Arizona Guide Illegally Kills Utah Bighorn Sheep

Arizona Guide Illegally Kills Utah Bighorn Sheep
Larry Altimus poses with the desert bighorn ram he killed illegally in southwestern Utah. Taking the sheep cost him dearly: he can't hunt in 47 states for the next 10 years. And he paid more than $30,000 in restitution and fines.

KANAB, Utah -(Ammoland.com)- A well-known hunting guide won't be hunting in Utah — or 46 other states — anytime soon. In addition to losing his hunting privileges for the next 10 years, the guide and outfitter have paid more than $30,000 in fines and restitution.

In July 2017, Larry Altimus of Pearce, Arizona was found guilty of wanton destruction of protected wildlife–trophy desert bighorn sheep, which is a 3rd-degree felony in Utah.

An eight-person jury in Kane County listened to three days of testimony before finding Altimus guilty of illegally obtaining a Utah resident hunting permit and then using the permit to kill a desert bighorn sheep ram on the Zion hunting unit in southwestern Utah.

“Kane County Deputy Attorney Jeff Stott did an outstanding job prosecuting this case,” says Mike Fowlks, director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. “Hats off to the attorneys in Kane County. Stott and Kane County Attorney Rob Van Dyke did an amazing job.”

Acquiring a Permit Through Fraud

Every time a hunter applies for a Utah big game hunting permit but doesn't draw one, he or she receives a bonus point. Every point a hunter obtains increases the odds the hunter will draw a permit in the future.

By 2013, Altimus had earned 21 desert bighorn sheep bonus points in Utah. Even with a high number of points, the chance he'd draw a non-resident bighorn sheep permit were still slim.

“But,” Fowlks says, “if he claimed residency in Utah, he knew he had a good chance of drawing a permit reserved for Utah residents.”

In August 2013, Altimus rented a house in Kanab, Utah. In March 2014, he used his Kanab address to apply for one of 10 desert bighorn sheep permits available to Utah residents that year.

In May 2014, he drew the permit. In June 2014, he moved back to Arizona.

In October 2014, Altimus came back to Utah where he killed a huge desert bighorn ram using his fraudulently obtained permit.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR)Severe Penalties

Fowlks says Utah is one of 47 states that are part of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

“If you lose your hunting privileges in one of the states,” he says, “you automatically lose your privileges in all of them. Altimus won't be hunting in any of the 47 states for a long, long time.”

In addition to losing his hunting privileges for the next 10 years, Altimus paid $30,000 in restitution and a $750 fine for killing the ram. And Utah DWR investigators seized the head and horns of the illegally taken ram.

Utah Turn-in-a-Poacher Hotline

If you have information about a poaching case in Utah, or you see something suspicious while you're in the out-of-doors, please let Utah DWR officers know by calling Utah's Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline.

The hotline number is 1-800-662-DEER (3337).

  • 19 thoughts on “Arizona Guide Illegally Kills Utah Bighorn Sheep

    1. He should have done jail time and suffered a forfeiture of all weapons in addition to the monetary loss. This was not just a poaching case this was a full blown conspiracy.

    2. Comment… I read to the very end to see , happily he was not allowed to keep the trophy, hopefully they even confiscated photo’s.

    3. Here are the relevant residency requirements:

      “Resident means a person who has a fixed permanent home and principal establishment in Utah for six consecutive months immediately preceding the purchase of a license or permit, AND DOES NOT claim residency for hunting, fishing or trapping in any other state or country.”

      “A Utah resident license or permit is invalid if a resident license for hunting, fishing or trapping is purchased in any other state or country.”

      “An individual DOES NOT qualify as a resident if he or she is an absentee landowner paying property tax on land in Utah.”

      There are other provisions, if the person is a member of the armed forces and leaves the state.

    4. I understand that he broke the residency hunting privileges law and paid a fine. But 30k! And $750 then to ban for 10 years is extreme. It’s not like he killed an endangered animal. Shit, whats the fine for killing a salamander while walking thru a creek bed 1 mil$ and 10 years in prison. Then consider the fallout effects of being a felon, he will now have to petition federal court to allow him to keep his guns including his self defense carry. The Ram wasn’t worth it and I doubt any sane person would do this knowing the fallout. That said they went too extreme in punishment.

      1. Are you kidding me? he killed a trophy animal that was lost to future breeding seasons and the continuance of that bloodline through fraud. Many of us never get the chance to go on that hunt because we do it legally year after year. For him to cheat and get it is absolute bullshit. Glad he lost his gun rights that’s the least he should lose. While not endangered a ram like that is very rare.

      2. Yes it does seem like a harsh penalty, but if all you got was a slap on the wrist, people would be braking the law all the time. The punishment needs to be severe enough that people will think twice about hunting illegally. Not to mention he is/was a guide, he should have known better.

    5. Why did Utah not confirm residency or residency requirements were met before issuing the permit? Did he have a Utah DL? I feel an appeal.

      1. @Lynn and OV, I think that you are both on to something. Politicians skirt the residency requirements in the same ways. Maybe, a ten year ban from all politics and a huge fine would be a good resolution for politicians caught cheating, too!

    6. I think he just wanted his once in a lifetime Ram hunt. He knows he’s not getting any younger and he wanted his dream hunt. Too bad. I’m sure he is financially well off so he doesn’t need to work at Walmart..

    7. Does he at least get a “Dumb Crook” award as well? Everyone – at least every adult – should know that it takes more than renting a property in another state to establish residency in that other state; there are little things like driver’s licenses, voter registrations, vehicle registration, and (in many states) paying state income taxes that come into play. And going back to Arizona BEFORE the actual hunt? NO WONDER a jury convicted this fraudster!

      It would be interesting to have a few more details of how he was actually caught.

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