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Poaching: Enough Is Enough

Together, we can stop poachers.

Over the years, hunters in Montana have helped FWP restore elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and other game animals. Now they and others interested in conservation can help us protect that wildlife from poachers.

Poaching is a growing problem, one that occurs statewide and year-round. Poachers take some of Montana's biggest and best game specimens, robbing law-abiding citizens of opportunities to see and legally harvest those animals.

FWP game wardens have broken several major poaching rings in recent years. But with just 72 wardens each covering an average of 2,000 square miles (about the size of Delaware), they can't put a major dent in poaching without help.

Fortunately, there's a way for people to assist game wardens. Through the department's TIP-MONT Program, concerned individuals can report anyone they suspect of hunting illegally. Since the program began in 1985, FWP has received thousands of calls, many resulting in wardens catching and judges convicting poachers.

One reason TIP-MONT works so well is that callers may remain anonymous. What's more, if a tip results in a conviction, the caller is eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Each year TIP-MONT gives rewards totaling $15,000 to $20,000, money that mostly comes from hunting license fees.

TIP-MONT receives roughly 1,700–2,000 calls each year, but we'd like to see that number increase. To help spread the word about poaching and encourage people to call TIP-MONT.

We're making some headway against poaching. But we can do much more if we all work together to fight this problem. If you see or learn about any illegal or suspicious hunting activity, please call 1-800-TIP-MONT.