Hunters are First Line of Defense in Stopping Poaching

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In addition to being observant, what’s the best thing you can do to fight poaching?

Get a license plate number for the vehicle the suspect is driving, says Trevor Doman, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer.

“That’s the critical thing we need,” Doman says. “Having a license plate number will lead us to the individual so we can interview the person and start investigating.”Please keep your eyes and ears open, and report suspicious activity to us. Working together, we can keep wildlife in Utah safe.”

While wildlife violations can happen any time of the year, a spike typically occurs during the fall hunting seasons. Here are some tips to help you get officers the information they need:

  • Get a license plate number – As mentioned, a license plate number is the most critical piece of information you can provide. If you’re not able to get a license plate number, please provide the officer with as much information as you can. “The type and color of the vehicle the person was driving, how many people were involved and a description of what you saw are really helpful,” Doman says. “And, if you can give us a GPS coordinate, that can guide us quickly to the area where the possible violation occurred.”
  • Don’t confront the individual – Don’t confront someone who might be committing a violation. “Stay out of harm’s way,” Doman says. “Report what you saw, and let us contact them.”
  • Call the poacher tip hotline – Go to the website of your state wildlife agency before you leave on your hunting trip and place the poacher tip hotline in your phone so you’ll have it when you are in the field. In Utah, that number is 1-800-662-3337.

Find more information here.

(Photo source: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)