“I Submitted a TIP. What’s Next?”

November 10, 2023

Reporting poaching incidents is crucial. The TIP program was created to encourage people to report suspicious activity. If you witness unlawful activities, submit a TIP.

Submitting a Strong Tip

If you observe a suspicious activity that could be considered poaching, take immediate action by reporting it through the TIP line. Your quick response assists Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Troopers in catching poachers and preventing future violations. Even if you aren’t sure if you witnessed poaching, troopers will gladly take note of the incident and respond appropriately. The more detailed your TIP, the more effective it is. Vital details to include are a description of the activity or violation, date, time, location, vehicle specifics, suspect descriptions, the wildlife species involved, and, if available, a photograph. For additional tips on creating a strong report, refer to our recent blog post.

Who Responds to Your Call

When you call the TIP line, the Oregon State Police dispatch responds. They collect as much information as you can provide, and though they may request your name and location, you have the option to remain anonymous. Regardless of the level of detail you provide, troopers will make the most of all available information. Once law enforcement or another agency takes charge of the information you’ve supplied, you can go about your day.

How OSP Fish & Wildlife Investigates a TIP

Upon receiving a tip, the OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers will investigate the case, including:

  • Determine if further investigation is required. When reviewing well-intentioned TIPs, troopers may find that the reporting party or alleged poacher was misinformed. For low-level offenses, this can be a learning opportunity for either party. Even if you are unsure, troopers view contacting legal hunters and anglers as an opportunity for positive interactions.
  • Gathering evidence: This involves gathering photos, videos, witness statements, and physical evidence to build a case.
  • Interviews: With witnesses, suspects, and others who may have information about the incident.
  • Surveillance: Carrying out surveillance operations to gather more information on potential violators.

If the investigation uncovers evidence of a violation, OSP Fish & Wildlife may take legal action, including issuing citations, making arrests, and referring cases to the appropriate District Attorney’s office for prosecution. New sentencing guidelines allow for stricter penalties and the possibility of elevating poaching crimes from misdemeanors to felonies.

TIP Reward Criteria

Tipsters can receive cash rewards and hunter preference points as incentives if their tip leads to an arrest or citation. The Turn In Poachers (TIP) program is a collaborative effort involving the Oregon State Police, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Wildlife Coalition, Oregon Outfitter and Guides Association, and the Oregon State Marine Board. Rewards and hunter preference points apply to crimes involving all species of fish and wildlife.

Recognizing Anti-Poaching Efforts

OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers play an integral role in curbing poaching across the state. Each year, OHA gives out the “Turn in Poachers (TIP) Award” to the trooper who gives out the most TIP rewards. This year, Sr. Trooper Zac Cochran received the 2022 TIP award from Mid-Valley Chapter OHA representative Steve Gilbert. Remarkably, Sr. Trooper Cochran has received this award for the second time. Trooper Dakotah Keys also received the TIP award for 2021.

Whether you’re experienced or new to hunting, it’s crucial to remain vigilant for signs of poaching. Protecting Oregon’s wildlife is a shared responsibility among all Oregonians. If you suspect poaching, act promptly by dialing *OSP. Your contribution is vital to safeguarding Oregon’s fish and wildlife for future generations.

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