March 2021 - 14


Temptation too much for
poaching pastors
Two out-of-state men caught in elaborate scheme in southwest Wyoming
Editor's note: This case was taken from the book,
" Wildlife Crime: Stories From Wyoming's Wildlife
Officers, " published in 2013.


ometimes temptation gets the best of
people, and such was the case for two
pastors in western Wyoming.
On Oct. 1, 2003, Game Warden Jim
Olson responded to a trespassing complaint
from the Fraughton Ranch south of Evanston.
The landowner told Olson he located two men
in their early 50s who had killed two 4-by-4
mule deer. Those two men were Baptist pastors
- Earl Jenkins of Buhl, Idaho, and William
Phillips of West Jordan, Utah.
Olson caught up with the men, explained
to them their trespassing violation and the
two understood, although they said they were
trying to get to a public state school trust
section of land.
Olson asked to see Phillips' license, which
was handed to him in the original Wyoming
Game and Fish Department envelope the
license was mailed in. The carcass coupon had
not been detached, signed or the harvest date
notched. Jenkins said he didn't have a deer
license, and both then proceeded to offer an
elaborate alibi about the crime.
Phillips said he wounded the deer but ran
out of bullets. To avoid the deer from escaping
and suffering a painful death, Jenkins killed it.
Jenkins was cited for taking a deer without
a license, Phillips for failure to tag a harvested
deer and both for trespassing. Olson seized
the deer and bags that contained hearts and
livers. He noticed one of the hearts was smaller
than the other. Phillips and Jenkins forfeited
bond and were released, but the case was just
getting started.
The meat from the deer was donated to
families in Uinta County, but Olson saved the

14 | March 2021	

A trespassing complaint from a landowner near Evanston led to the conviction of two men for poaching deer. (Adobe Stock Photo)

hearts and livers to give to a local veterinarian.
Two days later, the same landowner reported
he found a spoiled, field-dressed spike mule
deer less than 50 yards from where he originally
contacted Phillips and Jenkins.
Olson and Game Warden Bart Morris
suspected Phillips and Jenkins dumped the
carcass because when Olson responded to the
Oct. 1 call, he took a wrong turn to locate
the landowner and suspects. The landowner
saw that so he told Phillips and Jenkins to
follow him to eventually meet up with Olson.
After the landowner topped a hill, Phillips and
Jenkins quit following. When they didn't arrive
with the landowner, Olson retraced the route
and found the men waiting. They claimed

Phillips said he wounded the
deer but ran out of bullets. To
avoid the deer from escaping
and suffering a painful death,
Jenkins killed it.
their tailgate fell down and a deer fell out.
Olson realized on Oct. 3 Phillips and Jenkins
probably stopped to discard a deer, and also
remembered one of the confiscated deer hearts
being smaller than the other.
Morris delivered the deer hearts and tissue
samples from the discarded spike deer to


March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2021

From the Director
In this issue
A couple pennies
Opening shot
Ask Game and Fish
Project profiles
Case files
In the field
Tracking the rarest carnivores
Seeking the slam
A family matter
Getting kids outside
Wild country dispatch
March 2021 - Cover
March 2021 - From the Director
March 2021 - In this issue
March 2021 - A couple pennies
March 2021 - Mailbag
March 2021 - Opening shot
March 2021 - 7
March 2021 - News
March 2021 - 9
March 2021 - 10
March 2021 - 11
March 2021 - Ask Game and Fish
March 2021 - Project profiles
March 2021 - Case files
March 2021 - 15
March 2021 - In the field
March 2021 - 17
March 2021 - Tracking the rarest carnivores
March 2021 - 19
March 2021 - 20
March 2021 - 21
March 2021 - 22
March 2021 - 23
March 2021 - 24
March 2021 - 25
March 2021 - Seeking the slam
March 2021 - 27
March 2021 - 28
March 2021 - 29
March 2021 - 30
March 2021 - 31
March 2021 - A family matter
March 2021 - 33
March 2021 - 34
March 2021 - 35
March 2021 - 36
March 2021 - 37
March 2021 - Getting kids outside
March 2021 - 39
March 2021 - 40
March 2021 - 41
March 2021 - 42
March 2021 - 43
March 2021 - 44
March 2021 - 45
March 2021 - Wild country dispatch
March 2021 - 47
March 2021 - Backpage