Officials seek information about poaching of bighorn sheep in Southern Utah

ST. GEORGE — A bighorn sheep ram was killed and left to waste in Kane County in Southern Utah, according to wildlife officials.

A bighorn sheep ram shot and left to waste by an ATV trail near Mount Carmel Junction, Kane County, Utah, October 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

The poaching incident was announced earlier this week by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources over social media and the agency’s website.

It is believed the party responsible for shooting and killing the ram was on the main Barracks ATV trail around mile 12.8 near Mount Carmel Junction. The ram was shot through both lungs, and the bullet exited the animal’s left side, according the DWR.

State wildlife officials are seeking the public’s help in finding those responsible for the poaching and can be contacted about this incident or any other wildlife crime at 1-800-662-3337.

A monetary reward may be available to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for killing the animal. Requests for confidentiality will be honored.

When reporting a poaching or other suspicious wildlife incident, keep the following in mind to help DWR officers make an arrest:

  • A description of the person and the location where the incident occurred. Give the DWR the GPS coordinates of the location if you have a GPS device.
  • If possible, provide the license plate number of the person’s vehicle.

Poaching in Utah can have various consequences ranging from hefty fines, the suppression of hunting privileges, the confiscation of firearms and other equipment used for hunting and jail time.

An amount of minimum restitution related to Utah’s trophy animals if poached has also been established under state law. Those amounts are as follows:

  • $30,000 for either desert or Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.
  • $8,000 for deer with 24-inch antler spread or larger.
  • $8,000 for elk with six points on at least one side.
  • $6,000 for moose or mountain goat.
  • $6,000 for bison.
  • $2,000 for pronghorn.

Utah is also a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator compact, an agreement between Utah and 46 other states to honor each other’s decisions to deny hunting and fishing licenses and permits to poachers, according to the DWR website.

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