Since the early 1980s, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has provided a tip line called “Turn in Poachers” or TIP, to report possible acts of poaching wild animals — meaning the hunting and taking of animals illegally.
Jet Quillen is the Indiana DNR law enforcement public relations captain.
Quillen said poaching is harmful to the deer population which is carefully regulated through hunting licenses based on the work of wildlife biologists.
“And when we have people out there that are disobeying the laws and just doing what they want to do, and in taking as many of these animals as they want, obviously, that can have an adverse effect on that population.”
It’s not just deer — squirrels and fish can also be poached.
In 2021, more than 300 called the TIP line to report the illegal taking of wild animals. After investigation it was found that about 10-percent of those were legitimate, said Quillen.
He said the calls can be anonymous, or reward-seeking.
“The reward right now is $500,” Quillen said. “And that's for the successful completion of a case that's related to that tip that was given.”
If you think you’ve witnessed poaching — no matter the season — call 1-800-Tip-IDNR or 1-800-847-4367. There’s also a turn-in-poacher tab on the Indiana DNR law enforcement website.