Reward Fund to Stop Poaching

Reward Fund to Help Stop Poaching

To report poaching or other natural resource abuse to WDFW Law Enforcement, and possibly claim a BIG reward, please call 1-877-933-9847 or visit WDFW’s report poaching website here.

Poaching news

Up to $7,500 in standing rewards offered

Currently, the state provides up to $500 for information helping resolve a felony wildlife case. “Bonus Points” for drawing special tags and permits for legal big game hunting are also offered as a reward for helping to convict poachers in Washington.

In addition to state rewards, through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), we offer standing rewards for those who provide information that leads to a poaching conviction in Washington state under the following circumstances:

  • Up to $7,500 for information helping to convict anyone who has illegally killed a gray wolf in Washington state
  • Up to $5,000 if a protected grizzly bear, wolverine, lynx, pronghorn, caribou, or fisher were killed
  • Up to $3,000 for egregious violations involving deer, elk, moose, or other iconic or threatened wildlife, such as spree killing.
    A wolf illegally killed in Whitman County in October 2014. Photo: WDFW

We also occasionally offer larger rewards in specific egregious circumstances. Reward funds are provided by our generous members and donors. As a private not-for-profit organization, these funds are not provided by state or federal agencies.

Contact communications@conservationnw.org for more information about redeeming these rewards. Rewards will be fulfilled after a conviction is obtained. Those with information on potential poaching should contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement division using the channels listed above.

What is poaching?

Along with many government and law enforcement agencies, we define poaching as the illegal killing, take or possession of fish and wildlife; including game animals, non-game species, and protected, threatened, or endangered species. Some examples include:

  • Illegally killing protected or endangered fish and wildlife such as gray wolves, grizzly bears and lynx
  • Hunting or fishing in a closed season, closed area or with closed methods or equipment
  • Harvesting, taking or possessing fish or wildlife over the legal limit
  • Hunting deer, elk, moose or other ungulates with a spotlight
  • Shooting at or killing a game species and reporting it under someone else’s tag or hunting license
  • “Wasting” meat from a harvested fish or animal by leaving it behind, including only taking the antlers, horns or eggs and leaving the carcass.
  • “Market Hunting” or attempting to sell or profit from fish or game without a commercial license.

Some state agencies may also define illegal destruction or abuse of fish or wildlife habitat owned by the public as poaching.

Poaching is stealing

Poaching diminishes current and future fish and wildlife populations, reducing legal hunting, fishing and watchable wildlife opportunities for the public and future generations. It also deprives the state, businesses and local economies of important revenue.

Whether it’s deer, elk or rare predators, poaching is an unacceptable abuse of our shared natural heritage. No matter how one feels about predators or other wildlife, poaching is never OK.

Conservationists, hunters, anglers and law enforcement are working together to curb this practice in our region.

In addition to our reward funds to help convict poachers, Conservation Northwest co-hosts Eyes in the Woods trainings each spring to help train citizens identify, document and report poaching and other natural resource abuses.

“We in Washington do so much to protect our wildlife and their habitat as our natural heritage,” said Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest executive director and a big game hunter. “It takes less than a second for a coward to wipe out that investment. Let’s make sure the bad guys are held accountable.”

For more information on identifying and reporting poaching in Washington, please visit WDFW’s website here.