Reward Payments for Operation Game Thief
Per Arizona Game and Fish Commission Rule R12-4-116, a person may claim a reward from the Department if they provide information that leads to an arrest through the Operation Game Thief Program. If more than one individual provides information or evidence that leads to an arrest for a violation, the reward payment may be divided among the individuals that provided the information. In order for the recipient to collect a reward, the original report of violation must have been through the Operation Game Thief hotline or by an Internet submission.
The Department pays cash rewards typically between $6,000 and $20,000 (or more) annually to individuals who report wild life crimes. Under law, callers can remain anonymous and their confidentiality is protected. Money for rewards comes from criminal poaching fines, civil restitution by violators who commit wildlife crimes, and donations.
The following are the criteria for minimum reward payments for information that results in an arrest for the reported violation:
- For cases that involve bighorn sheep, buffalo, elk, bald eagles, antelope, bear, deer, javelina, mountain lion, turkey, or threatened and endangered wildlife: $500
- For cases that involve other wildlife that are not covered above (fish, small game, nongame, etc.), a minimum of $50, no to exceed $150
For cases that involve any wildlife, an additional $1,000 may be made available based on:
- The value of the information;
- The unusual value of the wildlife;
- The number of individual animals taken;
- Whether or not the individual who committed the unlawful act was arrested for commercialization of wildlife;
- Whether or not the individual who committed the unlawful act is a repeat offender.