Two deer hunters gave up their final evening of hunting to catch some moose poachers recently.
The incident began when Steven Fitzwater and K.C. Carter of Orem heard a group of hunters shoot near their camp near Currant Creek, which is east of Strawberry Reservoir in north central Utah.
The pair drove to the area and found three men and one woman. They asked them if they had just killed a deer. After being told "yes," they offered their assistance but were told it wasn't needed.
An hour later, the same group of hunters drove past Fitzwater and Carter but there was no deer in their vehicle. Fitzwater and Carter drove back to the area where the shooting occurred and saw a calf moose standing near her dead mother. The two men then raced to find the poachers. They eventually did and obtained vehicle descriptions and license plate numbers.
After getting in contact with Division of Wildlife Resources' Conservation Officer Paul Davis, they took Davis back to the area and the poachers were apprehended. The hunting party confessed to shooting and leaving the cow moose.
"Our fathers and grandfathers have hunted this area," Fitzwater and Carter said. "We were raised to do the right thing when it comes to poaching."
They were able to identify the poachers and help bring them to justice. The two men will be rewarded through the Division of Wildlife Resources' Help Stop Poaching program.
If convicted, all four poachers face jail time, restitution in the amount of $8,000 and loss of their hunting privileges