grayling, tiger muskellunge, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and wiper;

(i) $15 per animal for game birds, except:

(i) turkey;

(ii) swan; and

(iii) sandhill crane;

(j) $10 per animal for game fish not listed in Subsection (2)(h);

(k) $8 per pound dry weight of processed brine shrimp including eggs; and

(l) $5 per animal for protected wildlife not listed.

(3) If the court finds that restitution is inappropriate or if the value imposed is less than the suggested minimum value as provided in Subsection (2), the court shall make the reasons for the decision part of the court record.

(4)(a) The court shall order a person convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection 23-20-4 (3)(a)(ii) to pay restitution in accordance with Subsection (4)(b).

(b) The minimum restitution value for a trophy animal is as follows:

(i) $30,000 per animal for bighorn, desert, or rocky mountain sheep;

(ii) $8,000 per animal for deer;

(iii) $8,000 per animal for elk;

(iv) $6,000 per animal for moose or mountain goat;

(v) $6,000 per animal for bison; and

(vi) $2,000 per animal for pronghorn antelope.

(5) Restitution paid under Subsection (4) shall be remitted to the division and deposited in the Wildlife Resources Account.

(6) Restitution monies shall be used by the division for activities and programs to help stop poaching, including:

(a) educational programs on wildlife crime prevention;

(b) acquisition and development of wildlife crime detection equipment;

(c) operation and maintenance of anti-poaching projects; and

(d) wildlife law enforcement training.

(7) If restitution is required it shall be in addition to:

(a) a fine or penalty imposed for a violation of any provision of this title; and

(b) a remedial action taken to revoke or suspend a person's license, permit, tag, or certificate of registration.

(8) A judgment imposed under this section constitutes a lien when recorded in the judgment docket and shall have the same effect and is subject to the same rules as a judgment for money in a civil action.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1992, c. 27, § 5; Laws 1996, c. 265, § 3, eff. April 29, 1996; Laws 2003, c. 125, § 2, eff. May 5, 2003; Laws 2004, c. 119, § 1, eff. May 3, 2004; Laws 2009, c. 250, § 2, eff. May 12, 2009.

 

§ 23-20-4.7. Habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife--Third degree felony

(1) A person is guilty of habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife if the person:

(a) takes a big game animal in violation of Section 23-20-4; and

(b) within seven years of the day on which the violation described in Subsection (1)(a) occurs, has twice been convicted of taking a big game animal in violation of Section 23-20-4.

(2) “Convicted,” for purposes of this section, includes a guilty adjudication, guilty plea, no contest plea, and guilty or no contest plea entered in a plea in abeyance agreement under Title 77, Chapter 2a, Pleas in Abeyance.

(3) Habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife is a third degree felony.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2010, c. 52, § 1, eff. May 11, 2010.

 

§ 23-20-8. Waste of wildlife unlawful

Except as otherwise provided in this title, or by rule made by the Wildlife Board under this title, or by an order or proclamation issued in accordance with a rule made by the Wildlife Board under this title, a person may not waste or permit to be wasted protected wildlife or a part of protected wildlife.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1971, c. 46, § 109; Laws 2013, c. 282, § 1, eff. May 14, 2013.

 


 



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