Someone or several people are poaching moose and leaving them for dead in northern Utah.
From Oct. 5 through Oct. 7, five moose were shot and killed in Wasatch and Summit counties. The Utah Division of Wildlife wants the public's help catching the hunter or hunters responsible.
"The smells of fall and the crisp autumn air were tainted by the odor of two moose left to rot on the Wasatch Currant Creek Unit," the division wrote in a news release about the first shootings. An adult cow and a bull calf moose were shot by high-powered rifles at close range sometime between Oct. 5 and 6 about two miles west of Currant Creek Reservoir, near the Racetrack area, according to the release.
Then on Oct. 6, DWR Resources Conservation Officer Brent Kasza got information about a third poached moose north of Mill Hollow Reservoir. Kasza went to the scene, where he found a young bull moose lying dead about a half mile west of the Mill Hollow Road. A necropsy determined it had been shot.
A witness saw an adult hunter shoot the young moose and walk away, according to a news release. The hunter had a juvenile with him, the witnessadded.
Then Oct. 7, Kazka got another tip about a fourth and fifth poached moose near Murdock Basin Road and The Mirror Lake Highway.
Kasza and a DWR investigator found a small calf moose and a small bull moose that also had been killed. Another witness saw a man shoot one of the moose, and added that the hunter drove a light-colored, possibly white, SUV that is thought to be either a Dodge or a Chrysler.
It's unlikely that the same hunter is responsible for all of the shootings, considering how spread apart they are, said DWR Officer Jacob Greenwood. "But you never know."
Anyone with information related to the illegal killing of these animals is encouraged to leave a tip at 1-800-662-3337. "Rewards are available and requests for confidentiality are respected," according to the release. Greenwood could not speak to how much the reward offers might be.