From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:
Licensed, ethical hunters know the rules and play by them, but poachers don’t.
Hunting season increases the likelihood that law-abiding hunters will encounter poaching, which is the illegal taking of fish, game or non-game wildlife.
When that happens, DNR Law Enforcement urges hunters to use the TIP hotline to file a complaint. TIP is an acronym for Turn in a Poacher or Polluter. Firearms season for deer runs Nov. 12-27.
Anyone can use the TIP hotline but hunters are more likely to witness violations.
It’s quick and simple to report a violation. The toll-free TIP phone number is 1-800-TIP-IDNR (1-800-847-4367). Complaints also can be filed online at tip.IN.gov.
A typical poaching situation occurs when a law-abiding hunter is sitting in a tree stand, waiting for sunrise (the legal time to shoot), and notices a spotlight shining the field from a pickup truck. The truck stop and shots ring out through the darkness.
“True sportsmen have an ethical responsibility to report this violation,” said Lt. William Browne, DNR Division of Law Enforcement. “Poachers are thieves, and some estimates indicate poachers kill as much fish and game as legal hunters and fishermen do.”
TIP is a joint effort of sportsmen and women, private citizens, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to help eliminate the illegal taking of Indiana’s fish and wildlife. Cash rewards are offered for information leading to the arrest of fish and wildlife law violators.
All information is held in strict confidence. The complaint can be anonymous. Neither videotapes nor signed confessions are required for successful prosecution of poachers. Citizens who provide TIP with information are not required to testify in court. Reported information is investigated by Indiana Conservation Officers.