Seven teenagers have admitted gunning down at least 19 deer wintering in southeastern Utah and then leaving the carcasses where they dropped, the state Wildlife Resources Division said Friday.
"They've all confessed," said division spokesman Rudy Musclow. "But nobody's been charged yet because we're still finding dead deer and we don't know how many charges we'll file eventually."Following a two-month investigation, Musclow said, law enforcement officers began serving search warrants on Tuesday. They seized 10 hunting rifles, a 1981 sedan and a video recorder.
"By far the most incriminating evidence is the video machine," he said. "They made films of themselves poaching, which is amazing."
Six of the teenagers, ages 15 to 17, will be charged in juvenile court, Musclow said. The seventh suspect is 18 and will be charged as an adult. An area taxidermist also may be charged, he said.
The suspects' names were not released.
"Right now we're looking at at least 60 violations, and I think we'd have far more if this winter storm hadn't come in yesterday. We're just getting snowed out or I think we would have found a lot more deer."