Elk NetworkCitations Issued During Utah’s Cow Elk Hunts

General | January 18, 2023

Below is a news release from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. For 2023, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching nationwide.

Hunting cow elk can be a thrilling experience that puts fresh, delicious meat in your freezer. But if you shoot more than one cow elk or shoot a bull instead of a cow — or a moose instead of an elk — it can result in a poaching charge.

Every year, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officers investigate cases where someone shoots more than one cow elk, shoots the wrong sex or even the wrong species. Some hunters get so excited to see an animal that they make poor shooting decisions, firing at multiple elk or failing to properly identify their target.

Utah’s antlerless elk hunts opened in August, and some of the later hunts run until Jan. 31 in various parts of the state. During the 2022-23 antlerless elk hunts, conservation officers have investigated several cases, including:

  • Weber County: A man shot a moose instead of an elk during his hunt.
  • Emery County: A hunter shot a branch antlered bull elk, thinking it was a spike elk. Then he also shot a spike elk, thinking it was the same elk. He was charged with a misdemeanor.
  • Sevier County: Officers investigated two cases where a hunter shot too many elk. Misdemeanor citations were issued in both cases.
  • Iron County: Officers investigated a case where a hunter shot a cow elk in the wrong area. A misdemeanor citation was issued.
  • Northeastern Utah: Officers investigated two cases where a hunter killed too many elk, five cases where a bull elk was killed instead of a cow elk, two cases where a moose was shot instead of an elk and one case where a hunter harvested an elk in the wrong hunting unit. Citations were issued in each of the cases.

If you ever suspect illegal activity involving wildlife, report it to a DWR conservation officer using one of the following methods:

  • Call the Utah Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline at 1-800-662-3337. (The UTiP hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is the quickest way to report a wildlife violation. The number is also printed on your hunting and fishing licenses.)
  • Use the UTDWR Law Enforcement app.
  • Text officers at 847411.
  • Report online through the DWR website.

(Photo source: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)