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Alabama uses new tool--Tip411--to fight poachers

From the Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources

-- Alabama  is launching Tip411, an internet based tool that enables the public to report hunting or fishing violations anonymously via text message.

To report a hunting or fishing violation, anyone with a cell phone can now text the keyword "GAMEWATCH" to the number 847411. The public is encouraged to include as much detail as possible when reporting a violation such as the name and description of the suspects, vehicle or boat description, license plate number, boat registration number, clothing description, time of your observation, and the area where the violation occurred.

Examples of hunting and fishing violations include hunting over bait, hunting at night, hunting from a public road, exceeding creel limits, hunting or fishing on private land without permission, and the illegal sale, importation or possession of wildlife. For more information visit www.outdooralabama.com.  

"Tip411 is another tool we are using to stop wildlife law violators," said Allan Andress, chief of law enforcement for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. "Citizen involvement is the key to protecting natural heritage from poachers, who unlike the majority of Alabama's hunters and anglers, disregard ethical hunting and fishing practices."

To date, Alabama is one of only three states using this technology to report hunting and fishing violations. Tip411 is used by other law enforcement agencies across the country including the Birmingham Police Department and the NYPD.

Tip411 removes all identifying information before ADCNR receives the tip, making the sender totally anonymous.

According WFF Captain Michael Bloxom, the anonymity of the process has produced results in the states using Tip411. "There have been successful tips in Washington state and Wisconsin that have resulted in hunting violation convictions," Bloxom said. "Because of the total anonymity of the program it is a great way to pass on information without fear of retribution."

The GAMEWATCH telephone tip line, 1-800-272-GAME, is another way for the public to anonymously report wildlife violations in Alabama. Critical information leading to an arrest and conviction in one of six categories is eligible for a reward of $50 to $2,500. The program is funded by Alabama Wildlife Federation. Funding for Alabama's Tip411 program is provided by the AWF and the Coastal Conservation Association.

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