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Old February 5, 2011, 02:18 AM   #1
semi_problomatic
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Bad hunter. Bad game warden?

Last month my dad was on a draw hunt. He had to drive for hours, pay for a hotel etc. After setting up his climbing stand, that he had to carry out there, he hears dogs running (out of dog season) and some shots behind him, but fairly close. His hunt was ruined so he climbed out and was leaving when he came across those dog hunters. It was a man and his 9 yr old son; with their spike. (Supposed to be no less than a 4 point). They were about to field clean the deer, while the deer was still alive. Had the deer up on a spreader bar, WHILE IT WAS STILL ALIVE. Dad told him to cut its throat, even offered his knife. Game warden shows up; guy said he was hunting squirrels with the dogs and just happened to come across the deer and shot it. All the game warden did was take the deer. Is that all the game warden could do? I mean, hunting ethics aside, taking a deer with dogs out of season and an illegally sized deer... Dad said the only reason the warden took the deer was because he was raising so much cane about it. You'd think the guy would've lost his hunting license at the very least.

I had posted this as a reply, but didn't want to hijak the thread.
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Old February 5, 2011, 02:59 AM   #2
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yeah thats kinda bs there i would have been raseing cane to nothing worse than ur hunt ruined by illegal hunters
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Old February 5, 2011, 04:48 AM   #3
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is that all

What the warden could or could not do would be largely determined by how law reads concerning the offenses you describe in your respective state and location.

Typically, an officer can warn, issue a violation notice/ticket, or make a physical arrest, for offenses committed in their presence. "Losing their license", is a penalty, normally, for an offense, that can be leveled by the court, upon conviction. I would think that for the suspects in this instance to lose their license, they would have had to been charged (ticketed) and appear before a judge, convicted, and then judge could order the suspension of revocation.

I suppose their could be law in your area that might allow a WCO to seize a license till the violator appeared in court, but I believe a judge would have to order the suspension for the long term irregardless.

There seem to be a lot of unanswered questions in the story. On most areas of "draw hunts" in my experience, hunting for other species (as in squirrels) would be illegal during a deer hunt, to prevent the very type of incidents/alibi's that you describe. Additionally, what type of weapon and ammo was involved? If the deer was killed with a centerfire rifle, the alibi of squirrel hunting is pretty lame, even if legal. Finally, how the devil do you get a live deer on a gimble-stick?

Certainly seems on the surface that the WCO had lots of options on offenses.
Illegal deer, illegal method, I gotta wonder about the offenders paperwork as well, was he properly licensed, etc.

Seizing the deer was legal, I would think. As it was not of correct size, it would not be legal for the offender to possess, and thus contraband and the officer could seize it. Why the officer did not issue, minimally, tickets, is a wonder. I could understand no physical arrest w/ the child present. What do you do w/ him if you arrest the Dad? The rest of the WCO's shift is busted, baby sitting the kid till a solution is reached.

Finally, I enourage your Dad to steer clear of an LE investigation underway unless he was asked to remain.

Getting a hunt busted by outlaws is always frustrating.
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Old February 5, 2011, 05:30 AM   #4
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Bamaranger's post says it all, except:

As a legal hunter, I wouldn't put myself in a position where my own rights and freedoms were jeopardized by someone whom I suspected had violated the law.

Had tickets been issued, your father could have easily received one as well.

It's unfortunate that your father's hunt was ruined, and it's unfortunate for the animal that was strung up still alive.

I know it is contrary to most folks instincts, but it's best to just stay out of such situations. Call the relevant game authorities, or even 911, and report the crime, but stay out of the situation.

