The TIP Program was created to pay rewards to persons who provide information that result in the arrest and conviction of persons who have committed certain wildlife offenses. These rewards range from $100 to $1000 depending on the severity of the crime and the fines assessed by the court. All tips will remain anonymous however to be eligible for the reward, you must provide the NCWRC with your name and contact information. There are several methods available to report a game law violation.
It appears the system is being managed by a national game law violation system. You can report it on the internet. The best way to access this is through the Commissions website, www.ncwildlife/wildtip, where you can click on a link to the form for submission. There is also a free mobile app. Search in Google Play or Apple App Store for “TipSoft” or “TipSubmit” and download it. You can also send a text message to 274637 (Crimes) by typing WILDTIP followed by the message. When all else fails there is a toll-free line, 1-855-WILDTIP (9453847). I would encourage all landowners/hunters to write these down for ready access. If you are in the field when you observe the crime the mobile app or text message are your best bets.
The website also has a list of eligible violations and it is worth viewing. Most of them are those you would suspect (illegal taking of game, spotlighting deer, illegal baiting, etc.) but some are less familiar. According to the website, “Reported violations are usually prioritized based on the severity and/or the legitimacy of the information provided. Due to limited resources and personnel, it is not possible to have an immediate response to every call. All violations receive the highest priority and every attempt is made to immediately dispatch an officer to the scene. With extraordinarily large patrol areas, it is not always possible for an immediate response to a violation. That is why it is extremely important that you act as a good witness so that a follow-up by an officer may be conducted. Although an immediate response is not always possible, rest assured that your call and assistance are still important.” So it is important to gather as much descriptive information about the incident as possible when you observe it.
The 2016 – 2017 NC Regulation Digests are out to license agents. We just got ours in the other day and haven’t had a chance to get into the details. It looks like the same format as always and there is an overview of the most significant regulation changes on page 2 of the book. There is also a page (p. 15) dedicated to the above information on WILDTIP with contact methods. Many of the changes are about bear hunting regulations. Also, because of the new planning cycle, the migratory game bird seasons are now listed in the regulation digest. In the past they had to send out a separate season listing. This is very convenient for hunters. Glad they got the two lined up.
With the new licensing year, there is a change to license procedure. When you purchase a license now, a license agent may ask if you want to make a contribution to the new Outdoor Heritage Trust Fund. This was also established in the 2013 legislative session. We reported this earlier about eh Outdoor Heritage Council that is part of the Commission. Their goal is to increase hunting and angling opportunities for youth. I’ve got problems with the Council since the mountain region has only one representative of 13 on the council. Contributions to the fund will help this program.
Don Mallicoat owns Wings & Clays Guns and Gear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.633.1806.