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Eight juveniles have been connected to the alleged poaching of some two dozen deer in Tooele and Emery counties, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reports.

The incidents go back at least several weeks if not months, with four juveniles identified, some charges brought and additional charges anticipated in each of the counties, DWR officials say.

An estimated 15 to 20 mule deer — bucks, does and fawns — allegedly were killed in Emery County, in the vicinity of Orangeville, by one group of juveniles. DWR investigators said it appeared two of the suspects were responsible for most of the poaching there, with two more teens "involved to a lesser extent."

All the animals were left to rot where they died.

DWR said those cases have been referred to the Emery County Attorney's Office for screening of charges.

The Tooele County juveniles, meanwhile, are believed to have killed at least six deer over the past several months, including a mule deer buck on Jan. 7.

Two of those juveniles were arrested and booked on suspicion of class A misdemeanor counts of wanton destruction, and aiding and abetting in destruction of protected wildlife. They also face possible charges related to drug and alcohol possession, trespassing and firearms violations.

DWR officials said Thursday that more wildlife-related charges were expected in connection with other deer poaching going back several months.

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