I keep all relevant contact information for the areas I hunt in my phone, so far I've only had to use it to report a fence down in a cow pasture on a Wildlife Management Area that I hunt.
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Old February 5, 2011, 10:30 AM   #5
semi_problomatic
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I kind of understand about not wanting to make an arrest with the kid there; if you're lazy. But then you're just allowing a kid to become the same kind of hunter. Sure its extra work to deal with a kid, maybe take him down to the station or local LE dept, give him some doughnuts and call his mom Reinforcing bad hunting ethics. But, I've never had a run in with a game warden, so all I know are the "booger man" stories. Like if you're spot-lighting and get caught you lose your gun, truck, hunting license and go to jail with a fine. And thats if he's in a good mood.

Not sure on the weapon, the GW didn't check the guy's license, and I suppose you drag the fallen, but not dead deer to where you're going to clean it, cut it behind those tendons, and pull it up. And then stare at it as it struggle and swings back and forth.
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Old February 5, 2011, 11:13 AM   #6
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I doubt two gruff looking buddies would've had the same luck as the dad & his boy. Who knows, maybe it was his first week on the job.

Maybe he issued verbal warnings? Ignorance of the law is no excuse, BUT if the guy didn't know all the rules then he wasn't willfully breaking the law. There is no need for the deer to have still been alive during that situation. One has a duty to finish the kill especially if the deer's death is gonna be an automatic.
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Old February 5, 2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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Allright, note to self, take kids when poaching to play on the officers sympathies and laziness...
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Old February 5, 2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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Lots of unknowns here. Just one possible theory. The game warden may have known from past experience that the local judge would have never pursued the case. Taking the deer may have been the best course of action. No point in making an arrest, and having to show up in court when he knows he will lose anyway.

In many places the deer population has become so overpopulated they are considered pests. Around here 20 years ago taking a doe out of season would have resulted in a big fine. Today bag limits are largely ignored. You can legally take 15-20 deer here a year here and are encouraged to do so. Same with hogs. I saw a sign at a WMA check station this past season that read. "Bag limit on hogs, all you want +1" About the only laws local wardens enforce now is hunting on others property without permission.
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Old February 5, 2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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"Gee officer, I didn't know this was illegal, here I was with my son, hunting squirrels, when this 60lbs deer charged us, I had to protect our lives! How was I supposed to know it was being chased by MY dog?"
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Old February 5, 2011, 01:01 PM   #10
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I think that your dad might have gotten off light. I mean, if the game warden had walked up while they were ending the deer's misery with your dad's pro-offered knife, he might have ticketed your dad as an accomplice.

On one hand, seeing someone doing 8 things wrong--and teaching youngsters the same broken ideas--can make one a little giddy with ire. OTOH, people like that are probably doing it wrong b/c they have ignored good advice in the past. Do you think that the kid would have listened to you more than his dad when you said "there's a better way to do it"? I'm kinda doubtin' unless you were Ted Nugent himself.

I think it would have been best to leave and call in the DOW if the violation(s) was/were serious enough.

Should they have been ticketed and their rifles confiscated? That call is up to the warden. Maybe reading a list of specific violations with a price tag associated with each one would have been the best way to educate the youngster.
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Old February 5, 2011, 01:42 PM   #11
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I don't see how anyone could say "Hmm, the guy offering the knife to cut the throat of a still live deer hanging from a spreader bar must be guilty too." especially since he was irate about the whole thing... But maybe you're right. Maybe my dad did get off light...

And I don't see how telling a kid, "this is what I could do, IF I were to do my job." sends the right message. Besides, I doubt 9 yr olds have a great grasp of how much a $1,000 or even $500 dollar fine is. Being they're still too young to work for a living and don't really have any bills to pay anyway. On the otherhand, the traumatic experience of watching your dad get cuffed and put in a squad car, him losing his gun, dogs, etc and the resulting court/jail time may be a bit much... But I bet he wouldn't follow in his dad's footsteps then. But I dunno, I haven't raised every kid. I do know, however, that monkey-see-monkey-do and little Billy-Bob will follow in his father's footsteps until he is somehow taught otherwise.

