Turn In Poachers (TIPs)
Welcome to South Dakota's Turn In Poachers (TIPs) website. I'm sure you'll find TIPs as valuable as the thousands of other users who make the program a great success. TIPs plays an important role in helping stop poachers by the mere fact that everyone can report a violation. It is as easy as one phone call, 1.888.OVERBAG (683.7224), and it may be the biggest call you ever make!
South Dakota's Turn In Poachers (TIPs) Program was started in 1984 with the help of concerned sportsmen across the state when it was discovered that two large bull elk in the Black Hills had been killed and left to waste in the field. Within one year, the program generated significant public interest and it was so successful that it was implemented statewide.
Since the Program began, there have been over 10,000 investigations initiated that have resulted in approximately 3,400 arrests. Poachers have paid over $665,000 in criminal fines and an additional $512,000 in liquidated civil damages have been assessed to these violators as well. TIPs has paid out more than $136,000 in cash rewards to individuals that have supplied information that has been critical in achieving these results. And while the cash reward provides a financial incentive to report violations, when all is said and done, many people donate the award back to the Program.
The main goals of the TIPs Program are to:
- Increase the awareness of poaching problems and resulting loss of recreational opportunity;
- Actively investigate all poaching violations in response to citizen reports;
- Protect the state's fish and wildlife to ensure future generations have the opportunity to enjoy these resources; and lastly,
- Serve as a deterrent to those who may consider taking fish and wildlife illegally.
TIPs is a private, non-profit organization run by Wildlife Protection Incorporated. The Program is funded through donations from the big game license application check-off, private individual/group donations and through court ordered restitution. The TIPs Program uses these funds to pay rewards, put up state highway signs, distribute literature, run TV and radio announcements, and provide other educational items used to promote the program and create awareness of the impacts poaching. Rewards are paid in cash once an arrest is made and informants can protect their identity and remain anonymous. Rewards of up to $300 for big game and $100 for fish and small game. Higher rewards may be paid in extreme cases. All it takes is one call 1.888.OVERBAG (683.7224) to make a difference! You can also submit an online report on a violation.
TIPs SUMMARY- July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012
- 309 INVESTIGATIONS
- 74 ARRESTS
- $14,323 fines
- $4,400 civil penalties
- 245 days of jail (245 suspended)
- $3,950 REWARDS PAID
PROGRAM TOTALS 1984 - June 30, 2012
- 10,250 INVESTIGATIONS
- 3,443 ARRESTS
- $665,268 fines
- $512,987 civil penalties
- 32,434 days of jail (29,274 suspended)
- 136,215 REWARDS PAID
TIPs Overall Report
|TIPs Year*||# Investigations||# Arrests||Rewards Paid|
*The TIPs year is from July 1 to June 30 and since most cases are in the fall, all these stats are compiled for this time period and recorded for the fall year date.
478 PERCH SEIZED
On January 7, 2000, Game, Fish and Parks Conservation Officers Mike and Martin Yost seized 478 perch as part of an overbag investigation that resulted in:
$607 in fines
2 years loss of fishing privileges
Fraud Licenses Have High Cost
DID YOU KNOW IT COST SOMEONE $7,393 TO HUNT ILLEGALLY IN SD?
Conservation Officer Doug Day of Flandreau received a TIP's call from an individual suspecting that a person was not a South Dakota resident but was receiving resident licenses by using a South Dakota address.
Officer Day conducted an investigation, arrested the suspect, and confiscated the poacher's buck deer.
The violator posted a $500 cash bond and was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on four Moody county charges. Additional charges were possible in five other S.D. counties. He faced possible charges for 16 counts of fraudulently purchasing resident licenses dating as far back as 1992, 3 counts of taking big game without the proper license, possession of drivers licenses from two states, making false statements on a S.D. drivers license application, and two counts of ineligible big game applications.
The violator appeared with his attorney in Moody County court to accept a plea agreement reached with the prosecuting attorney.The violator pled "No Contest" to two counts of fraud on obtaining resident licenses. He paid fines and costs of $1500, was sentenced to 180 days in jail with 177 days suspended (will serve 3 days), will lose his privilege to hunt, fish and trap in South Dakota for 3 years, forfeited his South Dakota drivers license, will have his Iowa drivers license suspended for 30 days, and will be on good behavior for one year. Also, as part of the agreement, he will pay restitution to Game, Fish and Parks in the amount of $2193, the difference between what he paid for resident licenses and what he should have paid as a non-resident. In addition to the criminal case and attorney's fees, he faces $3,700 in civil damages for the game taken illegally in South Dakota.
One call is all it took to catch this poacher. Should you be the next TIPs caller, you can be entitled to a cash reward just like this caller.
85 Pheasants Yield Big Fines
On October 19, 1999, Game Fish and Parks Conservation Officers Kraig Haase and Martin Yost received a TIPs call about hunters who killed over their limit of pheasants. After investigating the case, they arrested five poachers with 85 pheasants. The final case resulted in fines of $4,413 and civil damages of $2,300. Total cost for a one weekend pheasant hunt - $6,713 and they lost their birds.
Fish at Home Count Too!
Once the poacher got home with his fish, he did not think he had to count the fish in his possession limit. Wrong!
Conservation Officer Andy Alban seized 40 walleyes out of a residence and arrested one person for being 24 walleyes over the limit. Fine was $108 with $2,400 in civil damages. Poacher lost his fishing privileges for one year.
Seven Deer Left to Rot
One person legally shot these seven deer during the fall deer seasons. He then left them to rot, as the weather that fall and winter was very warm. He was arrested and paid a fine of $541.