Man pleads guilty to Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife

Mark Thayn of La Sal Mountain Outfitters convicted of third-degree felony.

Mark Thayn, the owner of La Sal Mountain Outfitters, pled guilty to Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife, a third degree felony, for his role in the poaching of a cow elk.

During the fall of 2016, two elk hunters from California were contacted by DNR officers in the La Sal mountains as they headed out for an evening hunt. One of the men had killed his elk several days before and was now helping his friend as they attempted to harvest their next elk. When contacted, the hunter was unable to recall the address printed on his elk license.

Thayn had sold the cow elk hunts to the men from California earlier that summer. Each man paid nearly $2,000 for a partially guided elk hunt on private property. When the men arrived in Moab, Thayn fraudulently charged the two men an additional $400 each for the licenses. Thayn gave the two men elk permits he had acquired from unsuccessful hunters several weeks prior. Thayn's outfitting business was a legitimate licensing agent for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Thayn pled guilty to Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife, a third degree felony, for the elk killed. He will also pay restitution to the California hunters who were defrauded during the event. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will pursue the suspension of Thayn's hunting privileges in Utah (which will be honored by all member states of the interstate wildlife violator compact). Thayn's felony conviction could result in up to a seven-year suspension of his hunting privileges. This case was made through the hard work of officers from both the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the Utah Division of State Parks and Recreation.

  • Adam Wallerstein
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