Either way, the point of this post was to elict a response from a game warden type person to see if this was standard procedure for handling illegal hunting techniques. Hence the question in the first post "Is that all the game warden could do?"
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Old February 5, 2011, 03:18 PM   #12
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You have DNR people who actually go into the woods and fields? What? No..... Every time I go hunting I see about 20 permanent tree stands per acre of public land. It wouldn't be a problem if it wasn't totally illegal and the dang things are everywhere.

I am always lost for words because I haven't even seen one of our state DNR trucks near a woods unless it was going down the road to someplace else.

You call our DNR offices to ask a question about some relatively simple question and no one on the other end has a clue? All I asked was what was considered legal camo under state law? Is a hunter orange jacket with some tree designs considered legal or what exactly was safe to by in the "camo" category. In the end I was offered a call back that never came.

Im sure our DNR guys are doing something constructive but its not taking down illegal blinds nor patrolling the woods nor anwsering simple questions... Humm I dont know, but whatever there doing, its not outside.
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Old February 5, 2011, 03:29 PM   #13
semi_problomatic
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I dunno about all that. I know game wardens have to cover huge areas with relatively small numbers of people, and on top of that they have to give hunter saftey courses, work with wildlife management, etc. So I could understand them not being in every square inch of the woods, all the time. I just don't understand the blatant disregard THIS game warden had and was wondering if thats all he could have done.
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Old February 5, 2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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Ok update, the guy was using a centerfire rifle, and didn't have a permit to hunt in that area either.
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Old February 6, 2011, 02:17 AM   #15
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"...up on a spreader bar, WHILE IT WAS STILL ALIVE..." Would have been interesting to watch him do that.
Up here, the guy would have been arrested, everything he had with him confiscated, vehicle and dogs included, his hunting licence pulled(as well as his firearm permits upon conviction) and the mother called to come collect the kid.
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Old February 6, 2011, 07:30 AM   #16
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Thats what I've heard about pretty much every no-no. From spot-lighting to hunting over feeders, to poaching. You lose everything. But I didn't know if it was true or an urban legend, or one of those things where they have all this to levy at you, but all they do is slap your wrist and send you away. Kinda like a DUI. All that crap about x amounts of fines, jail time, losing your license, $2000 lawyers fees....and in reality they drop it to negligent driving, give you a $300 dollar fine and thats it. Or in this case take your deer and shake their finger at you. Laws are great until they're not enforced or are selectively enforced.
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Old February 6, 2011, 09:51 AM   #17
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His hunt was ruined so he climbed out and was leaving when he came across those dog hunters.
What bothers me the most about your story is that because of a disturbance the hunt was ruined.
When on public land or land opened to the public for whatever reason we need to accept that others will do things that we might not like but have to put up with and go on with our thing.

Last August (Bear opener) One of our neighboring cabins was being used by a bear hunter. I had never met this person and he had never hunted this area before, and had won a drawing and drove hundreds of miles to hunt bear. We were just spending a lazy weekend at the shack and the boys (Grandchildren) were fishing and riding the motor bike, having a good time at the lake.
Well this hunter was about 500 yards back in the forest sitting in his bear stand fuming about all the noise my family was making, thinking this was a ruined hunting trip he had spent so much time putting together.
Then within about 15 min. he saw 3 bears and was able to harvest one.
He came in looking for help (needed tie down rope for sked) and apologized for being upset about the noise we were making. He said that for a while he was ready to bunch the hunt and come by and unload his frustrations on us but then realized he was only being selfish.
He sure didn't have to say anything as we did not know he was out there but it was a weight on his conscious and he felt compelled to tell us.
Then to our surprise my Grandsons Mutt dog bit this nice man real high in the back of the leg! Mutt didn't like the sell of bear on him
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Old February 6, 2011, 10:22 AM   #18
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Well if thats what bothers you the MOST, I hope you don't hunt.

And running dogs through the area you're hunting, shooting and gutting a deer there is a bit more than a "disturbance". Quite a bit different from your bear story, I hope your grandson's dog got put down for biting a human unprovoked. But for some reason I doubt it.
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Old February 6, 2011, 03:44 PM   #19
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Lots of unknowns here.

