Utah man charged with killing a trophy deer, letting it waste on another man’s propertyPublished at
INKOM — A man who is accused of killing two deer — one a trophy mule deer — on another man’s property faces felony charges.
Dike Don Thomassen, 59, of Layton, Utah, is charged with unlawfully killing two game animals within a 12-month period, court records show.
Idaho Fish and Game received a report of a “large non-typical” mule deer buck found dead and in “a state of advanced decomposition” on a man’s property in Bannock County on Oct. 19, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
When conservation officers arrived, they could smell the deer before they could see it, the affidavit says. When they did see it, they described it as “crawling with maggots.” The officers determined the deer died by gunshot and took several of the deer’s bones and head as evidence.
While speaking with the property owner who found the deer, officers learned that this deer was found about 30 yards from where Thomassen had been confronted for killing another deer on Oct. 11. The man told officers that he heard three gunshots before confronting Thomassen over the kill.
Conservation officers scored the mule deer at more than 200 inches, qualifying it as a trophy animal.
Thomassen was cited for the unlawful killing and wasting of an animal. The violation incurs an automatic hunting license suspension of one year.
He was previously found guilty of three fish and game violations between 2011 and 2015.
Though Thomassen has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If he is found guilty, Thomassen could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison and $50,000 in fines to go with the hunting license suspension.
He is scheduled to go before District Judge Robert Naftz on Aug. 8.