Operation Game Thief

This is Passport to Texas

Since 1981, Operation Game Thief has been protecting Texas’ natural resources with the help of a nature-loving public that calls in with tips about law-breakers.

When our game wardens respond, and they can catch the individual, and make the arrest by citation—or physically take them to jail—upon their conviction, that individual can be eligible for a reward payment of us to one thousand dollars.

Eric Howard, Operation Game Thief program administrator, says most people who call the Crime Stoppers-like hotline aren’t interested in a reward.

It’s more just pride—love of Texas’ natural resources. When a person calls in, they’re asked, do they want a reward. About 60-65% will say no, they’re just calling in because they see something that they know isn’t right and they just want it stopped.

Game Warden Howard tells us about an incident this fall in which a man captured two hawks in Laredo and transported them to North Carolina. The case was still unfolding at the time of our interview.

Someone contacted the Operation Game Thief hotline number, and a Game Warden responded through a very lengthy investigation—not only through Texas Parks and Wildlife—but the USFWS, and NC Fish and game Service. It was determined that the person did not have a license, was not permitted to have the hawks and was not any kind of falconer.

And that made the trapping and transport illegal. Learn more about Operation Game Thief, and find the hotline number on the Texas parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.
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From the Operation Game Thief Website:

Poachers are stealing from you! Help stop to illegal hunting and fishing in Texas. If you have information which will assist game wardens in apprehending persons who are violating the hunting and fishing regulations of this state, Operation Game Thief needs your help!

Call immediately! Dial toll-free, 1-800-792-GAME (4263), any time, day or night and provide the following information to the Texas Parks and Wildlife police communications officer:

  • the nature of the violation
  • the location of the violation
  • the name and/or description of the violator
  • a description of any vehicle or boat involved in the violation
  • any other important information which will assist in apprehending the violator

If you wish to remain anonymous, a code number will be assigned to you. You do not have to give your name if you do not want to. The more information you can provide at the earliest opportunity will increase the probability of and arrest and conviction.

Report illegal hunting and fishing – call 1-800-792-GAME (4263).
“This information will not be used for any purpose other than to attempt to apprehend the offender being reported.”

“If this violation is currently in progress,
please call 800 792-4263 (GAME) immediately.”

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