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Conservation officers seek info on deer, bull elk illegally killed in Utah

The carcass of a branch-antlered bull elk found at the Indian Peaks Wildlife Management Area in Beaver County on Oct. 21, 2022. State conservation officers are seeking the public's help identifying who illegally killed the animal.

The carcass of a branch-antlered bull elk found at the Indian Peaks Wildlife Management Area in Beaver County on Oct. 21, 2022. State conservation officers are seeking the public's help identifying who illegally killed the animal. (Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)


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BEAVER — State wildlife conservation officers are looking for the public's help as they investigate a pair of big game animals that were illegally killed in Beaver County during the middle of the 2022 hunting season.

The first case was recorded on Oct. 8. A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer found the carcass of a deer fawn in the Big John's Flat area, about 20 miles northeast of Beaver. The deer had been shot and killed at a time there were no legal hunts allowing for the harvest of female deer.

Then on Oct. 21, conservation officers discovered the carcass of a branch-antlered bull elk at the Indian Peaks Wildlife Management Area, located in western Beaver County not far from the Nevada border. They determined the kill occurred when spike-only elk hunting was allowed.

The agency released information about both cases Thursday, months after each incident.

"Individuals who unlawfully kill big game animals and other wildlife are stealing opportunities from those who might otherwise be able to harvest the animal legally in the future," said Brandon White, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer, in a statement.

The two cases were among the nearly 1,300 wildlife animals illegally killed in 2022. The division reported earlier this month that the number of animals illegally killed last year rose 11% from the previous year. A little more than 4,000 citations were issued last year, as well.

Poaching cases can range in severity based on the animal killed. Some cases can result in a felony conviction and massive restitution fees, as well as a person losing their hunting or fishing privileges in Utah and the 48 other members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. Sixty-six people had their hunting or fishing licenses suspended last year.

Tips on either Beaver County poaching case — or any other poaching case — can be submitted through the agency's hotline (800-662-3337), texts (sent to 847411), on its website or its law enforcement app.

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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