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Wasted elk found quartered in in Morgan County

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Conservation officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are asked the public for information regarding a bull elk left to waste after having its antlers removed in Morgan County.

The quartered elk was reported on Nov. 1, according to a statement released Monday from the DWR, after an individual saw a male pull the carcass from the bed of a white GMC pickup. The quarters and head of the elk were left on the ground where it could not be easily seen.

All the animal’s meat was intact, according to officers, and only the elk’s skull-capped antlers were harvested.

“Waste of wildlife is a serious crime,” said DWR Conservation Officer Jonathan Moser in the statement. “Many people hunt specifically to use the meat to feed their family, so when one person completely wastes the meat and just wants a ‘trophy’ from the animal, it can undermine public support for hunting as a wholesome recreational activity and important wildlife management tool.”

Officers believe the animal may have been shot during the general-season bull elk hunt in October. The animal was located on the east side of Highway 167 between Eden and Mountain Green.

According to new data released by the DWR last week, illegally killed wildlife in Utah increased in 2021 and the value of those animals nearly doubled. In 2020, a total 1,079 animals were killed and valued at $387,000. In 2021, however, a total of 1,153 animals valued at approximately $610,000 were killed.

“Some of the animals illegally killed last year include 180 deer (including 34 ‘trophy’ buck deer), 113 elk (including 18 ‘trophy’ bull elk), five moose, one bighorn sheep, 11 bears, 17 cougars and 374 fish,” the DWR wrote in a statement on Jan. 5. “The remaining illegally killed wildlife include a variety of small game animals, waterfowl and a variety of other wildlife species.”

On Nov. 24, roughly 50 miles from the location of the bull elk, a buck deer was found decapitated on private property under a piece of corrugated sheet metal. The deer was reported two days later; officers believed the animal had been shot and hidden on the property.

Late last year, a decapitated deer was located on the side of UT 165 south of Hyrum. However, officers believe the animal was not shot but struck by a vehicle.

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