Game Law Violations

Report from New Mexico

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on January 31, 2001, that a reward of up to $10,000 has been posted for information leading to the apprehension of the individual or individuals responsible for the shooting of a Mexican gray wolf on or about December 16, 2000. The carcass of the dead wolf was found approximately north of Highway 12 near Aragon, New Mexico, on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, in the Divide woodcutting area. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agents are investigating the shooting and would like to talk to anyone who was in the area or may have information regarding the wolf’s death.

The male yearling wolf, identified as #590, was born on May 1, 1999 at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The Francisco pack yearling was released along with members of its pack on July 14, 2000, a few miles southeast of Hannigan Meadow in the Blue Range Primitive Area of eastern Arizona. Just weeks prior to his death, he had begun making dispersal movements to the east, possibly in search of a mate.

Individuals with information they believe may be helpful in solving this crime should call Service special agents at (480) 835-8289 or the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish’s Operation Game Thief at 800+432-GAME. The killing of a Mexican gray wolf is a violation of both federal and New Mexico laws. Violations of the federal Endangered Species Act can invoke criminal penalties up to $100,000 and/or six months in jail, or a civil penalty of up to $100,000.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Report from Utah

Heavy Poaching Hammers Big Game
On Southeast Utah Winter Ranges

by Carl Gramlich, DWR Southeastern Region Sergeant

If you've spent much time around hunters, you've undoubtedly heard arguments about the most serious threat to Utah's deer population — cougars, coyotes, hunter pressure, weather and so on.

You, like me, have listened as the debate rages on. "Lions are wiping out the deer herds!" "Coyotes eat the fawns the moment they're dropped!" "The DWR sells more permits than it has deer!" "This weather will kill 'em dead!" Back and forth ... back and forth ...

If you listen long enough, you'll notice one major cause of deer loss that's never mentioned — POACHING!

Hunters love to wag their fingers at one culprit or another, and often overlook the one thing they can do something about! I've heard every excuse in the book. Here are just a few ... "Sure, Uncle ___ shoots a deer now and then, but he uses the meat." "Boys will be boys!" "I'm not going to rat on ____ and ____. They didn't fill their tags during the hunt. What difference does it make anyway?" "It's my God-given right!" "Farmer ______ has to feed deer and elk all year long. It's only fair that I help him out by taking a few every now and then." Yada, yada, yada ...

Just like the poltergeist in the TV set, the poachers are back! And they're wreaking havoc in Carbon and Emery counties. Wildlife officers have confirmed the slaughter of 10 deer in November and December 2000. We can only guess how much poaching goes on that we never hear about. The figures must be staggering!

Most of the poached deer have been mature bucks that were shot and left — with only the head and antlers removed. A few bucks were killed and the entire carcass (including head and antlers) were abandoned. One of the bloodiest killing fields this winter was just outside of East Carbon, where numerous mature bucks have been shot to death.

The Division of Wildlife Resources, in partnership with Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for these deliberate acts. Very specifically, the DWR is looking for information on the following poaching cases:

1. A 5-point bull elk shot and wasted last October in Nine Mile Canyon;

2. A heavy, 23-inch, 4-point buck that was shot and then left to rot above the Soldier Creek Mine in November;

3. A doe shot and left in the Consumers area in December;

4. A buck shot and its head removed, found just off the Mohrland-Hiawatha Road in December;

5. A buck killed in the Consumers area, and only its antlers removed, found in December;

6. A buck poached in Ferron sometime in November, left with only its head removed;

7. Five bucks shot and wasted in the East Carbon area, left with only their heads and/or antlers removed.

I hope you'll help me with these and other poaching incidents in Carbon and Emery counties. If you know anything, please call me at (435) 636-0277. Remember, you don't have to leave your name, and you don't have to testify in court. All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Thanks for your help! You're really doing everyone a favor when you help us preserve your wildlife heritage.

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