Ryan Hagin posed with the illegally killed buck. This photo, and others, posted on social media sites, helped officers in the investigation.

Three Colorado men have been fined and banned from hunting in Utah after a doe and buck were killed illegally last fall.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said Ostan Ware, Ryan Hagin and Kody Kean didn’t have proper permits for either animal. Officials say the men posted pictures of the dead deer online, and left the doe to rot.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) Conservation Officer TJ Robertson worked closely with Officer Elissa Knox of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to put together a solid case.

All three suspects pleaded guilty to Class A misdemeanor charges of Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife and/or Aiding and Assisting the Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife. The Seventh Judicial District Court of Grand County ordered all three violators to pay $1,000 each in fines and $800 restitution.

A tipster calling the state’s Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline reported the incident, which wardens say happened in November about three miles away from the Colorado border in Utah’s Book Cliffs.

Ware and Hagin were subsequently suspended for all big game hunting privileges for a period of 10 years in Utah and 37 other states participating in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. Kean received a 5-year suspension for his role in the violation.

Without the efforts of concerned sportsmen, this case and many others like it would go unnoticed. Utah Conservation Officers thank all the sportsmen who take the time to report observed or suspected violations.

The sportsman who reported this violation received a poaching-reported reward permit to hunt the Bookcliffs Limited Entry Deer Unit this year.