Indianapolis resident Tom Miller routinely wakes up in the middle of the night due to poachers firing weapons near his Indianapolis home. On three separate occasions Miller has confronted the poachers, and he has even helped the Indiana Department of Natural Resources catch seven suspected poachers.
“My motivation has been to discourage other poachers, or any of the poachers, from firing their high power rifles and shotguns in neighborhoods, especially my neighborhood,” he says.
DNR officials say there has been a 6.5 percent increase in reported poaching cases in the past year. Catching those poachers can be difficult because of Indiana’s rural makeup makes, so the DNR often relies on citizen tips from people like Miller to catch poachers.
“One of the biggest things we lean on is the public and their eyes and their ears and their willingness to turn in someone who is taking advantage and so we rely on those tips,” DNR officer Angela Goldman says.
DNR officers wrote more than five thousand poaching citations in 2012.