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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2005

Trapper found guilty; must forfeit $20,000

A trapper from Utah who wrongfully claimed Nevada residency was found guilty of illegally taking 53 Nevada bobcats and two gray foxes. He was ordered to pay civil penalties and fines and forfeit traps and furs totaling more than $20,000.

Donovan Yates, 45, of Mona, Utah, was found guilty in an Ely Justice Court trial of two misdemeanor wildlife crimes.

After a four-hour trial on April 18, Judge Ron Niman found Yates guilty of providing false information to obtain a Nevada resident trapping license and unlawful possession of bobcats. The trapping of bobcats and gray fox is closed to non-residents in Nevada.

The judge fined Yates $750 plus court costs, and he ordered Yates to forfeit proceeds from the sale of 43 bobcat pelts totaling $12,127 to the Operation Game Thief Citizens Board. The judge also assessed Yates an additional civil penalty of $5,500 for the unlawfully taken animals, confiscated 98 traps used and sentenced Yates to a six-month sentence in the White Pine County jail.

The sentence is suspended provided Yates pays his fine and civil penalties within six months.

Nevada law requires six months residency to be eligible for a resident trapping license. The Court heard testimony that Yates came to Nevada from Utah to trap bobcats because of Utah 's restrictive laws on trapping and harvest quotas of bobcats.

Yates claimed that he trapped the animals in November and December of 2004 and January of 2005 under authority of a Nevada resident trapping license obtained in October 2004.

Nevada game wardens, acting on information from Utah conservation officers, issued Yates two citations and seized 53 bobcats and two gray fox in early February, 2005. This case was a cooperative effort between the Nevada Department of Wildlife and Utah Division of Natural Resources.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife reminds sportsmen to report poaching to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030. Sportsmen can learn more about the program at www.stoppoaching.org.

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