By KIM FUNDINGSLAND
A very large crowd turned out for the Report All Poachers auction at the State Fair Center in Minot May 3. The event is held for the purpose of selling outdoor gear confiscated by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Numerous confiscated firearms went up for bid at the Report All Poachers auction. Proceeds from the event are used to fund the RAP program.
It has never been bigger. That was the consensus of those who have attended previous Report All Poachers auctions. A RAP auction was held May 3 at the State Fair Center in Minot, attracting hundreds of people.
"It was the largest turnout in the history of the auction. It went good," said Greg Gullickson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, adding that 529 bid cards were given out.
Not all in the crowd had bid cards. Many were curious onlookers anxious to see how high the bids would go for certain items. The list included 76 tree stands, 65 firearms, 10 fishing rods, two boats and an all-terrain vehicle. All of the items were confiscated by enforcement officers from Game and Fish. The auction netted more than $46,000.
"The proceeds from the auction fund the RAP program," said Gullickson. "It offers rewards for conviction of fish and wildlife violations. The money goes straight to the Wildlife Federation."
The RAP program was initiated several years ago by the North Dakota Wildlife Federation. The RAP hotline accepts calls day or night from anyone wishing to report a hunting or fishing violation. The number is 1-800-472-2121.
According to the NDWF website, "Poachers steal from law-abiding hunters and anglers. They are nothing less than game thieves. A poacher who takes a deer out of season or an extra limit of fish has reduced your opportunity to take that game. If you value hunting and fishing, you owe it to yourself to report those who take your game. They are stealing from you."
The last time a RAP auction was held was 2009 in Bismarck. Auctions are held whenever Game and Fish field offices begin to run out of storage space for confiscated items.
"Especially when it comes to tree stands and boats and other things," said Gullickson.
The high number of tree stands was due primarily to violation of state law that requires tree stands to be removed daily from Game Management Areas. In some cases the stands were left in place following completion of the hunting season.
"It's good for people to see that those kinds of things can happen," stated Gullickson. "When you violate the law, your stuff can get taken."