The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement that recognizes the suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in member states. This means that illegal activities in one state can affect a person’s hunting or fishing privileges in all participating states. Any person whose license privileges or rights are suspended in a member state may also be suspended in Oklahoma. If a person's hunting, fishing, or trapping rights are suspended in Oklahoma, they may be suspended in member states as well. This cooperative interstate effort will enhance the Wildlife Department’s ability to protect and manage our wildlife resources.
The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact also establishes a process whereby wildlife law violations by a non-resident from a member state are handled as if the person were a resident, meaning they can be served a ticket rather than being arrested, booked, and bonded. This process is a convenience for hunters, fishermen, and trappers of member states, and increases the efficiency of Game Wardens by allowing more time for enforcement duties rather than violator processing procedures.
Oklahoma honors all similar wildlife violation suspensions from other member states. This would include Failure to Appear in court violations. One of the benefits to sportsmen who violate wildlife laws is if they are from a member state game warden can write them a simple citation instead of taking them to jail and having them post a cash bond. If a non-resident sportsman is issued a wildlife citation fails to comply with the citation or appears in court, the Wildlife Department will notify their home state of a Failure to Comply. The home state will then suspend that person's resident hunting or fishing license. Once the sportsman complies with the Oklahoma violation, their home state will be notified and their resident license will be reinstated.
The concept of a wildlife violator compact was first advanced in the early 1980s by member states in the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Law enforcement administrators and Wildlife Commissioners from several states began discussing the idea of a compact based on the format of the existing Drivers License Compact and Non-Resident Violator Compact, both of these related to motor vehicle operator licensing and enforcement.
In 1985 draft compacts were developed independently in Colorado and Nevada. Subsequently, these drafts were merged and the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact was created.
During the 1989 Legislative session, compact legislation was passed into law in Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon. These three states formed the nucleus of the Compact.
Other states are in the process of joining the compact. This list will be updated as this occurs.