LEWISTON - With most of the hunting seasons closed now, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reminds people who spend time outdoors that they should still reach for a phone whenever they witness a violation of fish and game laws.
"Poaching occurs year around, but the phone works year around too," says Dave Cadwallader, IDFG enforcement supervisor based in Lewiston. "The Citizens Against Poaching hotline is open 24 hours, and it was started as a way for concerned citizens to get involved in stopping poachers."
Apprehending violators, however, is only part of what CAP has accomplished. One of the most important functions of an active anti-poaching hotline is that it can discourage potential violators. "When any citizen can quickly call a number, day or night, maybe poachers will think twice before breaking the law," Cadwallader said.
Anyone who witnesses a violation is encouraged to call the toll-free CAP hotline at 1-800-632-5999, their local conservation officer or any law enforcement authority. Callers will remain anonymous, and cash rewards are available if the information is sufficient for a citation or a warrant to be issued. A conviction is not necessary.
It is very important for callers to get as much information as possible on the violation, the persons committing it and quickly contact authorities. Descriptions of people and vehicle, license numbers and other details on the violation are all helpful.