2012 was a bad year for poachers in Minnesota.
The Department of Natural Resources says a surge in calls to its Turn In Poachers hotline led to a significant increase in poaching arrests.
TIP calls referred to conservation officers jumped 54 percent to a record 2,051, compared with 1,328 in 2011. The previous record was 1,866 in 1981 when the hotline was founded. Last year's calls led to 359 arrests, mostly related to deer, fish and waterfowl violations. Arrests were up 29 percent from 2011. The record high was 428 arrests in 1991.
Since 1981 the DNR pas paid out nearly $358,000 in rewards for calls that led to arrests.
The 24 hour toll-free TIP hotline number is 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial (pound sign)TIP.