July clay shoot to benefit Ohio Turn In A Poacher

Bucyrus, Ohio — The same folks who help curb wildlife poaching crime in Ohio need your help with a fundraiser that will be held in Crawford County in July.

A sporting clays fundraiser will be held July 21 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Elkhorn Lake Hunt Club in Bucyrus.

Proceeds from the event will go toward the Ohio Turn-In-A-Poacher reward program and the International Wildlife Crimestoppers grant fund that supplies DNR agencies with grants for specialized equipment.

Interested parties can register and get more information by visiting www.wildlifecrimestoppers.org/fundraisers.

“What is bringing all this about is that Ohio is hosting the International Wildlife Crimestoppers conference,” said Ron Ollis, law enforcement program administrator for the DNR Division of Wildlife and the current president of IWC.

“The IWC is a consortium essentially of 40 fish and wildlife agencies, and ninr Canadian fish and wildlife agencies,” Ollis said. “It started out as a way to share ideas on crime stopping programs.”

IWC was established in the late 1980s to support wildlife law enforcement efforts nationwide.

The Ohio TIP program was established in 1982. It provides an outlet for outdoorsmen and women, property owners, and others to report crimes against wildlife and property.

“For (Ohio’s) Turn In A Poacher, all the money they get is returned into the reward fund and is spent solely on rewards,” said Ollis.

For the fundraiser clay shoot on July 21, the proceeds will be split 50/50 between Ohio TIP and IWC.

Ohio TIP recently purchased an ATV that will be raffled off during the shoot.

“The secondary part (in the creation of TIP) was that there are people who have information who don’t want to talk to their county officer because they want to remain confidential,” Ollis said. “ … With Turn In a Poacher and IWC, there is confidentiality there and protection (for potential witnesses).

“The tenets that (TIP) was established on in 1982 are still very true today,” Ollis said.

In the history of the TIP program in Ohio, there have been only 1,080 tips that paid out, said Ollis. That amounts to a total payout of $152,000, and those cases resulted in 3,925 charges for wildlife crime.

To date, poachers have paid almost $3 million in fines and restitution as a direct result of these tips. For every dollar paid by TIP Inc. from the tip reward fund, those convicted of poaching pay $18.25 in fines and restitution back to the Division of Wildlife.

Ohio TIP operators field about 4,000 calls per year, according to the Division of Wildlife. The average fine for a TIP case is more than $1,000, said Ollis.

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