Why this hunting guide lost his own hunting privileges in 47 states

Larry Altimus was found guilty of lying to get a permit in Utah so he could kill a desert bighorn sheep ram.
Larry Altimus was found guilty of lying to get a permit in Utah so he could kill a desert bighorn sheep ram. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Larry Altimus, 69, tried more than 20 times to secure a permit to kill a desert bighorn sheep ram in Utah – a feat pursued by many hunters every year, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Every time a hunter applies for the big game hunting permit, but doesn’t get one, he or she receives a bonus point. That increases the person’s odds of getting one later on, according to Utah’s Division of Wildlife Services.

But as a non-resident, Altimus’ chances were still slim, wildlife authorities said. If he claimed residency in Utah, he knew he’d have a better chance of drawing a permit reserved for state residents, authorities said. Altimus lived in Pearce, Arizona.

So in March 2014, he used the address of a home he rented in Kanab, Utah to apply for one of those 10 in-state permits, authorities said. A few months later he finally got one.

Then he moved back to Arizona, authorities said.

That same year, Altimus went to southwestern Utah where he poached a desert bighorn ram, according to authorities.

“He not only stole the permit. He used the permit he wasn’t entitled to to kill an animal,” said department spokesman Mark Hadley, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Last July, a jury agreed and found Altimus guilty of illegally obtaining a Utah resident hunting permit and then using the permit to kill the ram, authorities said.

“This is a big tag,” Kane County prosecutor Jeff Stott told the Tribune. “It’s huge in the hunting world.”

Altimus, a well-known hunting guide, is now banned was banned from hunting in Utah and 46 other states for the next 10 years. He also paid more than $30,000 in fines and restitution, authorities said.

The states Altimus is banned from are part of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact, meaning that if a hunter loses their privilege in any of those states, he or she loses privileges in all of the states, according to wildlife officials. The only states that aren’t included are Delaware, Massachusetts and Hawaii, The New York Post reported.

Altimus can still guide hunting clients, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. The price of two guides for one hunter is $9,500, according to his website.

As for the prized ram, investigators took its head and horns, authorities said.