CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - A Utah man must pay a $20,000 civil penalty for poaching an elk in southeastern Nevada in August 2015, the Nevada Department of Wildlife reported.
Zackry Holdaway, 26, of Cedar City also loses his hunting and fishing privileges for six years and must serve five years on probation with a suspended 32-month prison sentence hanging over his head if he violates the terms of probation. Holdaway was sentenced Friday.
A trail camera provided key evidence, NDOW reported.
NDOW discovered the elk in early September at Pearson Ranch in Lincoln County. Although it had been shot only about a week earlier, the carcass had decomposed to the point there was not much evidence left.
The head had been cut off.
But a trail camera caught several pictures of the crime, NDOW said.
NDOW sent out a press release about the case and that eventually led to information that Holdaway was involved, NDOW said.
He was working as a guide in New Zealand and in the eight months they were waiting for him to return NDOW developed a stronger case. It included finding a photo of him with an animal that matched that on the trail camera, NDOW said.
"This kind of punishment is reserved for the most egregious poaching of big game animals” Chief Game Warden Tyler Turnipseed said in a statement. “Our investigation took on added gravity when we learned that the suspect had previous wildlife violations in Utah. This case was a blatant theft and waste of Nevada’s resources, and we are grateful to everyone involved for ensuring justice was served."