Utah wildlife officers seek leads on deer poaching spree

It is illegal in Utah to allow protected wildlife to be wasted, and can result in a class B misdemeanor

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Officials from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (Utah DWR) are on the hunt for clues after four buck deer were found poached and wasted in Utah County during the fall hunting season last year.

The illegal killings, believed to be interconnected, occurred in the Woodland Hills vicinity between October and November 2023, with the culprits removing the animals’ heads and abandoning the carcasses.

Evidence suggests a rifle was unlawfully used in at least one instance, during a period when only muzzleloader hunting was permitted, and in a location where hunting is banned.

Daniel Clancy, a DWR conservation officer, emphasized the loss these actions represent to ethical hunters and the ecosystem.

“Individuals who unlawfully kill big game animals and other wildlife are stealing opportunities from those who might otherwise harvest the animal lawfully in the future and who need the meat,” Clancy said. “We had some leads at the time we began investigating these incidents, but those have not yielded results. So we are asking for the public’s help in providing any information about these four poaching incidents.”

It is illegal to allow protected wildlife to be wasted, and can result in a class B misdemeanor.

Tips can be reported through various channels, including the UTiP Hotline at (800) 662-3337, by texting 847411, and via the UTDWR Law Enforcement app.

Those with information regarding this specific case, can contact Officer Clancy directly at 385-289-4023. Informants may be eligible for a reward and can request anonymity.

This year alone, Utah DWR confirmed 1,056 wildlife poaching incidents in 2023, costing the state $619,000.

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