Utah Authorities Investigating After Massive Bull Elk Poached, Left To Waste

by Jennifer Shea
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A Utah poacher recently killed and left to waste a hulking bull elk in Morgan County. So Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are now investigating the case.

The poacher shot the bull elk on private property near Mormon Flat on Oct. 9. He or she then left the carcass there to decay.

The bull elk was a 6 x 6 and trophy-worthy, according to a Friday news release obtained by Fox 13.  

DWR Officers Searching for Two Individuals

“Currently, there are no known suspects identified in the case,” DWR Conservation Officer Brandon Olson told Fox 13. “Investigating officers received information that the two individuals in the submitted photo may have been in the area at the time of the incident and may have valuable information pertinent to the case. We would like to get additional information from the two men, so if you recognize either of the individuals, please contact us.”

Anyone with knowledge about this case should contact Olson at (801) 541-3906. The DWR will agree to requests for confidentiality. Also, they are offering some rewards.

In general, there are multiple ways to report wildlife poaching in Utah. You can contact DWR conservation officers through the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337. Or text them at 847411. Online, you can reach out through the DWR website or the UTDWR Law Enforcement app.  

Utah conservation officers investigate hundreds to thousands of poaching cases a year. Last year, they uncovered more than 1,000 poached animals worth over $387,000.

Bull Elk Typically Live Alone or In Bachelor Groups

While cows, calves and yearlings tend to congregate in herds, bull elk usually live alone or in bachelor groups, according to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF).

The bull elk grow new antlers each year. They start out cloaked in velvet, which then peels off by late summer, and by September, the antlers are solid bone. Bull elk antlers can weigh as much as 40 pounds.

An average bull elk can weigh anywhere from 400 to 900 pounds, depending on its subspecies. They are typically about 8 feet long from nose to tail.

There are six subspecies of North American elk. The Rocky Mountain elk, whose population has expanded from the Rocky Mountain West to other areas, has the biggest antlers. The Roosevelt’s elk, found in the Coastal Pacific Northwest, boasts the most massive body size.

Then there’s also the Manitoban elk, which lives in the northern Great Plains. The Tule elk, found in Central California, has the most compact body size. The Merriam’s elk and the Eastern elk are, sadly, now extinct.

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