By Steve Weisman
Recently, the Iowa DNR released a story about a poaching “bust” of four Louisiana men, who were caught in an investigation that began in November of 2011. The four men came to southwest Iowa specifically to hunt trophy bucks during the rut. Of course, they had no licenses or tags. Just flat out poaching!
It turns out that the initial lead came from a TIP call from a concerned citizen. Kudos to that individual and the resulting arrests and convictions that cost these men lots and lots of money!
Kudos also to all who have taken the time to be the eyes of the law and to provide a TIP for law enforcement officials. It’s really all about ethics and caring for our natural resources. Poaching is nothing more than stealing, stealing OUR fish and wildlife resources. The more that the poaching goes on and we turn our heads, the more harm that is done to our resources. Here is a little more about the history of the TIP program in Iowa and how the program works. This information came from the Iowa DNR website.
Turn In Poachers (TIP)
The TIP program, which originated in August of 1985, was established by concerned sportsmen and women under the guidance of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau. Both groups recognized the need for an added dimension to fish and game law enforcement in the State of Iowa to aid in the fight against poaching.
TIP is an organized non-profit corporation with dedicated sportsmen and women from all over Iowa who serve as board members with each board member representing a conservation organization from around the state.
Responsibility for the TIP program is shared by TIP and the Iowa DNR. The department receives and records reports of fish or game violations through a toll-free telephone number (800-532-2020). It then routes the confidential information to DNR officers for investigation and arranges reward payments to informants through the TIP board.
In order for a TIP report/case to be eligible for a cash reward, the investigating officer must have written at least one citation, although a conviction is not necessary.
- $150 – small game, fish, birds and furbearing animals
- $200 – wild turkey and raptors
- $300 – deer, elk, moose and black bear
- $1000 – threatened or endangered species or commercial poaching operations
All of the rewards come from private funds which the TIP board has collected through membership fees, private donations and sale of promotional items such as T-shirts and caps.
Another matter of ethics
I want to digress a little here and talk about a form of littering. Again, this is about ethics and taking care of our natural resources. A reader of the outdoor page and a listener of my radio show brought this “disgusting” example of littering to my attention.
He and his young son enjoy going to area lakes and fishing from shore. However, in their travels, they have come across piles, and I do mean piles, of carp left to decompose and make for a stomach churning smell!
It appears that people have been bow hunting for carp, which is legal, but then to celebrate their shooting prowess, collect them for a picture and then leave them.
In visiting with northwest Iowa DNR law enforcement supervisor, Rich Jordet, he said this constitutes littering and a citation and costs will cost well over $100.
It’s about doing the right thing! Treat both natural resources and other outdoor enthusiasts with the same respect, and everything will be than much better!