GREAT FALLS – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is asking for the public’s help to solve recent poaching crimes.

Two poaching incidents south of Great Falls last week have prompted state game wardens asking for help in solving the crimes.

FWP says that on the night of Oct. 5 or the morning of Oct. 6, a mule deer doe and fawn were shot and left on West Eden Road south of Great Falls.

During the same time period, a mule deer was shot and left at the intersection of Boston Coulee and Upper Milligan roads, also south of Great Falls.

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In the second incident, residents reported hearing several shots around midnight and seeing a truck drive away.

Anyone with information regarding the incidents is asked to call 1-800-TIPMONT  or file a report via the FWP website by clicking here.

Callers are kept confidential and rewards of up to $1,000 are possible.

TIP-MONT coordinator Brian Shinn says that when poaching goes unreported it can have dire consequences for Montana’s wildlife.

“It doesn’t take very long, if it’s not reported, for an individual to decimate a certain area for wildlife.,” said Shinn.

FWP says that poaching robs law-abiding hunters of game and fish, and can harm businesses that depend on Montana’s wildlife, such as outfitters.

On its website, FWP provides the following information about poaching:

Poaching is the illegal killing of fish or wildlife. It can include illegal killing of fish or wildlife:
– for commercial trade
– for ego gratification
– in closed areas, during closed times, or taking more than the law allows

Poachers:
– reduce recreational opportunities for law-abiding anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts
– kill and waste Montana game animals, threatened and endangered species, and even nongame animals
– target Montana’s fish and wildlife resource for personal profit

Poaching robs law-abiding hunters of game and fish, businesses and taxpayers of revenues generated by hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing recreation, and it denies many other Montanans the ability to enjoy seeing healthy, mature fish and wildlife populations.

No one knows for sure, but officials suspect the poachers’ kill is significant and that the problem is widespread. Poachers do not confine their killing only to game animals. Poachers also kill and waste threatened, endangered, and nongame wildlife. In just one recent Montana case, a poaching ring in operation from 1990-2002 killed more than a hundred of trophy-class game animals, including elk, deer, moose, bear, and antelope.

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