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Witnesses asked to report violations

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department encourages hunters, anglers and landowners who have witnessed a fish or wildlife violation to file a report with the Report All Poachers program.

RAP is a cooperative project between the Game and Fish Department, State Radio Communications and the North Dakota Wildlife Federation. The RAP line offers rewards - from $100 to $1,000 depending on the nature and seriousness of the crime - for information that leads to a conviction of fish and wildlife law violators. Reports can also go directly to game wardens or other law enforcement agencies. Callers can remain anonymous.

Witnesses should note vehicle description, including make, color, license plate number and state issued. Description of the violator should also be considered.

In 2007, state radio has sent 161 incident reports to game wardens, with approximately 20 percent of those RAP calls. Robert Timian, chief of enforcement for the Game and Fish Department, said even though some citizens are not interested in the reward, it is still important to play a role in landing potential violators.

"A typical call received through RAP is from someone saying 'I want to report someone shooting too many ducks,' or 'someone didn't tag a buck.' A violation of any type can be reported," Timian said.

Reporting a violation is extremely important, Timian said, because each warden covers a large district. "With a staff of 34 wardens covering the entire state we can't be everywhere," he said.

Witnesses should report a violation by calling the RAP telephone number at 800-472-2121. RAP will then contact the local game warden immediately. If the witness gives the RAP operator a phone number, the witness will be contacted right away.