258 animals have been poached in Utah since August 1st. Utah wildlife officers are pleading with people to report wildlife violations and poachers. Officials have seen an uptick in cases this fall. As of October 6th, the Utah Division of Wildlife has discovered 258 illegally killed animals. The animals include deer, elk & moose. Likewise, Officials have also found pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and fish that were all illegally taken.

Wildlife officials recently started a push to check more on people using the outdoors. As a result, officers have discovered 1,147 violations during the above mentioned time span. Consequently, officials have written 857 citations as a part of the push. During the recent push to check people over 20,000 people were contacted and 10,000 hunting licenses were checked.

Last month a trophy mule deer was taken within Magna city limits. The buck was killed with a small-caliber rifle while no rifle hunters were taking place. Officers also determined that the buck was most likely shot from the nearby highway. Due to the large size of this buck, the perpetrator could be charged with a felony.

Poached buck

Poaching & Reporting Wildlife Violations

Perpetrators of wildlife crimes can face a wide array of consequences. Some may face large monetary fines. Others may face losing hunting privileges and jail time. People who commit more heinous wildlife crimes can face a combination of all three.

“Hunters need to take the responsibility of knowing the law. By having a current hunting or combination license, and knowing what species and areas their permits allow them to hunt.” – Utah DWR Lt. Chad Bettridge

Utah DWR officials would like to remind people that they can turn in poachers in the following ways.

  1. Call the UTiP poaching hotline at 1-800-662-3337.
  2. Report the incident via the DWR Poaching website. However, the hotline we get you a much faster response.
  3. If you are sure what you are seeing is an active poaching case or public safety concern you can also call 911 or an active dispatch number.
  4. The DWR also recommends should not confront a possible violator. Instead, they recommend that you observe and get as many details as possible. That includes getting a license plate number of a vehicle they might be driving. License plates have lead to a number of convictions after the fact.

What are your thoughts on 258 animals being poached in Utah? Do you have an idea that would help combat poaching? Let us know in the comments!

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