Elk NetworkUtah Seeks to Solve Elk, Mule Deer Poaching Cases

General , Poaching | November 3, 2023

Below is a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. For 2023-2025, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) conservation officers are seeking the public’s help in getting information about two unrelated cases in southern Utah where a deer and an elk were killed and left to waste.

The first incident occurred sometime in September in Henrieville, Garfield County. A landowner contacted a conservation officer to report a 6×6 bull elk that they had found dead on the edge of their hay field. When the officer responded to the scene, he located the elk and discovered that it had two wounds believed to be caused by arrows.

The elk was last seen alive in the area on Sept. 4 near the town of Henrieville, and investigators believe that, due to the decomposition of the carcass when it was found, the elk died sometime that week. There was a limited-entry archery hunt taking place at the time the elk was killed. However, due to the location of where the animal was found and the location of the wound, officers believe the animal was killed and left to waste, rather than the hunter being unable to find the animal after shooting it.

The second incident took place during October near Glendale, Kane County. A concerned hunter contacted the DWR on Oct. 21 to report that a 3×4 trophy buck deer had been killed and left to waste on the Glendale Bench, south of the Bald Knoll Waterline Road near Glendale.

A DWR conservation officer responded the next day and located the deer. Upon further investigation, the officer discovered that the deer had been killed by a single gunshot wound and likely died close to where it was shot (due to the location of the wound.) Investigators believe the deer died within two days of being discovered, due to the decomposition of the carcass.

It is illegal to allow protected wildlife to be wasted and can result in a class B misdemeanor.

Anyone with information regarding either of these two cases, or any other wildlife-related crimes in Utah, is encouraged to report it to DWR conservation officers in one of the following ways:

  • By calling the UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337
  • The UTDWR Law Enforcement app
  • By texting 847411
  • Online through the DWR website; however, contact with an officer may be limited with this option

If you have information regarding these two specific incidents, you can also contact DWR Officer Wyatt Mecham at 801-386-1363. A reward may be available for information leading to the successful prosecution of those responsible, and requests for confidentiality are respected.

Every year, Utah conservation officers conduct numerous investigations into the illegal killing of wildlife. In 2022, officers confirmed a total of 1,283 wild animals and fish were illegally killed, valued over $609,000.

Officer Wyatt Mecham

(Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)