- Associated Press - Sunday, January 29, 2017

PROVO, Utah (AP) - Wildlife officials are adding patrols in some areas to make sure people aren’t tempted to poach animals.

Conservation officer Sean Spencer told the Daily Herald (http://bit.ly/2kCxHao) frequent patrols tend to prevent people from feeling isolated enough to break the law.

“If people are in an area where they feel like they never see anyone, then they’re more likely to say, ‘Hmm, I think I can get away with something,’” Spencer said. “The more often they see you, the fresher it is in their minds.”

Winter weather brings wildlife nearer to densely populated areas, and the snow makes animals easier to see.

Spencer said he watches for cars parked along roads in unusual areas, or people using lights to attract wildlife.

“The statistics for people following the rules are pretty high,” Spencer said.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources relies on patrols as well as tips from the public to combat illegal hunting.

“It’s kind of a shot in the dark whether we actually run into something,” Spencer said.

Spencer said Utah’s Turn in a Poacher hotline is invaluable.

One caller led Spencer to an illegally killed female elk.

Spencer revoked the hunter’s tag.

He also confiscated the elk and gave it to the tipster.

“For every (poacher) we catch, there’s a handful or more that get away,” Spencer said. “That’s why UTip is so important.”

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com

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