By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Colorado man was sentenced to pay more than $3,300 in fines for poaching multiple big game animals.
Dylan Zuber, 23, of Grand Junction was charged with 20 counts of wildlife violations, including willful destruction of wildlife and the illegal possession of three or more big game animals. He pleaded guilty to one count each of willful destruction of wildlife, illegal possession of three or more big game animals and hunting with artificial light on July 26.
As part of the adjudication of the criminal case, Zuber was ordered to donate $2,500 to Colorado Operation Game Thief and pay $3,360.50 in fines and court costs.
In June 2020, CPW Officer Zac Chrisman received information from an anonymous party suggesting Zuber and a friend had poached a buck and doe mule deer on Piñon Mesa in Mesa County. On the same night, Zuber’s friend was in a fatal rollover vehicle accident.
In the following days, Chrisman, with the help of other wildlife officers in Grand Junction, was able to locate the carcasses of a buck and doe mule deer in locations consistent with the report.
Over the course of the investigation, more illegal animals were discovered, and it became obvious that this was not the first time Zuber had killed wildlife illegally.
After a thorough investigation, wildlife officers filed the case with the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office.
“I would like to thank the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office for their hard work and dedication on this important case,” Chrisman said. “Poachers who steal wildlife from law-abiding citizens will not be tolerated.”
A Mesa County judge sentenced Zuber to a four-year deferred judgement for the felony charge of willful destruction of wildlife, which includes a court ordered prohibition of hunting and possession of firearms as well as 50 hours of community service.
Zuber’s conviction makes him eligible for suspension of all hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges in Colorado and the other 47 states in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. This possible suspension will be determined at a later date.