Poaching — the taking of wildlife outside of season, without the proper permit, or in other violation of the Wildlife Code of Missouri — hurts Missouri wildlife and those who appreciate it as hunters, anglers, and nature watchers. The Operation Game Thief (OGT) hotline allows Missourians to protect nature by reporting poaching.
If you witness or suspect a wildlife violation, report it to your local conservation agent or call the OGT 24-hour, toll-free
number — 800-392-1111. You may remain anonymous, and you may be considered for a reward.
If your information results in an arrest and you’ve asked to be considered for a reward, your agent will refer the request to a Operation Game Thief citizen board. That board assigns rewards ranging from $50 to $1,000 based on the severity of the violation.
How can you tell if someone is poaching?
A person “spotlighting” and shooting deer from a vehicle is poaching.
He’s gaining an unfair advantage over his quarry — and over
other hunters. The term “poaching” covers all wildlife violations.
Examples of poaching include:
- Selling venison, deer sausage, fish, or small game to acquaintances or at work.
- Collecting live animals for sale. Many native species of reptiles and amphibians (turtles, lizards, snakes, and frogs) are illegally taken for worldwide pet trade.
- Hunting without a permit or with an inappropriate permit. Some non-residents will try to buy lower-cost resident permits, even though they are not qualified to do so.
- Collecting native seeds, plants, or roots on Conservation Department lands.
Poaching Hurts All Missourians
You may not think poaching affects you personally, but these crimes steal the opportunity for those that hunt and fish legally in Missouri.
Those who cheat the permit system cheat every Missouri taxpayer. The Conservation Department depends on revenue from hunting and fishing permits to manage wildlife populations and habitat.