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Law Enforcement — Dec. 2010 Board Meeting






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    Law Enforcement — Dec. 2010 Board Meeting Law Enforcement — Dec. 2010 Board Meeting Presentation Transcript

    • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
      • Law Enforcement Section
    • Law Enforcement Section
      • Utah’s statewide deer management plan specifically directs the Division to, “Support law enforcement efforts to educate the public concerning poaching and reduce illegal taking of deer.”
    • Law Enforcement Section
      • What is our role in wildlife management?
        • We enforce regulations in support of DWR management practices and Wildlife Board policy
        • We level the playing field and ensure equal access to the state’s wildlife
        • We protect the investment of Utah sportsmen
        • We protect vital wildlife habitat
    • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
      • In recent years, Wildlife officers have seen a surge in deer poaching cases involving significant overlimits.
    • West Desert (Vernon Unit) Tooele County
      • Case Number 2009-000966
        • Four subjects were reported to have been illegally taking mule deer from the West Desert (Skull Valley, Stansbury and Cedar Mountain Ranges) for over 20 years. 
        • Subjects primarily killed mature buck mule deer beginning in November until the deer shed their antlers. 
        • The group would “take turns“ killing deer.  After the deer were killed, the antlers were often sawed off, hidden and retrieved at a later date. 
        • It is also believed that the subjects would use other persons permits to illegally take wildlife during open season . 
    • West Desert (Vernon Unit) Tooele County
        • Several search warrants have been served at various locations.  Over 90 animals were seized, including Mule Deer, Antelope and Elk. 
        • Currently, six individuals face numerous felony counts including : 
          • The RICO ACT
          • Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife
          • Aiding / Assisting Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife
          • Tampering With Witnesses
          •   Obstruction of Justice
    • Diamond Valley Washington County
      • Case Number 2009-000885
        • DWR officers were contacted by a concerned citizen regarding suspected deer poaching near diamond valley.
        • DWR Officers ultimately confirmed five poached deer (4 does and a buck) at Esplin Vineyard.
        • Five individuals were arrested and charged with wanton destruction of protected wildlife for their involvement in the case.
    • Sand Mountain (Vernon Unit) Juab County
      • Case Number 2008- 120101
        • Resulted from call to UTiP Hotline
        • Four individuals were ultimately charged with multiple felony counts of Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife
        • Deer were being killed at night on winter range
        • 17 buck deer heads were seized as a result of the investigation
    • Panguitch Deer Case Garfield County
      • Case Number 2009-000308
        • Case resulted after receiving a call from a concerned citizen
        • Two individuals were charged with killing nine deer and two pronghorn
    • Trends
        • Winter Ranges targeted and buck/doe ratios affected
        • Deer are often shot and left to be later retrieved
        • All cases were brought to our attention by concerned citizens
        • In some cases multiple generations of the same family were involved
    • Strategies
        • Decrease social acceptance of poaching – increased emphasis on outreach. We strive to increase voluntary compliance
        • Prioritized placing officers in vacant districts and added personnel where possible, i.e. Book Cliffs
        • We will better define the role of our investigators and focus them on the most egregious violators
        • Further working to streamline administrative processes to maximize patrol time
        • Work to increase patrol efforts on targeted winter ranges, addressing any threats to vulnerable, wintering deer
        • Explore opportunities to create a public safety awareness campaign in an effort to reduce car/deer collisions
    • Additional Efforts
        • Habitat Protection
          • OHV Enforcement in regard to habitat destruction has been prioritized in field patrol efforts
          • We prioritize enforcement of road closures on DWR wildlife management areas to minimize impacts upon vulnerable wintering deer
          • OHV education is an integral part of our online antler-gathering education course
    • Additional Efforts
        • DWR conservation officers continue to assist other sections in the completion of their mission by assisting with non-enforcement duties
    • Our Impact
        • Wildlife management practices on trophy units could not be successful without the protection that we provide.
        • We deter potential violators and ensure equal opportunity to the state’s wildlife
        • We serve as partners with ethical sportsmen in protecting their investment
        • We work to ensure adequate habitat to support vulnerable deer herds