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Bureau of Land Management

GPS Used By Dept Of Fish And Game

Wildlife GPS Tracking Gaining Momentum


GPS Trackers Assist in Law Enforcement Efforts in Fish and Game Arena

Source acquired from Salt Lake Tribune, Ogden, Utah, April 20, 2010 – Salt Lake Fish and Game officers recently arrested Jared Beal, 41, for poaching bobcats. The Utah officers had suspected Beal of poaching for some time, though they were only able to catch him in the act of poaching with the help of a GPS tracking device.

Beal sold more than 40 different bobcat hides to various buyers within the state of Wyoming in one single day. While Wyoming allows trappers to kill a large number of bobcats, it is illegal not to disclose the location of each trap. The state of Utah, where Beal lives, only allows hunters to kill 6 bobcats per year. By crossing state lines, Beal was able to make a profit from selling numerous bobcat hides.

After a Utah court authorized the use of a GPS car tracking unit, Beal’s vehicle was secretly outfitted with a GPS tracker. Using information gathered by the GPS tracking device, officials were able to determine that Beal was trapping a large amount of bobcats within Utah state lines. Upon obtaining a search warrant, officers raided Beal’s house where more than 31 bobcat skins were found.

Beal’s lawyer attempted to discredit the use of a GPS tracker on the grounds that a GPS tracker may be intrusive. The appeal was denied, since a GPS tracker can be used within the state of Utah with proper court authorization. Beal will be charged with poaching, and he will be sentenced accordingly. Prior to the invention of the GPS tracker, it was nearly impossible to catch a poacher. Thanks to GPS tracking technology, poachers are now on the receiving end of the trapping game.

GPS Tracking By Dept. Of Fish & Game

GPS tracking devices are being used in more applications in the area of wildlife management. And, these methods are also being used by more law enforcement agencies in the aiding of gathering evidence against those who are engaged in illegal activities. The ease in gathering evidence helps solve crime quicker which lessens burdens on investigators.

Court systems have been tested in the legality of the use of GPS trackers that are used in the obtaining of evidence and have endorsed their use as long as they do not violate the right to privacy. This makes them perfect for wildlife law enforcement. The expanding of the use of these will continue which will help protect animals that cannot protect themselves.