If you witness or suspect a wildlife violation, report it to your local conservation agent or call 1-800-392-1111 which is staffed 24 hours a day. You may remain anonymous, and you may ask to be considered for a reward.
If your information leads to an arrest and you’ve asked to be considered for a reward, your agent will refer this request to a citizen board of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. That board assigns a reward based on the severity of the violation involved. Rewards range from $50 to $1,000.
When you call, you will be asked simple questions. The answers to these questions are vital to the investigation. Here are a few things to remember when you witness a suspected violation.
- Nature of suspected illegal activity
- Date and time of violation
- The suspect’s identity, if possible
- Description of the suspects and vehicles
Add Operation Game Thief (800-392-1111) to your phone's contact list. With this toll-free number, you can take immediate action when you see violations in the field. Do not attempt to intervene yourself.
Poaching hurts all Missourians
You may not “feel the pain” of poaching personally, but this crime can affect you in specific ways.
- Poachers steal your opportunity to hunt, fish, or collect legally.
- Those who cheat the permit system cheat every Missouri taxpayer. MDC depends on revenue from hunting and fishing permits to manage wildlife populations and habitat.
How can you tell if someone is poaching?
Each year, conservation agents spend time tracking down poachers who disregard regulations protecting wildlife. Here are some of the illegal activities that agents deal with:
- Hunting from the road
- Disposing of carcasses and other body parts in streams, rivers, ponds and lakes
- Harvesting a deer or turkey and putting someone else’s permit on it
- Using a spotlight to harvest deer or turkeys
A person is poaching if he or she…
- Sells venison, deer sausage, fish or small game to acquaintances or at work.
- Collects live animals for sale.
- Many native species of reptiles and amphibians (turtles, lizards, snakes and frogs) are illegally taken for worldwide pet trade.
- Hunts 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.
- Collects native seeds, plants, or roots on MDC lands.
Help build our reward fund
Reward money for both Operation Game Thief and Operation Forest Arson comes from a fund administered by a four-person board. Tax-deductible donations to that fund can be sent to:
Operation Game Thief/ Forest Arson Reward Fund
C/O Conservation Federation of Missouri
728 West Main St.
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101