Utah wildlife officials are using robotic deer to catch poachers.
Poaching has always been a huge problem for hunters, but now, there may be a solution.
Robotic deer have been placed off of roads and in private property in efforts to catch individuals poaching for deer, says KSL.com. If caught shooting the fake deer, the poacher is written a citation by the state.
Lt. Paul Washburn of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said that the hope is to crack down in poaching which is a reoccurring problem.
"It is a pretty significant issue. Every year we have lots and lots of cases with both deer and elk, where people will shoot an animal and not have a permit for it or shoot an animal with someone else's permit that otherwise wouldn't have been able to harvest an animal. We even do have instances where someone sees a big buck, shoots it, cuts the head off of it and leaves the rest of the animal to waste." Lt. Paul Washburn stated.
The decoy deer have been used before and were successful.
"We'll get people pretty much stop and look at it and, on occasion, the gun barrel or the bow-and-arrow come out and somebody's willing to shoot at it," Washburn said. "Last year, on one particularly busy night, we had three different people shoot at it in a three-hour time period. There definitely are poachers that are willing to push the law and try and get an easy deer that way and we just try to hold those people accountable."
Those caught poaching in Utah could face fines. The fines are based on size and species of the animal. They may also face restitution, jail time, removal of hunting equipment, or maybe even the loss of hunting and fishing privileges.
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