With hunting seasons underway, officers need your help. You might not know it, but youвЂ™re the key to fighting poaching in Utah.
вЂњYouвЂ™re crucial to our law enforcement efforts,вЂќ says Captain Rick Olson with the Division of Wildlife Resources. вЂњWe need your eyes, your help and your support. We need your help to protect your wildlife.вЂќ
Olson says DWR officers catch plenty of wildlife violators on their own. But many more violators — including many who commit serious wildlife crimes — are caught because someone was watching and called the DWR.
With many of UtahвЂ™s hunting seasons in full swing, Olson says itвЂ™s vital that you report any suspicious activity you see. You can report this activity one of three ways:
Witnessing a violation
If you see a wildlife violation occur, calling UtahвЂ™s Turn in a Poacher hotline is the best way to get an officer to the scene. The hotline — 1-800-662-3337 — is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you canвЂ™t remember the UTiP number, pull out your Utah hunting or fishing license or permit. The number is written on the license or permit.
Olson says when you call 1-800-662-3337, the person who takes your call will patch you through to the DWR officer nearest to where the incident is occurring.
DWR officers also have computers in their vehicles. As soon as a call is received, information from the caller appears on the computer screens of every DWR officer in the state.
If you canвЂ™t remember the UTiP number, and you donвЂ™t have your license or permit with you because youвЂ™re not hunting or fishing, call the nearest police dispatch center.
The center will send a DWR officer or another law enforcement officer to the scene.
If you find something suspicious — for example, a big game animal thatвЂ™s missing its head — or if you have any other information you want to share about a possible wildlife violation, you can report it two ways:
- Call 1-800-662-3337.
- Type the information in at https://go.usa.gov/82Y. You can also email the information to officers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olson says if send information through the Web page or the email address, officers wonвЂ™t receive the information immediately. вЂњIf you need to get in touch with us right away,вЂќ he says, вЂњcall 1-800-662-3337.вЂќ
What to look for
If you see anything that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary — such as a person raising a gun to shoot something and then lowering the gun as soon as he or she notices your vehicle — let the DWR know.
вЂњPlease call us,вЂќ Olson says. вЂњEven if what you saw doesnвЂ™t look like a big deal to you, let us know about it. Some of our most significant cases started when someone called us with a small tip that led us to more information.вЂќ
If you see something suspicious or out of the ordinary, Olson says you shouldnвЂ™t confront the person who is committing the violation. Instead, contact the DWR immediately.
Be a good witness
A license plate number is the most important piece of information you can give to officers. Olson says callers often provide only the color of the suspectвЂ™s vehicle. вЂњThatвЂ™s good information to have,вЂќOlson says, вЂњbut what we really need is a license plate number.вЂќ
A description of the person and the location where the violation is occurring are also crucial. вЂњIf you have a GPS unit with you,вЂќOlson says, вЂњgive us the coordinates. GPS coordinates are really
helpful in getting us to the right scene as quick as possible.вЂќ
вЂњOfficers on patrolвЂќ Web page
Visiting the вЂњOfficers on patrolвЂќ Web page is a great way to learn about some of UtahвЂ™s most recent poaching arrests and to stay current on poaching cases DWR officers need your help with.
The page is available at https://go.usa.gov/8TL.