A longtime and well established number used for reporting game law violations is headed to the scrap heap to make way for improved communication.
For years, West Virginians wanting to report illegal hunting, trespassing, littering, or somebody taking too many trout were instructed to call 1-800-NET-GAME. The DNR spent a considerable amount of time and effort branding the number as the clearinghouse for tips and complaints. However, the number has now outlived its usefulness.
"That system was in effect before we had all the 911 systems in all the counties and before we had cell phones and the radio system now,” said DNR Lt. Col. Jerry Jenkins. "It was also before we were interconnected with all the other law enforcement agencies around the state of West Virginia."
Jenkins says often what would happen would be residents would lodge a complaint with the 1-800 line. Operators responsible for relaying the information to Conservation Officers would have a difficult time reaching the officer and often the complaints and reports were too stale to act on when the message was finally delivered.
Under the new procedure, folks who are observing a violation in progress can call 9-1-1. Jenkins says however, that’s only in the case of an actual violation in progress.
"We don’t want the public calling 9-1-1 centers for just questions," said Jenkins. "We only want the public to call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency, if a police officer is needed, or if there’s a violation in progress."
Any complaints or law enforcement questions that can wait should be directed to the DNR district office nearest your home.
West Virginia DNR District Offices
· District 1 – Farmington (304) 825-6787
(Barbour, Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Marshall, Marion, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor, Tucker and Wetzel counties)
· District 2 – Romney (304) 822-3551(Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, Morgan, and Pendleton counties)
· District 3 – Elkins (304) 637-0245
(Braxton, Clay, Lewis, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Randolph, Upshur, and Webster counties)
· District 4 – Beckley (304) 256-6945
(Fayette, Greenbrier, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, Summers, and Wyoming counties)
· District 5 – Nitro (304) 759-0703
(Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo, Putnam, and Wayne counties)
· District 6 – Parkersburg (304) 420-4550
(Calhoun, Doddridge, Gilmer, Jackson, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt, and Wood counties)