One of the biggest misconceptions of those not familiar with hunting is a tendency to lump poaching and hunters together. The fact is that hunters are the main players when it comes to reporting illegal activity.
For example, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Turn in Poachers (TIPs) program shows how successful hunters are at spotting and turning in violators. From July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, the program resulted in 364 investigations leading to 227 arrests, the highest number in the program’s history. It also led to $32,000 in fines and $17,600 in liquidated civil damages.
“We are grateful to the men and women who have cared enough to call,” said Joe Keeton, GFP conservation officer specialist. “Each and every report is integral in the effort to curb poaching and other illegal activity in our state.”
Over the last year, 364 people called in to report wildlife crimes and received more than $7,500 in reward payments. To date, the program generated more than 11,000 investigations that led to more than 4,100 arrests.
If you see illegal behavior in South Dakota, call 1.888.OVERBAG (683-7224) or go here to make an online report. If you live in elsewhere, contact your state wildlife agency.
(Photo source: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks TIPs)