Law enforcement

Help Stop Poaching Hotline information

By Sergeant Tony Wood

Our Help Stop Poaching trailer is a popular feature at sportsman events.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources was one of the first wildlife agencies in the country to institute a toll-free wildlife violation report telephone line. Started in 1981, the Help Stop Poaching Hotline allows the public to report wildlife violations directly to Wildlife Resources law enforcement personnel.

You can report wildlife crimes by calling 1-800-662-3337. Most wireless phone users may now dial *DEER to reach us toll free. The hotline is staffed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by citizen volunteers who wish to assist with Utah's anti-poaching effort. You may also report wildlife crimes on our website.

Over the past 30 years, countless wildlife violators have been apprehended and prosecuted as a result of complaints received from concerned citizens. Hundreds of wildlife investigations are initiated by calls placed to the Help Stop Poaching Hotline each year. This number represents nearly one-third of the total investigations completed by DWR officers annually.

The complaints received vary from juveniles illegally killing songbirds to anonymous callers reporting cases involving multiple felony counts of wanton destruction of protected wildlife (poaching).

Cases initiated through the Help Stop Poaching Hotline in 2002

Deer 411   Bear 14
Elk 169 Ducks 64
Bobcat 60 Antelope 18
Moose 19 Turkey 10

Cases initiated through the Help Stop Poaching Hotline are a high priority with DWR law enforcement. There are only 44 field officers throughout the state and their patrol districts average more than 2,000 square miles. As you can see, cooperation and assistance from the public is critical to the success of the DWR's law enforcement efforts.

In 2002, DWR conservation officers documented the illegal killing of 1,385 fish and 1,125 animals. In 2002, the total value of wildlife lost to poachers in Utah was more than $645,000.

While you're out enjoying Utah's great outdoors, DWR conservation officers urge you to report any information you come across about a known or suspected wildlife violation. Record as much of the following information as possible, and call the Help Stop Poaching Hotline immediately:

  • Date, time and location of the violation
  • License plate number of the suspect's vehicle and its direction of travel
  • Vehicle description, including identifying features, dents, stickers, etc.
  • Description of the person(s) involved
  • Details of the violation
  • Statements of the violators, if overheard

Do not attempt to intercede in a violation or to detain those responsible. Be safe, and be a good witness!