Key in Catching Poachers
Idaho covers nearly 84,000 square miles, and that means each of Idaho Fish and Game's 104 conservation officers has nearly 1,100 square miles to patrol.
By themselves, conservation officers know they will never catch all the poachers. They must rely on the people of Idaho and other states that enjoy Idaho's great outdoors. Without calls from the public to Idaho's Citizens Against Poaching Hotline, known as CAP, many of these game thieves and fish thieves would not be caught or punished.
The Citizens Against Poaching program was started in December 1980, receiving its official charter title in January 1981.
The organization was established by concerned individuals under the guidance of Idaho Fish and Game. It was patterned after the New Mexico Operation Game Thief program.
CAP is a nonprofit corporation with interested hunters and anglers from around the state serving as regional directors and officers. Fish and Game receives and records reports of violations through a toll-free telephone number, routes the information to conservation officers for investigation, and arranges for reward payments. Rewards are paid if the information supplied is sufficient for a citation or a warrant to be issued. A conviction is not necessary.
Major funding sources are:
- Controlled hunt fee check-offs.
- Court ordered reimbursements.
- License sales commission on licenses sold at department offices.
The CAP program has been very successful. Set reward amounts are $100 for birds, fish, and general violations, $250 for most big game animals and $500 for trophy species, such as sheep, goat, moose and caribou. With approval from the CAP board, these amounts can be increased in special circumstances.