Chesterton Tribune

Use hotline to fight poaching

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Almost by definition poachers don’t wait for legal hunting times. But hunting season increases the chances that licensed, ethical hunters will encounter poaching: “the illegal taking of fish, game, or non-game wildlife.”

When that happens, DNR Law Enforcement urges hunters to use the TIP (Turn in a Poacher) hotline to file a complaint.

The number is (800) TIP-IDNR (847-4367). Complaints may also be filed at tip.in.gov <http://tip.in.gov>

A typical poaching situation occurs when a legal hunter sitting in a tree and waiting for sunrise notices a spotlight shining in the field from a pickup truck, sees the truck stop, and hears a gunshot.

‘True sportsmen have an ethical responsibility to report this violation,” Lt. Mark Farm, public information officer for the Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement, in a statement released on Thursday. “It is not fair to the honest hunter that a poacher can get away with this illegal method of hunting. Poachers are thieves and estimates indicate that poachers kill as much fish and game as legal hunters and fishermen do.”

Farmer emphasized that anyone may use the TIP hotline but that hunters are more likely to witness violations.

The TIP program is a joint effort of sportsmen and women, private citizens, and the DNR to help eliminate the illegal taking of Indiana’s fish and wildlife. Cash rewards are offered for information leading to the arrest of fish and wildlife law violators.

Neither videotapes nor signed confessions are necessary for the successful prosecution of poachers, the statement said. Citizens who provide TIP with information are not required to give their names or testify in court. All tips are investigated by Conservation Officers.

Firearms season for deer is Nov. 14-29.

 

Posted 11/12/2009