Posted August 31, 2012, 1:12 pm
With hunting seasons underway, officers need your help
You might not know it, but you're the key to fighting poaching in Utah.
A call to Utah's poaching hotline helped DWR officers bust a major poaching ring in central Utah in 2010. Officers show some of the antlers they confiscated.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources photo
"You're crucial to our law enforcement efforts," says Captain Rick Olson with the Division of Wildlife Resources. "We need your eyes, your help and your support.
"We need your help to protect your wildlife."
Olson says DWR officers catch plenty of wildlife violators on their own. But many more violators—including many who commit serious wildlife crimes—are caught because someone was watching and called the DWR.
With many of Utah's hunting seasons underway, Olson says it's vital that you report any suspicious activity you see. You can report this activity the following ways:
Witnessing a violation
What to look for
If you see anything that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary—such as a person raising a gun to shoot something and then lowering the gun as soon as he or she notices you—let the DWR know.
"Please call us," Olson says. "Even if what you saw doesn't look like a big deal to you, let us know about it. Some of our most significant cases started when someone called us with a small tip that led us to more information."
If you see something suspicious or out of the ordinary, Olson says you shouldn't confront the person who is committing the violation. Instead, contact the DWR immediately.
Be a good witness
A license plate number is the most important piece of information you can give to officers. Olson says callers often provide only the color of the suspect's vehicle. "That's good information to have," Olson says, "but what we really need is a license plate number."
A description of the person and the location where the incident is occurring are also crucial. "If you have a GPS unit with you," Olson says, "give us the coordinates. GPS coordinates are really helpful in getting us to the right scene as quick as possible."
"Officers on patrol" Web page
Visiting the "Officers on patrol" Web page is a great way to learn about some of Utah's most recent poaching arrests and to stay current on poaching cases DWR officers need your help with.
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