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Other - Report Poachers

There has been some buzz on the forums lately about poaching.  I decided to post the numbers for the tri-state area so everyone would have them.

Virginia:

To report a wildlife violation, call 1-800-237-5712 or email WildCrime@dgif.virginia.gov.

Maryland:

24 Hour Hotline 1-800-635-6124

Citizens who supply Maryland Natural Resources Police with information leading to the arrest and conviction of a poaching violator are eligible to receive cash rewards. Give names, addresses and vehicle description. The anonymity of the caller is guaranteed.

West Virginia:

If the violation is in progress, call 911 (from page 11 of the 2007 regs).  If it is not in progress, call the District Office during normal hours or call 800-638-4263.

If you feel strongly about this subject, why not print up a few 3x5 cards that have the following:

Help protect our resources.  Please turn in any poachers you see by calling (insert number).

If you see a poacher, jot down his description, get a license plate if possible and take some pictures from a safe distance that include any landmarks.  Do not confront the poacher.  Leave that to law enforcement officials.

Put the card under the wiper blade of the other cars you see in the parking lot.  This does two things. 

  1. If any of those cars is owned by a poacher, then he/she is on notice that folks are paying attention and they might be caught
  2. If the car is owned by an honest fisherman, you have just shared an important number with them.  It took me a while to find the West Virginia number as it did not come up when searching for the word "poach"

What to do when you run into a poacher?  Missouri Trout Hunter has some good advice:

"Try to memorize his appearance -- height, weight, hair color, etc. ....  Take several pictures of his car, including his license plate. Try to take a picture of his car with a good landmark in the background."

Call the poacher number for your state and .. "Give them a description of the poacher, and tell them you have pictures of his car with the license number. BE SURE to tell them that he is still fishing at that moment. You should also make an effort to email the pictures to the investigating agent. This is where your responsibility ends. The local agents have been tipped off to him, so they'll know to keep an eye open for him."

The West Virginia DNR recommends that you do not confront the violoator.  Leave that to the professionals.  That's also good advice for a state like Virginia where its pretty easy to get a concealed weapons permit.  Geez. No gunfights over this, please.

Finally, I do need to point out that I am not a source of legal or law enforcement advice.  The above is just my opinion.  It's up to you to decide what to do (if anything) and how to do it.


Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

Disclaimer and Warning:  The contents of this site reflect the opinion of the author and you, the reader, must exercise care in the use and interpretation of this information.  Fishing is a dangerous sport.  You can slip and fall on rocks and sustain severe injury.  You can drown.  You can get hooks caught in your skin, face, eyes or other sensitive places.  All sorts of bad things can happen to you when to go into the woods to visit the places documented here.  Forests, streams and lakes are wild areas and any number of bad things can happen.  You must make your own judgment in terms of acceptable behavior and risk and not rely on anything posted here.  Calibrated Consulting, Inc disclaims all liability and responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading the articles on this site.  If you do not agree with this, you should not read anything posted on this site.

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