Due to clerical errors, the number of poaching incidents, citations issued and monetary value of the animals was slightly lower in the initial version of this news release. Those numbers have all been updated to reflect the accurate totals.
The number of illegally poached animals was actually slightly higher than in 2019 — the previous version said the number was slightly lower than the previous year.
1,079 wildlife illegally killed in Utah in 2020
Salt Lake City — The total number of wild animals taken illegally in Utah in 2020 was slightly higher than the number taken in 2019, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers report.
In 2020, a total of 1,079 animals were killed illegally in the state. In 2019, a total of 1,065 animals were taken.
The total combined value of the wildlife illegally killed in 2020 was more than $387,000. In 2019, the total value was more than $384,802.
The total number of citations also increased from 3,552 in 2019 to 4,762 in 2020. The overall number of violations detected by DWR conservation officers last year (this includes citations for unlawful take and wanton destruction) was 6,085, compared to 4,773 violations in 2019.
A total of 35 people had their hunting or fishing privileges suspended in Utah in 2020, compared to 84 in 2019. Utah is a member state of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. License suspensions in Utah are recognized in all the other states in the U.S., except Hawaii.
"Each animal that is illegally killed in our state is one less animal for legal hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and everyday citizens to enjoy," DWR Capt. Wyatt Bubak said. "Poachers steal our ability to enjoy Utah's wildlife."
Residents are encouraged to report suspicious hunting activity. You can call the UTiP hotline — 1-800-662-DEER (3337) — which is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or report the activity online on the DWR website.
If you witness a possible violation, and you can't remember the hotline number, do a quick internet search on your phone or look at your hunting or fishing license — the number is printed on it.
"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."
Not all wildlife violations are committed intentionally. To learn about common illegal hunting mistakes, visit the DWR website.