PIERRE, S.D. - As summer comes to an end and hunting seasons ramp-up, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is asking citizens to make the call to the Turn In Poachers (TIPs) hotline if they observe illegal hunting, fishing or trapping activity.
"During the annual reporting period from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the TIPs program resulted in 364 investigations leading to 227 arrests, $32,000 in fines and $17,600 in liquidated civil damages," said GFP conservation officer specialist Joe Keeton. "Although the number of TIPs calls declined from the previous year, the number of arrests was the highest in program history."
This past year 364 citizens called in to report wildlife crimes, and the TIPs program rewarded those individuals with over $7,500.
"We are grateful to the men and women who have cared enough to call," said Keeton. "Each and every report is integral in the effort to curb poaching and other illegal activity in our state."
Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible for rewards in cases that lead to an arrest. Rewards may range from $100 to $500, depending on the case. Higher rewards may be offered in extreme cases.
The TIPs program began in 1984, and since that time, citizens have generated 11,658 investigations that have led to 4,181 arrests.
Individuals may call the TIPs hotline at 1.888.OVERBAG (683-7224) to report violations, or report online at tips.sd.gov. Find TIPs on Facebook at facebook.com/SDTIPs.