What is Poaching?

Poaching is the illegal taking of fish or wildlife.


Poaching can include any of five factors: time, location, number, method or species.



Poaching could be a violation of a time period when fish or wildlife may not be legally taken or possessed. Examples are fishing or hunting before a season opens or after a season closes, or hunting more than 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset.



A violation involving an illegal location would include hunting in a refuge, or fishing in a sanctuary, or taking an animal from the wrong management unit.



This type of violation usually involves taking or possessing more than the legal limit of fish or wildlife. If the daily limit of walleye is six per angler, but an angler catches and keeps more than six in one day, that angler is poaching.




Poaching by illegal method of taking fish or wildlife usually involves some type of illegal equipment or device. Catching fish in a fish trap, shooting deer at night with the aid of a spotlight, or shooting ducks that are attracted by bait are all examples of illegal methods and poaching.




The wildlife species that may be legally hunted have been defined and are regulated through special open seasons. Taking any protected wildlife species, such as a bird of prey or songbird, is illegal and considered poaching.

Poaching is a serious and costly crime. It robs ethical anglers and hunters of game and fish, and robs all citizens of our valuable wildlife resources. Poaching can be reduced if concerned citizens report the signs of suspected illegal activity.

If you see or suspect someone of poaching or otherwise abusing a natural resource, please call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time to report a violation.


You may also contact your local ministry office during regular business hours or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


Be sure to include information on the exact location of the violation, date and time of the violation, and a description of the individuals and vehicles involved. Timely and accurate information will assist Conservation Officers in apprehending violators and protecting your natural resources.