The suspected poacher was boiling a deer head in his Salt Lake City apartment.
It was April, according to court documents, and a tipster reported the suspected head-boiling to the Division of Wildlife Resources. When two investigators eventually showed up on April 9, they found a man who, the documents state, admitted to shooting a 3-point buck months earlier with a .22-caliber Ruger rifle. The man shot the deer in a field near his work, the documents add.
The man said he was boiling the head to create a "European Mount."
Subsequent interviews revealed the man had a long history of poaching. In November 2012, he shot a 4-point buck from his car, he reportedly admitted to police. A month later, he saw two bucks and fired "two or three shots" at them. They ran away, but when he returned to the area in March he found a carcass. The man removed the deer's head, according to court documents.
In 2010, the man also allegedly leaned out of his car window and fired at a group of does on the side of the road.
Police asked him why he did it. "Practice," he allegedly replied.
Court documents mention several other incidents in which the man, by his own admission, shot at deer from his car and returned months later to collect the bodies. All of the incidents happened in Salt Lake County, many near 1136 S. 3800 West.
Prosecutors Tuesday charged the man with a third-degree felony and three misdemeanors for wanton destruction of protected wildlife. Attorneys working on the case could not immediately be reached for comment.