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