A traveling exhibit housed in a mobile trailer soon will be making the rounds to educate the public about Operation Game Thief, a key program used by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement to combat fish and wildlife crime.
The project recently reached its fundraising goal of $30,000. The money will be used to purchase a 20-foot enclosed trailer that will house the traveling exhibit, which will highlight wildlife poaching cases that have been solved through the Operation Game Thief program. Included in the trailer will be poached wildlife and an interactive display exploring the types of cases pursued by Fish and Game Conservation Officers.
“We’re very thankful for the generous sponsors who made this outreach effort possible,” said Fish and Game Sgt. Wayne Saunders, who is coordinating the project.
Key supporters included the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, which provided a $10,000 grant; and Rymes Propane & Oils, LL Cote in Errol, Bear Country Power Sports in Errol, and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation, each of which contributed $5,000 for the project. Fish and Game is working with The Trailer Outlet in Winnisquam, N.H., to have the custom trailer built.
Operation Game Thief is a silent witness, anti-poaching program that encourages the public to report any suspicious activity or knowledge about a poaching violation. The toll-free hotline – 1-800-344-4262 – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to report wildlife violations. People can also report violations online at http://www.wildnh.com/OGT. Poaching is the illegal take of game or fish, trespassing, littering, theft, or destroying property.
Anyone interested in making donations to help complete the Operation Game Thief Trailer project (such as detailing the trailer, creating taxidermy exhibits and procuring a generator) can contact Saunders at 603-271-3129.
Saunders anticipates getting the traveling Operation Game Thief exhibit on the road by this September. It will go to fairs and sportsmen’s shows and accompany speaking engagements by Conservation Officers, spreading the word about how the public can help protect New Hampshire’s natural resources by reporting wildlife law violators.