If you’ve ever seen a photo of a poached deer, chances are you wish you hadn’t. The sad reality is countless numbers of big game animals are illegally killed in Kansas each year. While Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game wardens make every effort to solve these cases, lack of evidence often leaves criminals unpunished. The good news is you don’t have to be a game warden to play a significant role in helping solve a poaching case.
Operation Game Thief (OGT), 1-877-426-3843, is a toll-free line available 24/7, 365 days a year, where citizens can anonymously report wildlife-related crimes. Once a call has been placed, the message is relayed to the game warden nearest the violation.
If you suspect you are witnessing a wildlife crime do not confront the suspects. Pay attention to detail so you can provide as much specific information as possible when you call OGT. Information such as vehicle model and color, license tag numbers, descriptions of people involved, location, and the time the incident occurred will help game wardens find the poachers.
OGT calls have resulted in numerous arrests and convictions on violations ranging from deer poaching to public lands vandalism. In many cases, poachers have been arrested within minutes of the call. If you think picking up the phone can’t make a difference, think again. Those who commit wildlife crimes aren’t just stealing from the land; they are stealing from us all. Help bring them to justice by calling OGT at 1-877-426-3843.