Patrons angry after pile of fox bones found at shooting range in Weber County

Posted at 9:50 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 23:50:08-04

WEBER COUNTY, Utah -- A nasty discovery was made at a shooting range this month when a pile of bones was found at the Weber Wildlife Federation shooting range.

According to the Division of Wildlife Resources, someone dumped nine red fox carcasses outside the entrance of the range.

"Good grief, we're not the county dump, although some people think we are," said Elwood Powell, president of the Weber Wildlife Foundation.

Powell said the range has about 3,000 members. He's afraid that number could dwindle if this type of illegal activity continues.

"It becomes a less and less friendly place to go," Powell said. "If some little child happened to walk over and look at it, they would be shocked out of their gourd."

Members said they go to the range to relax and enjoy the wilderness. This grisly discovery has been a shot through the heart for an organization that has been around since 1926.

"Especially if they were poached, I mean, no one wants to see that anyway, it's just horrible," said Mark Abbott.

Abbot has been firing off rounds at the range since he was a kid. He said trash and the dumping of dead animals is taking away from what makes the place so special.

"You can see more wildlife here than probably any place in Utah," Abbott said. "I just love it up here, especially because you can shoot longer range. But every once in a while you'll have some real jerks here."

The Division of Wildlife Resources said it's not illegal to hunt the red foxes, but it is against the law to dump their bodies. For more information about the rules regarding taking foxes and other furbearers in Utah, click here. 

Powell said it's a shame that disposing of these rotting bones now becomes the responsibility of their volunteer organization.

"We'd like to see a stop put to that thing, and if they catch the people who do it, give them a little bit of jail time: Let them find out how the bear bites," Powell said.

DWR doesn't have any leads as to who might be responsible. The shooting range said they do plan on beefing up security this summer in order to protect the property.