IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - As hunting season continues to draw outdoorsmen out from all over looking for the different animals drawing them out, the risk of poaching rises.
The Idaho Fish and Game is continuing to remind hunters of how they can continue to help curve amount of poachers in Idaho. Upper Snake Region communications manager James Brower says there is always something hunters need to be constantly vigilant for more than just their prize.
"We always say if you see something, say something. So it is really important for those individuals that are out there hunting legally to be on the watch, for people that are not doing things in the way that they should. And to report those violations, whether it's big or small, and there's a lot of things that they can do to be a good witness."
Brower says there are a few steps hunters can take in order to help officials out when it comes to their investigation into the incidents.
"Taking pictures is a great one. Getting license plate and vehicle descriptions and information also really good paying attention to the suspect. What are they wearing? Where are they at? Giving us a GPS location is really good information as well. And also reporting quickly. So if you see something, report it as quickly as you can and don't wait for weeks or months because by that time the trail is run cold and there's usually very little we can do in those situations."
Brower also reminds hunters to pay extra attention the sex of the species that they are licensed for as well as how many you can take home. He says that in instances where you're unsure of the cause of death for the animal, you can always help them investigate the cause.
"So pictures are really great. Locations are also very valuable to us. If you have a GPS location that you can just mark on your phone so that we can find it easily. If you suspect an animal has been illegally taken, let us know as quickly as you can. Give your the citizens Against Poaching hotline a call or your local conservation officer. You can call us here at the office or if the situation is dire, you can always get a hold of the local county sheriff."
He says during the season when you are out and about if you start hearing shots before sunrise you can help the authorities out.
"If you hear gunshots that are well before sunrise. So the legal hunting hours for big game animals in particular are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. So if you're hearing shots in the middle of the night or you see people out there spotlighting, maybe they're, you know, on private property where you have access to but somebody else probably does not. Those are all good things to call in and report."
Brower says calling the Citizens against Poaching Hotline at 1-800-632-5999 is also a possible resource and may give out rewards to those who help provide information to solve a poaching case.
Brower says while poaching cases still happen, many people in the state are still doing things the right way.
"I would just like to say that the vast majority of hunters are doing things by the book, and legally it's that very small percentage of people that choose to make a mistake or two to violate and go the other way and take things illegally. And that is a crime that is stealing from the legal hunters of the state of Idaho."
He encourages hunters while they're out to say something if they see something to say something, he says at many of the popular destinations of the hunters, Fish and Game will have check stations to make sure hunters are still following the rules.