Poaching animals in Utah: The numbers are in for 2020

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) –Animal poaching in 2020 was slightly down compared to the number poaching numbers of 2019. New numbers illustrate how much wildlife in Utah fell victim to illegal hunting.

Conservation officers report that 1,056 animals were killed in Utah, less than the 1080 animals taken in 2019.

“Each animal that is illegally killed in our state is one less animal for legal hunters, wildlife enthusiasts, and everyday citizens to enjoy,” Division of Wildlife Resources Capt. Wyatt Bubak said. “Poachers steal our ability to enjoy Utah’s wildlife.”

There is a value that is assigned to the slain animals. It is used as a cost analysis. The combined value of the wildlife illegally killed in 2020 was more than $379,000. In 2019 the value was more than $406,000.

One interesting number is that even though poaching went down in 2020, the number of people cited for the crime increased. Citations for the unlawful take and wanton destruction increased to 773 citations in 2020 from 499 in 2019.

Combined citations for the two acts given by Conversation officers last year was 4,760.

35 people had their hunting and fishing privileges suspended in 2020. Utah is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. If your license is suspended here, the suspension stands in every state except Hawaii.

In a release sent to ABC4, the Division of Wildlife Resources says, “Residents are encouraged to report suspicious hunting activity. You can call the UTiP hotline — 1-800-662-DEER (3337) — which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Suspicious hunting activity can also be reported online on the DWR website. 

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.”

“We need your help,” Bubak said. “Please keep your eyes and ears open and report suspicious activity to us. Working together, we can enforce wildlife laws and also keep those recreating outdoors safe.”

DWR also reminds us that not every wildlife violation is committed intentionally, and you can learn more about common hunting mistakes on the DWR website.

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