Two headless bull elk carcasses found in East Canyon
The Department of Wildlife Resources said it’s investigating a couple of bull elk carcasses recently discovered by a Summit County resident.
KPCW received graphic photos of two beheaded elk, suggesting a possible poaching incident. The carcasses were left to waste in the East Canyon area behind the Jeremy Ranch golf course. It’s illegal to kill wild game out of season and to leave the meat behind.
Chad Bettridge is a Department of Wildlife Resources captain and works in the law enforcement division. He spoke with KPCW Wednesday and said he didn’t know about the incident.
He said leaving animals to waste is a felony. If caught, the perpetrators could end up in jail and receive fines for restitution for the value of the animals.
“So, in a situation like that where somebody goes out and literally just takes an animal for the antlers or something like that and the meat goes to waste,” Bettridge said. “That’s as serious as it gets in the wildlife world.”
Multiple landowners live in the East Canyon area, and some run ranching operations there.
Bettridge also reminded residents not to confront any suspected poachers, as situations can be emotional and possibly escalate. He urged people to call the UTiP hotline at 800-662-3337 if they suspect poaching somewhere.
DWR spokeswoman Faith Jolley said an investigation is underway, and KPCW will update this story as more information becomes available.