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Officials monitor elk poaching and hunting activity more heavily

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Oct. 8, 2011 at 6:45 p.m.


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HUNTSVILLE -- country this weekend meant dealing with plenty of snow. But whoever said elk hunting was easy?

But for those who don't keep the rules, officers are making efforts to crack down on poaching cases. It's something they've always done, but this year, they're going to pay close attention to winter ranges -where animals kind of hang out for the winter.

They say most hunters, like the Scovilles, do it right and follow the laws. But a few don't and they can ruin it for everyone. Even in the snow, slop, and mud the Scovilles were going to have a good time. After a long day with his buddies, and his son, out hunting along the Wasatch Range on the first day of elk season, nothing can get him down.

"The kids have a blast. This is his third year coming out there, and he's 10 now. Last year, we took him out for two weeks, and he absolutely loved it," said Noel Scoville of Layton.

David Beveridge loves being out here, too, but his main focus wasn't on the elk: it was on those who don't follow the laws. He's an officer with the Division of Wildlife Resources and he's checking hunting tags, licenses, and making sure everyone was safe.

"A lot of times, they're happy to see us, because they know we're out here preventing that loss of opportunity when someone poaches," Beveridge said.

Poaching -when someone hunts and kills an animal without the proper paperwork to do so -- continues to be an issue in Utah.

"When a person poaches, they're stealing opportunity from other hunters, and even people that don't hunt --viewing opportunities," said Beveridge.

In some poaching cases, the animals are just left to die. For the poacher, it was more of a thrill to track and shoot them than to actually hunt them for meat. Beveridge wants to stop that from happening, so those who do follow the laws can continue to have a good time.

acabrero@ksl.com

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