Utah poacher nailed for Nevada crimes

According to a press release by the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), a trapper from Utah, who wrongfully claimed Nevada residency, was found guilty of illegally taking 53 Nevada bobcats and two gray foxes.

He was ordered to pay civil penalties and fines, and to forfeit traps and furs, totaling more than $20,000.

Donovan Yates, 45, of Mona, Utah was found guilty in an Ely Justice Court trial of two misdemeanor wildlife crimes.

After a four-hour trail on April 18, Judge Ron Niman found Yates guilty of providing false information to obtain a Nevada resident trapping license and unlawful possession of bobcats.

The trapping of bobcats and gray fox is closed to non-residents in Nevada.

The judge fined Yates $750, plus court costs, and he ordered Yates to forfeit proceeds from the sale of 43 bobcat pelts totaling $12,127 to the Nevada Operation Game Thief Citizens' Board.

The judge also assessed Yates an additional civil penalty of $5,500 for the unlawful taken animals, confiscated 98 traps and sentenced Yates to a six-month sentence in the White Pine County jail.

The sentence is suspended provided Yates pays his fine and civil penalties within six months.

Nevada law requires six months residency to be eligible for a resident trapping license.

The Court heard testimony that Yates came to Nevada from Utah to trap bobcats because of Utah's restrictive laws on trapping and harvest quotas of bobcats.

Nevada game wardens, acting on information from Utah conservation officers, issued Yates two citations and seized 53 bobcats and two gray foxes in early February 2005.

This case was a cooperative effort between the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Utah Division of Natural Resources.

NDOW reminds the public to report any suspected poaching to the Operation Game Thief (OGT) Hotline at (800) 992-3030. The free service operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The public can also learn about the OGT program at www.stopoaching.org.

For information, call the Nevada Department of Wildlife at 688-1500 during regular business hours.


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