LOCAL NEWS

Poaching in Utah: 319 wildlife illegally killed since Aug. 1

Sep 26, 2022, 4:21 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY — As we enter fall hunting season, the Division of Wildlife Resources released poaching numbers and reminded the public how to fight poaching in Utah.

“During this fall’s hunts, conservation officers have contacted roughly 13,700 individuals and inspected the hunting licenses of 4,347 people from Aug. 1 to Sept. 23. During those interactions, the officers discovered 319 illegally killed animals, including big game animals, fish, waterfowl and furbearer species. Of the animals killed, 39 were big game species.”

During that time, officers issued 569 citations. They continue to investigate other additional violations which will be turned over to the court system.

“Hunters need to take the responsibility of knowing the law, having a current hunting or combination license and knowing what species and areas their permits allow them to hunt before they go out into the field,” DWR Lt.. Chad Bettridge said.

From Aug. 1 to Sept. 23, DWR officers also received 240 tips through their reporting tools. Since there are only 53 DWR officers patrolling all of Utah, they can’t be everywhere.

“We need your help,” Bettridge said. “Please keep your eyes and ears open and report suspicious activity to us. Working together, we can enforce wildlife laws, which help with wildlife conservation and maintaining healthy populations, and also keep our recreating public safe.”

Here’s what you can do to help:

Get a license plate number

“Having a license plate number will lead us to the individual, so we can interview the person and start investigating,” Bettridge said. “Other helpful details include the type and color of the vehicle the person was driving, how many people were involved and a description of what you saw. “And, if you can give us a GPS coordinate, that can guide us quickly to the area where the possible violation occurred.”

If you can’t get a license plate number, try to gather or write down as much information about the person and vehicle that you can.

Don’t confront the individual

“We don’t want anyone to be put in harm’s way or to be in a situation that makes them uncomfortable,” Bettridge said. “Report what you saw, and let us contact them.”

Report the incident to DWR using their reporting tools

  • Call the Utah Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline at 1-800-662-3337. (The UTiP hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is the quickest way to report a wildlife violation. The number is printed on your hunting and fishing licenses.)
  • Use the UTDWR Law Enforcement app
  • Text officers at 847411
  • Report online through the DWR website
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Poaching in Utah: 319 wildlife illegally killed since Aug. 1