Wildlife enforcement officers get assistance from extra eyes in the field whenever hunters, hikers, fishermen, birdwatchers and others who love the outdoors turn in poachers.
Now, those valuable helpers can get a reward through the state’s Turn-In-Poachers, or TIP, program.
“We can only be in so many places at one time,” said Lt. B.J. Meyer, assistant training director and communications supervisor for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Law Enforcement Division.
“We’ve relied on public input since the beginning. Most people who call in are sportsmen,” said Meyer, who said his own biggest cases as a field officer were aided by citizen tips, including one that led to the arrest of a notorious deer poacher.
The reward is $100 to $1,000 for tips that lead to convictions. No tax dollars are used. The Wildlife Poacher Reward Fund money comes from the convicted poachers as at least 10 percent of replacement and investigative costs plus restoration fees paid to the commission.
“Poaching is basically theft,” Meyer said. “They’re stealing from the people who pay … their license fees.”
Previous rewards were offered by the N.C. Bowhunters Association, and the N.C. Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the N.C. Wildlife Federation. The TIP program is the implementation of Session Law 2013-380, developed in partnership with the bowhunters.
Tips may be submitted four ways: filling out a form; texting “wildtip” to 274637; calling 1-855-WILDTIP (1-855-945-3847); or using a mobile app “TipSoft” or “TipSubmit.”
Submissions are anonymous. Anyone seeking a reward must include a name and contact information.
Learn more at www.ncwildlife.org/wildtip.aspx#6350494-eligible-violations.
Gun show: The Dixie Gun and Knife Show returns to the N.C. State Fairgrounds 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 16 and 10-5 Jan. 17. Adult admission is $9. Go to www.dixiegunandknifeshow.com.
Fundraiser: The Sandhills Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its Casino Night 6-10 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Hope Mills Shrine Club. Entry is $50. Call 910-591-8548, or go to www.facebook.com/events/459942217524559.
Bycatch: The Shrimp Bycatch Reduction Industry Work Group of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will hold a workshop, open to the public, at 10 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern. Call 252-808-8089 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comment: Public comment ends Jan. 27 on proposed 2016-17 hunting, fishing and trapping rules. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is holding 7 p.m. public hearings statewide: Jan. 14, District 7, Elkin High School, Elkin; Jan. 19, District 1, Swain Auditorium, Edenton; Jan. 20, District 2, Craven Community College, New Bern; and Jan. 21, District 3, Nash Community College, Rocky Mount. Go to www.ncwildlife.org.
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