Utah (ABC News) — Hunting season is in full swing in Utah, including the general-season deer hunt, arguably the state’s most popular hunt that starts Oct. 17, 2020.
Officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, DWR, are hard at work patrolling the state to protect wildlife and make sure hunters are obeying the laws.
From Aug. 1 to Oct. 4, conservation officers reported receiving 423 calls to the Utah Turn-in-a-Poacher (UTiP) hotline, and contacted 22,873 individuals and inspected the hunting licenses of 9,271 people.
During those interactions, the officers say they detected 1,147 violations and discovered 258 illegally killed animals, including deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and fish, of the animals killed, 83 were big game species. During that time frame, officers issued 857 citations, and they will continue to investigate other violations and turn them over to the court system, officers added.
“Hunters need to take the responsibility of knowing the law, having a current hunting or combination license and knowing what species and areas their permits allow them to hunt,” DWR Lt. Chad Bettridge said.
DWR officials say wildlife violations happen all throughout the year, with spikes typically occurring during the fall hunting seasons.
If you’d like to help in the fight against illegal hunting in Utah, the DWR lists the following on what you should do:
Get a license plate number:
If you see someone who is potentially breaking Utah’s wildlife laws, getting a license plate number is the most critical piece of information you can provide to conservation officers. If you’re not able to get a license plate number, provide the officer with as much information as you can.
Don’t confront the individual:
Don’t confront someone who might be committing a violation, just observe from a distance and take note of as many details as you can.
Call the UTiP hotline to report suspicious activity
Calling the UTiP hotline is the best way to get information to officers. The hotline — 1-800-662-DEER (3337) — is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you witness a possible violation, and you can’t remember the hotline number, do a quick internet search on your phone or look at your hunting or fishing license — the number is printed on it.
Don’t call UTiP for information
Please remember that the UTiP hotline is not an information line. Only call it to report possible poaching and other wildlife-related crimes.