This hunting season, wildlife conservation officers in Utah plan to search for evidence of poaching and locate illegally killed animals with the help of drones.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has formed its own drone team which will help the government agency to enforce wildlife laws and ensure public safety. Consisting of five conservation officers, the Utah DWR drone squad has completed various licensing and training requirements with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and gained certification to operate drones for law enforcement missions.

Similar to ground conservation teams, these specialized drone operators will be called upon to assist with a variety of requirements, including:

  • Documenting crime scenes
  • Searching for evidence and locating illegally taken wildlife
  • Assisting landowners by investigating illegal trespassing on private property
  • Helping other law enforcement agencies with search-and-rescue efforts
  • Assisting biologists with…