The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Enforcement Program encourages any citizen who witnesses a fish
and wildlife offense to report the violation. There are currently only 141 commissioned Fish and Wildlife Officers in
Washington, approximately 1 for every 43,288 citizens. The state encompasses 66,582 square miles, 157 miles of coast line,
3,026 miles of shoreline, 8,000 lakes and 40,000 miles of rivers and streams. This means the effectiveness of Officers to curb
the activities of poachers is dependent upon your help.
Witnesses are encouraged to report violations by calling toll-free 1-877-933-9847, using the dedicated email for reporting poaching, or reporting the crime by using the
on-line reporting form. You always have the choice to remain anonymous when reporting.
Violator information that leads to a conviction, could be eligible for a cash reward (up to $500), or hunting bonus points
(up to 10 points). Hunting bonus points provide a greatly improved chance for drawing special permits for hunting. Annually,
about $ 8,000.00 is paid, and about 90 individuals receive special hunt drawing bonus points.
Poaching is the illegal taking or possession of game animals and fish, non-game, and protected, threatened, or endangered
fish and wildlife species. Hunting deer/elk with the aid of a spotlight, closed season, closed area, possessing over the legal
limits of fish or wildlife, killing of protected and endangered fish or wildlife, or destruction of critical habitat owned or
controlled by WDFW are just a few examples. Please refer to the hunting or fishing regulations
posted on the WDFW website for further definition.
Poachers have different motivations for what they do. Some kill illegally for food, others for strictly a monetary profit.
Some poach in order to secure what they consider to be valuable trophies. And a few individuals poach just for the thrill of
seeing how many animals they can kill in a given time frame in competition with others. Poaching is a growing problem that
occurs year around. Regardless of the reason, poaching is a serious crime that cannot be justified or condoned.
Poaching has a direct affect on all of us that follow the rules. For example, poaching diminishes current and future fish and
wildlife populations thus reducing hunting/fishing and watchable wildlife opportunities of us and our children, and deprives
the state and local businesses of revenue. Poaching impacts our ability to properly manage the fish and wildlife resources of
the state. Legal hunting and fishing seasons are designed to remove the annual harvestable surplus. Poachers are impacting the
fish and wildlife breeding populations needed to sustain or increase future harvest levels for legal hunters.
It is not known exactly how much poachers kill, but it’s quite probable that they can illegally take just as much as
legitimate hunters/fishers do in some areas during regular hunting seasons.
If you believe you have just witnessed a fish/wildlife violation, gather all the necessary information to report:
- Automobile license number, make, color, model, year, general condition (4X4, camper/canopy, etc.).
- Description of person(s) that committed the violation (sex, general age, race, hair color, general build, name/address if
- Type of violation, where and when it occurred (time, Game Management Unit, GPS coordinates, road junctions), and species
Immediate reporting will significantly increase the ability of an Officer to contact the violator while still in the field.
Use your cell phone if you are in a coverage area.
Never confront a poacher. Avoid getting too close to or examining a dead animal because such actions may contaminate the site
and make an investigation difficult. So don’t disturb the crime scene.
Poachers are thieves. Poaching steals the opportunity from the rest of us that correctly follow legal regulations. A true
sportsman is safe, ethical, responsible, and legal. Poachers meet none of those attributes.
All poaching/violation reports are important. Due to limited Enforcement Program staffing, it is not always possible to
provide an immediate response to every call. Fish and Wildlife Officers routinely follow-up with individuals making reports to
clarify and gather further information.
Bottom line is that given the size of Officer patrol areas, we need your help to apprehend poachers. We depend upon help from
the public. Together we can make a difference for the fish and wildlife resources of the state.
The Washington Hunter Education/Turn In a Poacher (HE/TIP) Trailer will have two primary objectives: a) To engage the hunting
public and general public in direct protection of their natural resources; and b) To promote Hunter Education and recruitment
of the next generation of hunters to continue the heritage of hunting in Washington State.
It will be a primary community policing and enforcement outreach tool used by Fish and Wildlife Officers throughout the state
at county fairs, sportsman’s shows, outdoor events, and other venues.
A main attraction will be the Washington Poachers Wall of Shame which will display wildlife and fish that have been illegal
killed, along with the information about the subsequent prosecutions and disposition of the cases.
Scheduling of the HE/TIP Trailer is determined by the Enforcement Headquarters Lieutenant (360-902-2923). Only approved WDFW
employees or approved certified WDFW volunteers may operate the HE/TIP Trailer.
The HE/TIP Trailer offers a unique opportunity for individuals, non-profits, or commercial businesses to provide gifts or
donations to help curb poaching, protect critical habitats, and promote the hunting heritage in Washington. A three-tiered
donor program has been established under the authority of RCW 77.15.425, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Reward Account. (Gold =
gifts/donations/materials/services of $2,500 or more over five years; Silver = gifts/donations/materials/services of $1,000 or
more over two years; Bronze = gifts/donations/materials/services of any amount up to $1,000 for one year) Anyone interested in
providing gifts or donations for the HE/TIP Trailer and Truck should contact the Enforcement Headquarters Lieutenant
(360-902-2923). See the link for the HE/TIP Trailer and Truck
Gift and Donation Policy.
GOLD CATEGORY DONORS
Eyes In The Woods Association
SILVER CATEGORY DONOR