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Arizona guide claimed Utah residency to illegally draw coveted desert bighorn tag


Larry Altimus with his illegal desert bighorn ram from Utah
Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Kanab, Utah is desert bighorn sheep country – a big game animal that hunters can only hope to draw a tag for after years of applying and collecting bonus points in an attempt to improve their odds. Larry Altimus, a well-known hunting guide, understood his odds as well as anyone could. In fact, after 21 unsuccessful tries, Altimus drew the coveted tag in 2014; however, a jury recently convicted him of pretending to be a Utah resident just to get the once-in-a-lifetime trophy, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

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

Altimus, who had amassed 21 bonus points as a nonresident applicant, rented a house in Kanab, Utah and applied as a Utah resident for the 2014 tag. Investigators determined that he purposely waited out the six-month residency requirement before applying for the tag and his actions (such as obtaining a Utah driver’s license and temporarily moving into the rental) were intentional. He did it to get the desert bighorn sheep tag (and trophy as Altimus was successful during the hunt).

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According to The Salt Lake Tribune, in 2014, there were 5,174 Utah hunters after one of the 35 resident desert bighorn tags; 7,184 nonresidents were after three.

“But if he claimed residency in Utah, he knew he had a good chance of drawing a permit reserved for Utah residents,” said Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) director Mike Fowlks.

However, Stott says that Utah law strictly prohibits hunters from relocating temporarily to claim residency for hunting tags. Altimus runs Hunter Application Service, an Arizona-based company that guides hunters to big game animals and specifically offers help in “obtaining sought-after tags,” The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Stott says that Altimus knew what he was doing.

Altimus was found guilty by a jury for wanton destruction of wildlife, which is a third-degree felony. He was ordered to pay UDWR $30,000 in restitution. While the judge sentenced him to three years of probation, UDWR has filed a petition to “revoke Altimus’ hunting privileges for 10 years in the states participating in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

UDWR has confiscated the ram trophy.  


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Nicholas S. - posted 1 year ago on 02-05-2018 08:00:40 am
North Dakota

Thanks Brady. GoHUNT gets a lot of traffic and I hate to see this guy benefit from his outfitter service being listed on a website I support.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 02-02-2018 09:10:33 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Nicholas. We list every registered outfitter on that Outfitter Directory. Outfitters we work closely with are listed as Business Members in that directory. Altimus was not a Business Member, but we will be lifting his information from the full outfitter directory once everything is finalized and we see a report that his guide/outfitter license has been fully revoked.

Nicholas S. - posted 1 year ago on 01-31-2018 07:48:16 pm
North Dakota

Based on this article, Altimus has been found guilty. Is goHUNT going to step up and pull him from their outfitter directory?

Mark S. - posted 1 year ago on 01-31-2018 07:31:16 pm

Seth D., Gray's ram was taken an UNLIMITED tag, so either residents or Non residents can purchase the tag and the season closes when the quota is filled within each hunt area. The move to Montana (by Gray and the WSF) would have done nothing for him on the Unlimited Hunt.

SETH D. - posted 1 year ago on 01-30-2018 04:53:51 am
Sunny New Mexico


The word on the street is that he did not actually live there, but he just rented an apartment there. Kind of an expensive little way to trick the system.

Martin B. - posted 1 year ago on 01-29-2018 09:07:08 pm

If he fulfilled the letter of the law on residency requirements it's difficult for me to understand how his intent had anything to do with it from an ethical standpoint. Perhaps there is more to the story, but to me this is a long way from black and white.

SETH D. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 08:33:06 pm
Sunny New Mexico


Is there more information on how long he lived there? I am with Cory, now that I have re-read this a couple of times.

I move a lot for work. I don't need the same kind of problems.

SETH D. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 08:22:31 pm
Sunny New Mexico

I honestly believe that is why Thornton moved Wild Sheep from Wyoming to Montana so he could draw a tag in Montana as a resident. Not 100% on that, but I don't understand that move either. Who cares as long as you are legal. Altimus wasn't legal.

David W. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 04:30:27 pm
Onalaska, WI

Tags for sheep are so hard to come by yet people do this to cheat others, what about the guy that WOULD have drawn this tag if this thief did not take it away? Maybe that was you?
I got a better idea let's enact a "convicted poacher season"... there seems to be plenty of them to go around with NO closed season, NO weapons restrictions, NO orange, NO Bag Limits, and NO rules needed! That put an end to this BS.

Cory T. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 01:07:42 pm

I'm a little confused. Did Larry live in the Utah rental for 6 months? If so, I don't understand the difference between someone moving to Idaho for X time frame to get residency, turning around and buying a lifetime hunting license and then moving back out of state. This is all irrelevant if Larry rented out an apartment, but didn't live in it for 6 months.

SETH D. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 11:27:28 am
Sunny New Mexico

He is only the second ass hat celebrity hunter to get nailed in a month. I bet we see more.

How many people get away with this ever year?

I have noticed a correlation between "hunting guide of the year" awards at conventions and a soon to be Game and Fish violation. Remember BJ Coy?

Gary H. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 09:41:14 am

This is a rampant problem. Know that. This guy is one of the few who get caught doing this. I bet you if the states dug into it enough they would prosecute 100's of people over the past years who have cheated the system just like him.

I'm glad they busted him.

Doug P. - posted 2 years ago on 01-25-2018 09:34:02 am
Midway, UT

Awesome, although 10 years is a slap in the face to all those having over 10 Sheep points.