New Hampshire Offers Operation Game Thief Reporting Online
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement Division announces a new online function for Operation Game Thief, a system that offers concerned citizens and responsible sportsmen and women a way to anonymously report poachers and poaching incidents. A new Operation Game Thief web page at www.WildNH.com/OGT now allows people to report fish and wildlife crimes electronically, online, 24 hours a day. The new system was put in place to supplement the current reporting system, which uses a toll-free phone number, and allows someone who has specific information regarding a wildlife crime a convenient and anonymous method of reporting it.
On the Operation Game Thief page, users will be able to complete the new electronic reporting form, which will ask specific information regarding the poacher or poaching incident witnessed. The e-mail address and identity of the reporting party are not sent to Fish and Game, and the submitted information will not be used for any purpose other than to attempt to apprehend the offender being reported.
Operation Game Thief was started in 1989 by a group of concerned New Hampshire citizens who wanted a toll-free telephone number and reward system by which poachers and poaching incidents could be reported. It remains an important tool in combating poaching today, especially considering the advances in communication that have become available since its inception. Today, someone witnessing a violation can immediately report it by placing a call using a telephone or cell phone, or by filling out the online form. Callers do not have to reveal their names, testify in court or sign a deposition. Rewards are paid if an arrest is made or a citation is issued; they are not contingent upon getting a conviction.
"The N.H. Fish and Game Department is excited about this new electronic online reporting system to aid in the fight against poaching activities in New Hampshire," said Capt. Martin Garabedian of Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division. "Because Conservation Officers cover large territories and cannot be everywhere, we rely on sportsmen and women to assist us in our endeavors to protect wildlife. Wildlife violations occur at all times of the day and night and frequently in remote areas. We hope people will take advantage of the convenient new reporting system in addition to the toll-free 800 number, because it will be a benefit to people and wildlife in New Hampshire."
The state's fish and wildlife populations are an important natural resource, and they belong to all of the citizens of New Hampshire now and for the future. Unfortunately, poachers and poaching continue to threaten New Hampshire's fisheries and wildlife populations. Fish and Game Law Enforcement officers follow up on every violation reported to Operation Game Thief. Reports often concern the taking an overlimit of deer in hunting season, using bait in fly-fishing-only waters, or one of dozens of other illegal activities, most related to hunting or fishing. Operation Game Thief tips frequently result in warnings or summonses issued to violators, and investigations of poaching incidents.
If you see a poaching incident, get the facts; then call 1-800-344-4262, visit www.WildNH.com/OGT or contact your local Conservation Officer. The more information you give (violation, location, road, vehicle description, license number, direction of travel, description of persons, etc.), the better the chance of an arrest.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.