Wildlife officers converged on an oil and gas rig yesterday to arrest a Utah man on charges of poaching wildlife.
Officers were notified by people in the area of Parachute Creek that a well–known deer had not been seen in some time. The deer had a 22–inch rack and distinctive downward– pointing tines.
The investigation lead to Joseph Chapman of Provo, Utah, who was arrested for shooting the animal on Thanksgiving day.
Division of Wildlife spokesperson Randy Hampton says poaching by oil–and–gas workers is on the rise, but experience with earlier energy booms have caused game mangers to be more vigilant. Hampton says it's thought oil and gas workers believe they can get away with poaching because they work in remote areas away from people.
Chapman was taken to the Garfield County Jail and faces charges of destruction of wildlife, hunting out of season and other charges.
If convicted on all charges he could pay a minimum of more than 12–thousand dollars in fines and could lose hunting privileges for life in Colorado and 23 other states.