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home : opinions : editorials May 31, 2016

9/20/2011 11:28:00 AM
Editorial: Report wildlife hunting violations properly

Lynda Duffy
Former Editor

Fall brings changing colors of leaves along with hunters to our region. Some hunts are already under way. Our community welcomes hunters from outside our area. The majority of hunters consists of respectful and law abiding citizens. However, as with any sport or recreational activity, there are always a few rotten apples in the bunch.

Arizona Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers want the public to report wildlife hunting violations, but there are things a person should and shouldn't do at a potential crime scene. In most of us, the desire to help and do the right thing is important. However, there are times that desire can actually hinder law enforcement efforts.

For instance, sometimes those encountering violations inform the violator they will be calling the Operation Game Thief (OGT) 24-hour hotline. At that point the violator flees the scene before law enforcement personnel can arrive.

A better approach is to avoid contact, leave the scene and call the OGT hotline as soon as possible with details. Obtain information such as license plate numbers, names (if known), vehicle descriptions and GPS coordinates. These are all tips the responding officer will use to locate violators.

Another common mistake people make is getting too close or examining a dead animal. Additional footprints, tire tracks and any disturbance of the area makes an investigation difficult - if not impossible. If the death of a wild animal appears to be suspicious, Game and Fish personnel say it is likely illegal. Do not disturb the area around the site. Instead, call the OGT hotline and provide the location.

Finally, individuals should remember that confronting suspected violators in remote areas could be dangerous. Allow trained law enforcement officers to handle such situations. Individuals should focus on being a good witness without putting themselves in harm's way.

Anyone witnessing or suspecting a violation can call OGT toll free, 24 hours a day at 1-800-352-0700. Callers can remain anonymous. The OGT program may pay rewards for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in a case.

Share your hunting photos

Many locals and visitors are enjoying the fall hunting season this year. If your hunt is successful, please take a moment and shoot - no pun intended - a photo of your animal. Photos can be sent to editorial@williamsnews.com. Please include pertinent information such as weight, horn points, date and unit number. We cannot wait to see your photos.

What's up with the fireworks?

Thanks to the Williams Volunteer Fire Department, we enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display Saturday night. What was unfortunate is not everyone knew to watch for fireworks. Information regarding fireworks came to us past our deadline. Please place the News at the top of your list when planning events.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Article comment by: pro Hunter

Linda great article thanks for spreading the word, but something people should know is that people can and should call local law enforcement as they are normally closer than game and fish officers as they can and also required by law to enforce game and fish violations. They can start an investigation prior to game and fishs arrival.

Posted: Monday, September 26, 2011
Article comment by: old timer

I'm too old to hunt anymore. I love seeing the pictures of the successful hunters!! While there are many hunters who didn't get anything, the time spent outdoors with friends and family is what is most important! Please keep showing the pictures and I will buy two papers to make up for Larry Amershaw!!!!

Posted: Monday, September 26, 2011
Article comment by: Jack Hillingdon

Hunting is a moral violation. I will report it.

Posted: Monday, September 26, 2011
Article comment by: LARRY AMERSHAM

Some of us, believe it or not think hunting is not a pleasant past time. I know you do, Lynda. You are the editor. You have the job. BUT, can you do us a favor and keep out the pictures and just write lengthy editorials on how wonderful the kill was instead of us who have to look at the smiley faces of those who think they accomplished something wonderful.
When animals have no chance, that to me is not a challenge nor is it a big sport accomplishment.
I, for one shall not be buying your paper.
My son was shot by a hunter.

Posted: Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Article comment by: Kevin Schulte

In regards to the fireworks. The Chamber of Commerce was in charge of advertising for the fireworks display and dropped the ball, they were the ones that picked the date! They were supposed to advertise it in the paper, Bearizona's billboard, and the radio. I did hear it on Kaff but it never said what time. So the firefighters tried to pick up the slack and get it out on the social networks and by word of mouth. Hopefully if the fire dept. shoots fireworks again it will be advertised better. It was a great show for those who did get to watch. Good Job WFD!

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