LITTLE ROCK - It happens every fall - and at other
times of the year, also. Someone sees a blatant violation of game
laws and wonders where the wildlife officers are.
Or the observer may phone the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC)
and say, "I saw a couple of guys night hunting last week. No, I
didn't get a license number. Your game wardens need to stop this kind
Yes, the AGFC wildlife officers need to stop night hunting, out of
season poaching and other violations, but they need help in doing it.
Quick, accurate information is the biggest boost the average citizen
can give them.
Here are some pointers for helping apprehend wildlife violators:
* Time is of the essence. The quicker a violation is reported to AGFC,
the more likely the outlaw is likely to be caught. Cell phones can be
extremely useful, although they don't function in some isolated
areas. Make a note of the exact time you saw the violation.
* Take pen and paper with you. You'll need the pen to fill out a tag
if you get a deer. Just a single sheet of folded paper will be plenty
for recorded information on a violation.
* Get a vehicle license number. This is the quickest means for an
officer to trace a suspect. Binoculars in the woods are handy for
checking game, and they are extremely helpful for reading a license
* Notice and jot down details of the vehicle - make, color, type (two
doors, four doors), anything unusual about it.
* Provide an accurate location. "About a half mile off that gravel
road east of town" doesn't do it. If you have a GPS (global
positioning system) unit, take a reading. All AGFC wildlife officers
are equipped with these and are trained to use them.
* Describe the person or persons. Their physical description is more
vital than what clothing they are wearing. The type of clothing and
headwear being worn can help with the description. Names are very
good, if you know the person or persons.
* Do not confront or try to apprehend a violator and hold him or her
for an officer to arrive. That's not your duty as a citizen, and it
can be extremely dangerous. These bad actors are almost always
* Gather your information from a hidden position or from a distance.
No wildlife violation, no matter how serious, is worth getting hurt
or killed for.
Write down the AGFC toll-free hotline number and keep it with you, or
memorize it - 1-800-482-9262. Cingular cell phone users can just dial
#847. Alltel cell phone users can dial *847. Calls to these numbers
are more feasible than a call to a local wildlife officer's home or
Names of informants are kept confidential by the AGFC.