Details needed to catch wildlife violators

Quick calls, details needed to catch wildlife violators LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) - It happens every fall - and at other times of the year, also. Someone sees a blatant violation of game laws and wonders where the wildlife officers are.

Or the observer may phone the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and say, "I saw a couple of guys night hunting last week. No, I didn't get a license number. Your game wardens need to stop this kind of stuff."

Yes, the AGFC wildlife officers need to stop night hunting, out of season poaching and other violations, but they need help in doing it. Quick, accurate information is the biggest boost the average citizen can give.

Here are some pointers for helping apprehend wildlife violators:

  • Time is of the essence. The quicker a violation is reported to AGFC, the more likely the outlaw is to be caught. Cell phones can be extremely useful, although they don't function in some isolated areas. Make a note of the exact time you saw the violation.
  • Take pen and paper with you. You'll need the pen to fill out a tag if you get a deer. Just a single sheet of folded paper will be plenty for recorded information on a violation.
  • 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. If you have a GPS (global positioning system) unit, take a reading. All AGFC wildlife officers are equipped with these and are trained to use them.
  • 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.
  • Do not confront or try to apprehend a violator and hold him or her for an officer to arrive. That's not your duty as a citizen, and it can be extremely dangerous. These bad actors are almost always carrying weapons.
  • Keep the AGFC toll-free hotline number handy. It's 1-800-482-9262. AT&T cell phone users may also dial #TIP (#847). Both numbers will direct the caller to the AGFC radio room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. These numbers are much faster than trying to call a local wildlife officer's home or office.

Names of informants are kept confidential by the AGFC.