According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the number of animals poached in Utah in 2020 was slightly lower than in 2019.
In 2020, people illegally killed a total of 1,056 animals in the state. The year before, a total of 1,080 big game animals were poached.
The wildlife that people illegally killed in 2020 totaled more than $379,000. As for 2019, the total value was more than $406,500.
“While the total number of animals illegally taken dropped a bit in 2020, the total number of citations for unlawful take and wanton destruction actually increased, from 499 citations issued in 2019 to 773 citations in 2020,” the Utah DWR stated.
In 2020, the number of poachings detected, including citations for unlawful taking and wanton destruction, was 4,760. However, in contrast, in 2019, there were 3,525 violations. In 2020, 35 people had their hunting or fishing privileges suspended in Utah, compared to 84 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,” Capt. Wyatt Bubak of the Utah DWR said. “Poachers steal our ability to enjoy Utah’s wildlife.”
“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.”
Department Rewards Hunters With Cash To Catch Poachers
According to the department’s website, once convicted of illegally killing protected wildlife, a person must often make restitution payments. These payments go into the DWR’s “Help Stop Poaching Fund,” which rewards hunters with cash if they catch poachers.
After the department determines that the poaching was intentional, they may lose their right to hunt and fish in Utah and other states.
As a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, Utah agreed with other states to honor decisions to deny licenses to poachers. The only state not involved in the agreement is Hawaii.