LITTLE ROCK — It happens every fall. Someone sees a blatant game law violation and they wonder where the wildlife officers are.
Or the observer may phone the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission but not have any information on the culprit or their vehicle. Help AGFC wildlife officers stop night hunting, out of season poaching and other violations with these helpful tips. Quick, accurate information is the biggest boost the average citizen can give them.
- Do not confront or try to apprehend a violator and hold him or her for an officer to arrive. These bad actors are almost always carrying weapons, and confronting them could escalate matters.
- Gather your information from a hidden position or from a distance. No wildlife violation, no matter how serious, is worth getting hurt or killed for.
- Keep the AGFC’s poaching hotline number handy in your phone or written on a card in your wallet — (800) 482-9262. AT&T cell phone users can just dial #TIP (#847). You can also text a tip to TIP411 (847411). Just type “AGFC” followed by the tip. You will receive a thank you text acknowledging your tip has been received. Tips sent via text are completely anonymous. Names of informants reporting violations through other methods are kept confidential by the AGFC.
- Time is of the essence. The quicker a violation is reported to AGFC, the more likely the outlaw is likely to be caught.
- Snap a pic. With nearly everyone carrying smartphones, video or photo evidence can go a long way in catching up to a poacher.
- Keep a pen and paper handy. Don’t rely just on your memory. Details can get fuzzy after only a few minutes.
- Get a vehicle license number. This is the quickest means for an officer to trace a suspect. Binoculars in the woods are handy for checking game, and they are extremely helpful for reading a license plate.
- Notice and jot down details of the vehicle – make, color, type (two doors, four doors), anything unusual about it.
- Provide an accurate location. “About a half mile off that gravel road east of town” doesn’t do it. Write down the name of the road. Make a note of any landmarks that are in the vicinity such as a church or grain silo. Make sure you know what type of violation has occurred. If you see a person shooting out of a vehicle from a road, make note of what occurred.
- Describe the person or persons. Their physical description is more vital than what clothing they are wearing. The type of clothing and headwear being worn can help with the description. Names are very good, if you know the person or persons.