Officials of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have been fighting an increase in hunting permit fraud in recent years. Since 2017, the DWR has investigated over 95 cases of permit fraud. Typically these cases include someone lying to increase their chances of getting a permit.

Two of the most common fraud cases are when a nonresident hunter claims to be a resident to increase their odds of drawing a coveted permit. The DWR has also seen this same scenario play out because the nonresident hunter was trying to get a permit at a cheaper price.

Once in a Lifetime Fraud

The large majority of these fraud cases happen when once-in-a-lifetime (OIL) permits are involved. These permits are extremely hard to draw even for residents of the state. some applicants may never draw their permit. As a result, some nonresidents feel pressure to commit permit fraud to increase their odds by claiming they are a resident of the state.

“In 2020, a California resident illegally obtained a Utah resident permit and harvested a bighorn sheep in Millard County. The individual had applied for this particular permit as a Utah resident for several years. However, [the individual was] fraudulently obtaining bonus points until successfully drawing the permit. DWR investigators received a tip about the fraudulent permit, which resulted in the successful prosecution of the individual. The individual was charged with a third-degree felony and ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution. The bighorn sheep was seized from a residence in California.” – DWR Statewide Investigations Capt. Wade Hovinga

The Utah DWR says that people who commit permit fraud can be charged criminally. People found guilty of these acts can be charged anywhere from a class B misdemeanor to a third-degree felony.

The Utah DWR says that these fraudulently obtained permits hurt hunters who are doing things the right way. Likewise, they ask that hunters report any possible fraud cases to them.

Contacting the Utah DWR

The Utah DWR has several ways for you to report poaching and fraud, below we will list the options you have.

  • Calling the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337.
  • By texting 847411.
  • Submitting a tip online through the DWR website which can be found by clicking here.
  • Using the UTDWR Law Enforcement app.

The Utah DWR has given out rewards in the past for information that leads to an arrest. These rewards can be either monetary or reward permits and sometimes both can be given as a reward.

You can read more about Utah hunting news by clicking here. You can also read more about hunting overall by checking out our Hunt 101 page. That page can be found by clicking here.

So, what are your thoughts on these permit fraud cases? Have you ever helped catch someone committing fraud? Let us know in the comments!

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