Each state has its own jurisdiction for the hunting season.
Hunters are responsible for following the guidelines in place. This means only hunting with a license, tagging animals, and making sure to only hunt animals that are in season.
These are just a few of the general rules in the hunting world, however, several hunters and individuals in Utah clearly chose to break these guidelines. This is why in the headlines there are constant reports of poachers being sought by authorities.
In 2020, there were plenty of accounts of these illegal hunting sessions taking place. One of the most popular in the media was when a rare and spiritually-significant moose in Canada was killed, despite laws in place to protect it.
Then, in December, authorities were on the lookout for the person who illegally killed a grizzly bear in Wyoming.
Utah Number of Illegal Wildlife Kills
Now, states are beginning to tally up the number of wildlife that has been killed illegally in their state. For Utah, the number is 1,056.
According to EIN Presswire, the number is slightly lower than it was in 2019 when there were 1,080 animals taken illegally. The total combined value of the wildlife taken is more than $379,000.
The number of citations is 733. This is an increase from 499 in 2019. There were 35 people who had their hunting and fishing licenses suspended.
“Each animal that is illegally killed in our state is one less animal for legal hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and everyday citizens to enjoy. Poachers steal our ability to enjoy Utah’s wildlife,” Division of Wildlife Resources Captain Wyatt Bubak said.
Hunting Mistakes, Avoiding Illegal Behavior
Wildlife officials ask for people to be cautious of any suspicious behavior they notice while hunting or if they have information regarding illegal activity.
Some wildlife violations are accidental. Make sure to stay educated on the laws and guidelines in place for your state. There are resources online that detail the exact guidelines in place for your state. Here is Utah’s guidebook, for example.
There are common mistakes hunters make that may be innocent.
For example, trespassing on private land can often happen by accident. Private land may not have signs or markings, so a person may accidentally stumble on it and end up guilty. Also, some hunters may be unaware of sunrise and sunset times. However, these times are strict and hunters must follow them in accordance with the season.
Hunters must also always use their own licenses. Transferring it to others is illegal. Always drive on established roads and stop at all check stations. Shooting from a pick-up truck is illegal.
Also proper tagging of animals is important, as is wearing the very attractive shade of orange from the waist up.
H/T: Havre Daily News