Utah Republican legislator charged with poaching and firearms violations

Rep. Travis Seegmiller faces three misdemeanor charges related to shooting a deer near private residences in southwest Utah.

A member of the Utah House of Representatives has been charged with three misdemeanors related to an incident in August involving the shooting of a deer in a residential area.

The Millard County Attorney charged Rep. Travis Seegmiller, R-St. George, with unlawful taking of protected wildlife and two counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm. All three charges are class B misdemeanors, each punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.

In August, Seegmiller was accused of shooting a doe as it walked through the yard of a private residence in Washington County. Witnesses said when they went to investigate a gunshot, they saw Seegmiller putting the carcass of a deer into his car. When confronted, Seegmiller identified himself and said he was out of work and needed the meat to feed his family.

Seegmiller did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, said in a statement he’s aware of the incident, but would not comment on the specifics.

“This weekend, I was informed of Milliard County’s intention to charge Rep. Travis Seegmiller with three misdemeanor offenses. I am deeply troubled by the accusations. We will continue to monitor the situation as it makes its way through the courts,” Wilson said.

That investigation was transferred from Washington County to Millard to avoid a conflict of interest in Seegmiller’s political district, according to FOX13.

In 2013, Seegmiller was charged with wanton destruction of protected wildlife, making a written false statement, and obtaining a hunting permit by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. He was found not guilty of those charges. No court documents about that particular case are available.