Exactly. That and we are hearing a 2nd hand story. Here is Wisconsin that would have been a $1800 fine, and confiscation of firearms used. The minor probably would not have been charged since in was in the company of a parent. The loss of hunting privileges would be decided later by a judge and firearms may or may not be returned. If not returned, the owners could buy them back at public auction. I don't believe Louisiana is that tough on deer poachers. Sometimes fines and other charges are made after an investigation. Could be the Warden was there looking for a bigger fish and deemed this violation did not mandate more of his time. Could be the warden believed the scare and the education he gave these folks was enough. Don't know, doubt any of us ever will. Don't mean we shouldn't continue to be law abiding and to report those who aren't.

Quote:
What bothers me the most about your story is that because of a disturbance the hunt was ruined.
When on public land or land opened to the public for whatever reason we need to accept that others will do things that we might not like but have to put up with and go on with our thing.
+1. Public land is just that. Public. Most of the time it is open to other activities besides the one we are participating in. Just cause it may interfere with us, does not make it wrong. I too hunt a lot of public land. Years ago, it used to pizz me off to no end when other folks showed up and did their thing, whether it was hunting or not. I soon realized that more times as not, they actually improved my odds because they moved game by me or made me move to areas less disturbed, where more game was available. Anytime you are on a piece of public land with easy access, you will have plenty of competition. This does not of course, endorse illegal activities, but in my experience, there is more enforcement on public land than there is on private.
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Old February 6, 2011, 04:08 PM   #20
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The incident happened in Mississippi, somewhere north of the natchez trace.

RUNNING DOGS THROUGH THE AREA, OUT OF SEASON; DID NOT HAVE PERMIT TO HUNT IN AREA.

Ok, it seems some of you don't know how the draw hunt works. Land is sectioned off. Names and areas are drawn and thats where you hunt. Its PERMIT ONLY. I understand that public land is public, blah blah blah. This wasn't the case. It was a DRAW hunt. Further more RUNNING DOGS THROUGH THE AREA. this means that dogs were chasing deer. Not fido on a leash.

If your biggest concern out of all of that is a guy getting out of the woods then I wonder what kind of hunter you are. And in reflection, what kind of hunters you have raised.
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Old February 6, 2011, 05:24 PM   #21
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I'm close friends with lots of Georgia Wardens as well as lots in law enforcement. I know enough about how they do their jobs to understand that there are lots of things you or I will never know about.

While this seems to be a major concern to you, it was most likely a very minor incident in the big scheme of things. Some folks forget that the world does not revolve around them and everyone else does not have to please them.

For reasons we will never know I'm quite confident the game warden did the appropriate thing.
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Old February 6, 2011, 05:59 PM   #22
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Really not a major concern. I was reading another post about game wardens and it brought it to mind. I had a question, so I asked. All I've gotten for answers was tire kicking, belt hitching, and a little insanity. People said there was not enough info, so I put more info on here.

I never said he didn't do the right thing, I asked if that was all he could of done. Law enforcement isn't religion. I don't have to put faith in the unknown hoping that if I pray enough the game warden will make the right choice. It shouldn't be for reasons we may never know, it should be for reasons we all know.

But hey, I guess game wardens move in mysterious ways.
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Old February 6, 2011, 06:38 PM   #23
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RUNNING DOGS THROUGH THE AREA, OUT OF SEASON; DID NOT HAVE PERMIT TO HUNT IN AREA.
Exactly. It's called POACHING. So a few of you guys are ok with the guy and his son poaching a deer, but are annoyed that the OP's dad is upset that his hunt was in fact ruined by poachers. WTH? Some people just have to argue, so much so that they have to focus on the wrong part of the story to do it.
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Old February 6, 2011, 10:46 PM   #24
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More arguing than discussing...
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