Friday, March 21, 2003
The board of the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks TIP-MONT Program in March awarded a total of $10,850 to 15 callers to the 1-800 TIP-MONT hotline.
“In the past six months, citizens provided critical information to help us solve some important cases,” said Debbie Bingham, FWP TIP-MONT coordinator. “In four of these cases, the defendants paid restitution for trophy animals. Two of the animals taken illegally—a bighorn sheep and a very large moose—would have made the record books.”
In 2002, the TIP-MONT hotline (1-800-847-6668) received a total of 1,300 calls from concerned citizens, compared to 1,112 calls in 2001. Of these, 599 were hunting related. The top five violations reported were: waste of game, trespassing, hunting during a closed season, abandoning a game animal in the field, and possession of an illegally taken game animal.
The board awarded a total of $13,600 in rewards in 2002 to 29 individuals for their help in solving wildlife and outdoor crimes. Over 40 callers contacted TIP-MONT regarding violations on Forest Service lands. Rewards to individuals vary based on the quality of the information and other factors.
“We want to remind people that they can report all types of outdoor violations to TIP-MONT, including those that occur on Forest Service lands and Montana State Parks,” Bingham said.
Callers may report crimes involving the state’s fish, wildlife, State Parks and U.S. Forest Service lands and facilities to 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.
Individuals and agencies interested in helping increase TIP-MONT rewards may make a tax-deductible contribution to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Foundation. Contributions may be mailed to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Foundation, Attn: TIP-MONT, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.