ST. GEORGE — Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers are seeking the public’s help in getting information about two unrelated cases in Southern Utah where a deer and an elk were killed and left to waste, according to a news release issued by the division.
The first incident occurred sometime in September in Henrieville. A landowner contacted a conservation officer to report a 6-by-6 bull elk that they had found dead on the edge of their hay field in Garfield County.
When the officer responded to the scene, he located the elk and discovered that it had two wounds believed to be caused by arrows.
The elk was last seen alive in the area on Sept. 4 near the town of Henrieville, and investigators say that, due to the decomposition of the carcass when it was found, the elk died sometime that week. There was a limited-entry archery hunt taking place at the time the elk was killed.
However, due to the location of where the animal was found and the location of the wound, officers say they believe the animal was killed and left to waste, rather than the hunter being unable to find the animal after shooting it, the news release states.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resource conservation officers are seeking help from the public concerning a deer and elk who were killed and left to waste in Southern Utah, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of DWR, St. George News
The second incident took place in October near Glendale in Kane County. A concerned hunter contacted the DWR on Oct. 21 to report that a 3-by-4 trophy buck deer had been killed and left to waste on the Glendale Bench, south of the Bald Knoll Waterline Road near Glendale.
A DWR conservation officer responded the next day and located the deer. Upon further investigation, the officer discovered that the deer had been killed by a single gunshot wound and likely died close to where it was shot (due to the location of the wound.) Investigators say they believe the deer died within two days of being discovered, due to the decomposition of the carcass.
It is illegal to allow protected wildlife to be wasted and can result in a class B misdemeanor.
Anyone with information regarding either of these two cases or any other wildlife-related crimes in Utah, is encouraged to report it to DWR conservation officers in one of the following ways:
If you have information regarding these two specific incidents, you can also contact DWR Officer Wyatt Mecham at 801-386-1363. A reward may be available for information leading to the successful prosecution of those responsible, and requests for confidentiality are respected.
Every year, Utah conservation officers conduct numerous investigations into the illegal killing of wildlife. In 2022, officers confirmed a total of 1,283 wild animals and fish were illegally killed, valued over $609,000.