CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

DWR reports 173 illegally killed wildlife since Aug. 1

Sep 12, 2023, 7:00 PM | Updated: Sep 13, 2023, 11:40 am

Image of a truck belonging to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, which reports that 173 wild ...

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says 173 wild animals have been illegally killed around the state since Aug. 1. Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced Tuesday that 173 animals have been killed illegally across Utah since Aug. 1.

According to a news release from the DWR, most of the wildlife killings were fish. However, the DWR says there have been 15 big game animals poached in the last six weeks.

Illegally killed wildlife

The findings were the direct result of work done by DWR conservation officers. According to the release, the officers contacted roughly 10,000 individuals and inspected the fishing and hunting licenses of 4,300 individuals. 

During the six-week period, officers issued 500 citations. There are other violations that will be investigated before wildlife officials turn them over to the court system, according to the news release. 

“Hunters need to take responsibility for knowing the law,” said DWR Cpt. Chad Bettridge in a statement.

That responsibility includes “having a current hunting or combination license and also knowing what species and areas their permits allow them to hunt before they go out into the field.”

The DWR said that, typically, hunting violations can happen at any time during the year. However, they say there is usually an increase in violations during the fall hunting seasons.

What to do if you witness a hunting violation

  • Get a license plate number.
    • The DWR said a license plate number is the most critical piece of information you can deliver to authorities.
  • Don’t confront the individual.
    • Keep your distance, while taking note of as many details as you can.
  • Report the information to the DWR.
    • Text officers at 847411
    • Call the Utah Poacher Hotline at 1-800-662-3377. (The DWR says this is the fastest way to report a hunting violation.)
    • Use the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Law Enforcement app.
    • Report online through the DWR website

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DWR reports 173 illegally killed wildlife since Aug. 1