Gas worker faces charges in poaching case |

Gas worker faces charges in poaching case

PARACHUTE – A natural gas worker has been charged with illegally killing a trophy buck deer near a drilling rig, raising concerns that the oil and gas boom could lead to a significant increase in poaching as witnessed in the 1980s, a state official said Thursday.Joseph L. Chapman, 36, of Provo, Utah, faces a felony charge of willful destruction of wildlife, and misdemeanor charges of hunting out of season, and illegal possession of wildlife, Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said.Chapman allegedly used a bow to killed the deer on Thanksgiving Day. He faces a so-called “Samson Surcharge” of $10,000 for allegedly killing a trophy animal.Hampton said the buck had an unusual rack that was noticed by residents who then contacted officials when they hadn’t seen the animal for a while. The rack was found at Chapman’s home in Provo, Hampton said.Chapman was arrested Wednesday. No phone number was listed in Provo for Chapman and it was unclear whether he had retained an attorney.Hampton said state officials are keeping an eye for violations as animals become concentrated on their winter range. Officials witnessed an increase in illegal killing of animals during the oil and gas boom of the 1980s, Hampton said, though he could not immediately provide statistics.”With this latest boom starting to take off, we’re doing everything in our power to stay on top of that,” Hampton said, “We’re working with industry to educate the workers in regard to wildlife laws. We have a zero tolerance approach to wildlife violations.”Chapman did not know the name of the company that Chapman worked for.

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