Poaching, Other Game Violations Spur $75K in Fines in Arizona

Susan Beebe | Show Low

The Arizona Game and Fish Department issued 76 citations totaling nearly $75,000 in fines in 2017, the department said in a news release last week.

Of the 76 citations, 55 were for the illegal taking of big game, such as deer and elk, the department said. Other infractions included fishing violations, feeding wildlife and the illegal taking of raptors.

Game and Fish said in 2017, it received nearly 1,100 phone calls and online submissions to its Operation Game Thief program, which encourages the public to report suspicious activity. Nearly a third of those reports were regarding illegal taking of big game, the department said.

The department also revoked 51 hunting or fishing licenses last year as part of the penalty for violations. One of those was a lifetime revocation.

The $74,500 in fines goes into a fund that pays for Operation Game Thief rewards and promotion, the department said. Game and Fish receives no general-fund money from the state. Any meat that is seized from hunters is typically inspected, then donated to charity.

Game and Fish noted that mistakes and accidents happen, and that the department works with hunters and anglers who immediately self-report a violation via the Operation Game Thief hotline or online form.


I wittnessed a man poach an elk in 2018. I followed him down mission lane in linden. The house was blue. It was near the american indian mission several months back. I keep a list of all violators i just worked my way down here.

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