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Scott M

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2012 was a bad year for poachers

MN DNR News

Feb 4, 2012

A record number of Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline calls referred to conservation officers (CO) with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) led to a significant increase in poaching arrests in 2012.

TIP calls referred to COs jumped 54 percent in 2012 to 2,051, compared with 1,328 in 2011. The previous record was 1,866 in 1981, when TIP was founded.

Last year’s calls led to 359 arrests, mostly related to deer, fish and waterfowl violations. The arrests represent a 29 percent increase over 2011. The record high is 428 arrests in 1991.

“Many good cases are the result of citizens calling the TIP hotline at 800-652-9093,” said Col. Jim Konrad, DNR Enforcement director.

Konrad said the record increase in TIP calls that were referred to COs and resulted in arrests indicates that more people are reporting illegal activities they see afield. He noted that eyewitness reports are strong tools in combating violations.

Last May, CO Eric Schettler of Fairmont received four TIP calls within 30 minutes about possible fish over-limits. The calls resulted in enforcement action against three poachers with 198 crappies more than the legal limit, three walleyes out of season and two nonresident anglers without licenses. Restitution and fines for the poachers were $1,550.

“If it wasn’t for TIP, these guys would have gotten away,” Schettler said.

A TIP call also led to three men catching and keeping a lot of fish from a Douglas County lake. The call contained important information: a description of the suspects, a license plate number of their vehicle and their location.

“A conservation officer has only one set of eyes and covers 650 square miles,” Konrad said. “If the public is concerned about natural resources, every person is another set of eyes that can help catch those violating the law.”

Since 1981 the TIP hotline has fielded thousands of reports of fish and wildlife violations, paying out nearly $358,000 in cash rewards that lead to arrests. Nearly half of informants turn the reward down.

Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the nearest conservation officer, law enforcement agency or the 24 hour toll-free TIP hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.

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nice to see this TIP does work just give everyone more of a reason to call instead of turning away because they dont think anyone will show up.

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That is good to hear. Sounds like the arrest rate for TIP calls in 2012 was 17%, thats far more than I would have guessed.

Lets keep making those calls and make sure to give plenty of descriptive information so the CO can follow up on it even if they aren't able to make it to the location as the violation is occuring.

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Last May, CO Eric Schettler of Fairmont received four TIP calls within 30 minutes about possible fish over-limits. The calls resulted in enforcement action against three poachers with 198 crappies more than the legal limit, three walleyes out of season and two nonresident anglers without licenses. Restitution and fines for the poachers were $1,550.

love to hear results like this but to have that much over the legal limit for crappies, then 3 fish out of season, adding to it out of staters without licenses, they should be put in system that if ever caught with illegal activity all vehicles will be confiscated. that fine amount is simply not enuff & hardly a deterrent.

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I called tip only once. Saw a guy with a rifle out the window of his pick up aimed toward a small buck. His kid was in the passanger seat. Nice example for the youngster... not sure if they ever got the guy bought I gave his plates so maybe that did. Who knows

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It's good to see that it works. I don't call TIP that often (I'll usually ask the person nicely if he/she knows what s/he's doing is illegal, and that usually--though not always--takes care of it). If I see a severe infraction, I'll call, and I've had some luck getting the St Cloud guys to show up. Favorite TIP call ever: I watched some guys after smallmouth bass season closed fill up a few 5-gallon buckets with smallies. I just asked them if they knew 1) the season was closed, and 2) that even if it was, they were over their limit. I got the "Mind your own f-ing business" response...and Mr. Martin showed up shortly thereafter to get them for multiple violations. Justice is rare...and sweet. smile

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Favorite TIP call ever: I watched some guys after smallmouth bass season closed fill up a few 5-gallon buckets with smallies. I just asked them if they knew 1) the season was closed, and 2) that even if it was, they were over their limit. I got the "Mind your own f-ing business" response...and Mr. Martin showed up shortly thereafter to get them for multiple violations. Justice is rare...and sweet. smile

Justice isn't so rare when C.O. Martin is involved wink He gets his fair share of pochers on our part of the river grin.

TIP is a good thing wink

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Wow that's a good one I'm a big smallmouth guy so that's super cool. What kind of people need a pail of smallies. I swear for some people poaching is an addiction. I mean in the sense that most poachers are repeat offenders. I USTA know a guy who had to keep everything, regardless of size or weather he was going to even fillet them. I swear it was a sickness. Needless to say he is no longer a fishing partner.

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Yup, CO Martin does some good work around the St Cloud area....Now if we could only get him to help track down home invaders, we'd be onto something, eh, Rick? crazy

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