With many hunting seasons underway, and the Utah general season deer hunt set to begin October 22nd, the Division of Wildlife Resources reminds hunters that poaching is an activity that could bring severe penalties. DWR conservation officers are intensifying efforts to protect wildlife, and to see that hunters are following state law.

So far, during the fall hunts, officers have contacted over 13,000 individuals and inspected hunting licenses of 4,347 people from August 1st through September 23rd. This has resulted in the issuance of 569 citations. Also during this time frame officers discovered 319 illegally killed animals, including 39 of the big game species.

So far this season, officers have received 240 tips from the public from the DWR reporting tools. Currently, there are 53 officer patrolling all of Utah and since they cannot be everywhere at once, public participation offers a tremendous assist.

The DWR offers suggestions for those who would like to help mitigate illegal hunting in the state. You should get a license plate number. It is probably the most important piece of information you can supply to conservation officers. If you are not able to get the number, get the best description of the vehicle as possible. If you can, provide GPS coordinates. Don't confront the someone who may be committing a violation. Simply observe from a distance and report with as much accuracy as you can.

While posting the incident on social media may be the most convenient way for most, it is not the most effective way to get details to conservation offices. DWR has a 24 hour staffed Turn In a Poacher hotline set up at 1-800-662-3337. You can also text officers at 847411. You can also report through the DWR website at Wildlife.Utah.Gov. One other option is to contact your local dispatch office.

The DWR says that while wildlife violations can happen at anytime of the year, they do notice a spike in these incidents during the fall hunting seasons.

More From KSUB 590/107.7