Saturday, Oct. 22, the opening day of firearms season for deer hunting, also is Turn In Poachers (TIP) Day in Georgia, according to a proclamation signed by Gov. Nathan Deal. TIP, Inc., is a non-profit organization protecting wildlife from poachers by increasing public support for conservation rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

According to the proclamation, “the ownership of all wildlife is by the state of Georgia. It is held in trust for all Georgians to enjoy. A poacher is one who takes wildlife illegally thereby depriving other citizens of our state’s natural resources.”

Hunters should call or e-mail the TIP hotline upon witnessing a poaching violation. All information acquired through the TIP hotline is forwarded to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division conservation ranger for further investigation. If information leads to an arrest, TIP pays a reward to the caller. Callers also may choose to remain anonymous.

Callers should try to obtain the following information: the type of violation, a description of the violator, description of the violator’s vehicle, and the date, time and location of the violation.

Common poaching violations include, hunting during illegal hours, hunting from a public road, taking over the bag limit, hunting or fishing in unauthorized areas, killing deer illegally, hunting over bait, buying or selling wildlife, killing or being in possession of nongame or endangered species and stocking wildlife.

The public can reach the TIP hotline by dialing 1-800-241-4113, by dialing *DNR on a cell phone, or by sending an email to TurnInPoachers@dnr.state.ga.us .