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Deer poaching more common in snowy, winter months



By Sun Advocate

Poachers took the head of this buck deer and left the rest of the animal to waste in the Hogan’s Pass area in southeastern Sevier County. Division of Wildlife Resources officers are looking for leads in the case.

Utah’s general season big game hunts are over, but conservation officers with the Division of Wildlife Resources are still busy protecting the state’s wildlife populations.
With the start of the mule deer breeding season, and recent fall snows, large deer are more accessible and vulnerable to poaching activity.
In November, DWR officers investigated 154 reported poaching violations.
The following incidents resulted in the detainment of the accused parties:
•Two Utah County men spent the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day searching for a trophy deer in the Cedar Fort area.
Between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. they located the animal in a field near the mouth of Ophir Canyon.
One of the men shot the deer while the other held a spotlight.
The animal’s head was removed, and the carcass was abandoned.
Both men were arrested and are now subject to felony level charges of wanton destruction of protected wildlife.
•Felony charges are pending for a Duchesne County man who shot and killed a trophy mule deer south of Myton on Nov. 19.
The man, a licensed bowhunter, illegally shot the animal with a rifle when he was unable to get within effective archery range to shoot the deer.
DWR Officer Chad Bettridge responded to the incident after a concerned sportsman called the Help Stop Poaching Hotline.
•On Nov. 18, DWR Officer Shawn Bagley was called to investigate a reported deer poaching near the mouth of American Fork Canyon.
He arrived to find two juvenile suspects being detained by a witness.
The young men had shot a deer while target practicing in the area.
With districts that average more than 2,000 square miles in size, the DWR’s 42 district conservation officers depend heavily upon the public to help solve deer poaching cases in the area.
A recent poaching in southeastern Sevier County is still under investigation.
State wildlife officers located the headless carcass in the Hogan’s Pass area after receiving a tip on Nov. 25.
DWR officers request that anyone with information regarding this, or any other poaching incident, contact the Help Stop Poaching Hotline at 800-662-DEER.
Informants may remain confidential, and rewards are available.

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