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Poaching is the illegal harvest of any wildlife. Poaching is a problem in Washington. Each year Fish and Wildlife Officers find people who shoot animals out of season, in excess of the legal bag limit, etc. A poacher is a wildlife thief.

Nobody knows exactly how many deer, elk, pheasants, or ducks are killed illegally each year, but the figure is in the thousands. The poacher is stealing wildlife that belongs to the citizens of the state, and you can help prevent poaching activity.

If you see a poaching violation, please take the time to report it to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Do not confront a poacher. Helpful information includes: date of violation; time; location; description of suspect and suspect's vehicle, especially the license plate number; and type of violation. Reports can be kept confidential, and rewards are paid on some types of violations.

Poachers can be fined and/or jailed. In addition, they may have their firearm and/or their vehicle seized and forfeited to the state, depending upon their violation. Certain types of wildlife violations result in loss of hunting privileges for a minimum of two years. For example, poachers who kill big game automatically lose their hunting license privileges. Individuals convicted of three or more wildlife violations within a ten-year period may face additional penalties.

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