With 173 animals poached in six weeks, Division of Wildlife encourages public to report poachers

The UTiP hotline for reporting poachers is displayed on a vehicle.
Photos courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

It seems some Utahns have a bone to pick with Winnie the Pooh, and someone in Wasatch County had a score to settle with moose.

Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources said in a press release Sept. 12 that from Aug. 1 to Sept. 11, they were aware of 173 illegally killed animals in Utah.

“Conservation officers have contacted roughly 10,000 individuals and inspected the hunting and fishing licenses of 4,300 people,” according to the release. “During those interactions, the officers discovered 173 illegally killed animals.”

The release went on to explain that while most of the poached animals were fish, over 10 big game animals are included in the figure.

According to DWR Capt. Chad Bettridge, two moose, nine deer and five bears fell victim to poachers. When asked about where the animals were taken, Bettridge wasn’t able to publicly discuss many details, but he did say one moose was killed in Wasatch County, and several fish have been illegally caught in the Strawberry Reservoir.

A moose in Wasatch County was among the big game animals poached in Utah over the past couple of week.

“Hunters need to take responsibility for knowing the law, having a current hunting or combination license and also knowing what species and areas their permits allow them to hunt,” Bettridge said.

The statement also included steps Utahns can take to help combat poaching — record a license plate number, don’t confront the individual, and report the information.

“While reporting a wildlife violation in a Facebook message will eventually get to a conservation officer, it is much more efficient and effective to use the proper channels,” the agency said.

Officers can be reached at 847411, the 24/7 Utah-turn-in-a-Poacher hotline is available at 1-800-662-3337, or tips can be submitted through DWR’s website or law enforcement app.

While an individual can also directly contact the police if they’ve witnessed poaching, DWR officials said they shouldn’t “unless you are absolutely sure you have witnessed a poaching violation, you can’t find the UtiP number and you feel the incident must be reported immediately.”

If you don’t have cell service but do have a license plate number, Bettridge said, “it’s totally fine to wait and report the incident when you get better cell service.”

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