SALT LAKE CITY — An Duchesne County man has been charged with shooting a deer in an area closed to hunting.

Gunshots were reported at Camp Williams the night of Oct. 24, 2011. A military sergeant responded to the gunshots and found a headless mule deer carcass, according to charges filed Wednesday in the 3rd District Court.

The sergeant believed the carcass was that of a mule deer nicknamed "the Rabbi" because of its "very large and uniquely shaped antlers" that measured 37 inches, making it a trophy deer, according to prosecutors. The antlers were valued at $8,000.

Nearly a month later, authorities received an anonymous tip that a set of antlers resembling those of the Rabbi were at a Sandy taxidermy shop. Officers questioned the taxidermist, confirmed the antlers were from the Rabbi, and determined who had brought in the deer head, the charges state.

Stephen Dick Rueckert, 46, of Altamont, was questioned and told investigators he knew he was not allowed to hunt at Camp Williams, the charges state.

"That's my deer; I killed that deer," he allegedly told investigators.

Reuckert was charged with wanton destruction of protected wildlife, a third-degree felony.

Email:hschwarz@desnews.com

Photo courtesy: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources