When you become aware of a violation, try to observe and gather as many facts as possible. Write the details down. Above all, stay calm and don’t worry – when you call TIP-MONT, a trained operator will ask you the questions necessary to get all the facts you gathered.
Date and time
Note the date and time of the violation, as well as when you report it.
Note the geographic location, road name, county, town, city, or landmarks.
If there was a vehicle, boat, canoe, OHV, or any other identifiable mode of travel involved or near the scene, please provide as much information as possible, most importantly try to get a license plate number, or boat hull numbers. To describe a vehicle as a “red pickup with a gun rack in the back window” doesn’t narrow the field much here in Montana
but to notice a dent in the door, or a chrome roll bar, or a broken antenna or tail light will help identify that vehicle from others that would otherwise match the same description. Bumper and window stickers are another common but unique identifying marker.
Description of person(s) involved
Do you know or can you reasonably get their name, address and telephone number? If possible, note the violator’s weight, height, hair color, eye color, age, and description of clothing. It may be helpful to think “what makes this person unique, or different from someone else that would match the same general description?” Maybe the person has a particularly short, thick neck, rather than just “heavyset”; or a thin, sparse moustache, rather than just “moustache;” or tinted, wire frame glasses, rather than just “glasses”.
Details of violation
What fish, wildlife, heritage site, state park or other resources were involved? What happened to them? Where are they now?
Give their names, addresses, phone numbers or any additional information, as described above that can help identify or locate them.
What and where is it? Will it be moved soon? If so, when and where to? Unless there is imminent danger that physical evidence will be irrecoverably lost or destroyed, DO NOT attempt to move, collect, touch or even get near it. Doing so may “taint” the evidence making it inadmissible in court, or destroy other significant evidence that a trained investigator will know to look for.