Friday, March 31, 2006
TIP-MONT, the "crimestoppers" program managed by Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, recently paid rewards totaling $11,400 to 18 callers. The callers reported natural resource crimes that included illegal possession of big game; exceeding limits; hunting without a license; abondoning game in the field; loaning and transfering licenses; spotlighting; hunting during closed seasons and shooting from the road.
TIP-MONT receives an average of about 1,300 calls in a 12-month period. If a caller's information leads to an arrest, he or she may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Callers who observe a crime involving big game, fish and vandalism in parks may call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668) telephone line to make a report. Another option is to call the local FWP warden or sheriff’s office.
Calls placed immediately after the crime occurs that give accurate, detailed information are the most helpful to game wardens who investigate these crimes. Callers may remain anonymous.
To make sure your TIP-MONT call gets results, follow these guidelines:
* Avoid contact with the individuals and never put your safety at risk.
* Gather as many facts as possible and try to write the information down immediately.
* Note where and at what time the violation occurred.
* Note the physical description of the people involved including approximate weight, height, hair color and description of clothing.
* Describe the vehicles involved and, if possible, get a license plate number, OHV number, boat hull number or plane number.
* Describe any physical evidence and where it can be found. Do not attempt to move, collect, touch or destroy evidence.
* Note additional witnesses and, if possible, how to contact them.