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Old November 21, 2009, 12:54 PM   #1
roy reali
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Honesty Does Not Pay!

I was at the local doughnut shop the other morning. The ususl crowd was there, thus discussions quickly became about hunting and shooting. One of our local hunters got into hot water with our game department.

He had an antlerless deer tag and went to get one. He inadvertently killed a deer with antlers. I did not catch the details how he shot the wrong animal, but he felt bad. He decided to call fish and game and a warden was sent so that he could turn himself in.

The warden showed up. Here is how he was rewarded for his honesty. They confiscated his gear, they took the deer, and he was issued a $1,000 fine. Granted, he did break the law. But, you would think they would have given him a break for being an honest hunter. Taking the deer, that I understand. The rest, give me a break. Even the Highway Patrol might give a driver a second chance on speeding if he immediately pulls over and doesn't try to BS the officer.

I guess this tells hunters what they must do if they accidentally screw up. Get the heck out of Dodge and hope no one saw you.
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Old November 21, 2009, 01:34 PM   #2
Edward429451
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Sad but true. I have heard of the statute of limitations and may just tell a story or two some day. Of course, the crime would have to have a time and place, wouldn't it? I'll leave that out just to be safe.
Besides, this is the internet so I'd be lieing anyway...
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Old November 21, 2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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That sucks.

It all depends on the warden, alot are reasonable. Apparently that one wasn't.
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Old November 21, 2009, 02:33 PM   #4
Edward429451
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Yeah, go ahead and be honest boy, you'll have your day in court. If'n ya done right, ya' gots nothing to worry about.....

Bwahahahaha. It's a sad day when doing the right thing...isn't.
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Old November 21, 2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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Crap!

Another warden on a power trip.
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Old November 21, 2009, 04:25 PM   #6
Gbro
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Again, we do not have all the details that faced the Warden including past run-ins with the hunter.
However we all have a bad day and that includes wardens. Just be careful not to pick one that is having that all to often bad day.
Our local warden details what to do in cases of killing the wrong animal to all the firearm safety student and explains that sometimes things just do not add up and a ticket could be in order.

Being in a working relationship with the local CO I hear their side of incidents many times and then hear the hunters side down the road. I do not step in with any privileged info, but the stories do change when told to others. Am not saying that happened with your friend Roy, but it happens. And it happens just like you said too often also.

A good friend of mine and a fellow firearms safety instructor was tagged in Wisconsin for field dressing his deer before tagging it. Granted he should have known the rules but being from MN and never having to be that technical to the letter of the law left him open for a citation, anyway he was stopped with the deer in his truck and everything appeared to be fine. The warden questioned him about everything he did then wrote it all out and asked him if he would sign the statement. He said sure as that was just what he had done. As soon as the statement was signed the warden wrote the ticket for dressing before tagging. $500.00 and told him he could have taken his bow and truck also. Now that really stunk, I think.
He had no intention of doing anything wrong, just plane old ignorance of the law. I thought he might be able to fight it as he shouldn't have had to incriminate himself.
Moral of the story, Name, rank, license #. Then shut up.
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Old November 21, 2009, 04:35 PM   #7
roy reali
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re:GBRO

Quote:
Being in a working relationship with the local CO I hear their side of incidents many times and then hear the hunters side down the road. I do not step in with any privileged info, but the stories do change when told to others. Am not saying that happened with your friend Roy, but it happens. And it happens just like you said too often also.
You are right, all the details are not known to me. But, for him to turn himself in I would imagine he didn't see the antlers or aimed at the wrong animal. I could see some sort of punishment, but not what he got. Now, if had shot an elk and only had a deer tag, I don't care who turned him in, the book should be thrown at him.
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Old November 21, 2009, 04:57 PM   #8
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My dad made the same mistake a few years back, shot a small spike thinking it was a doe. Was using iron sights and did not see the spikes in the brush. He is as honest as they come and turned himself in after bringing the deer home. He got lucky, the game warden was reasonable and simply took the deer and gave him a 25.00 ticket for a "resititution fee". However, I have heard horror stories similar to the one described by the OP. I guess each hunter has to weigh the possible outcomes and make their decision.
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Old November 21, 2009, 06:11 PM   #9
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One of the tough things in life. I have known a "few" game wardens who would have been reasonable but most would have done the same.
Being honest has it's own penalties sometimes, hopefully this is not a mistake he makes again, and I sincerely hope the lesson he passes to his son is to not be dishonest.
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Old November 21, 2009, 06:21 PM   #10
Latex Ducky
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What do game wardens do with the deer that they confiscate?
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Old November 21, 2009, 06:22 PM   #11
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Stuff like this is why after I took Hunter Safety course I realized that going hunting was just too risky to my law abiding record and my freedom.

I'm pretty sure I can go fishing without the headaches but it seems that hunting is just an opportunity to break rules that one is unaware of and to be punished for being ethical.

Don't offer to talk me out of it but tell my story to the next Game Dept person who is wondering why hunting isn't as popular as it used to be.
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Old November 21, 2009, 06:38 PM   #12
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Good for you, Ronbert. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only passive-
aggressive EX-HUNTER. I was given a citation and fine during a
dove hunt in 1998. It was my first and last. To date, my state's
department of natural resources has lost at least 4 times the amount
of that fine in annual hunting licenses that I HAVEN'T bought.
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Old November 21, 2009, 07:34 PM   #13
ritepath
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I don't even think they should have bag limits or doe/buck specialized seasons for whitetails anymore, much less actually fine someone for killing the wrong sex by mistake.
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Old November 21, 2009, 07:39 PM   #14
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Ronbert:

That is too bad for you to miss a life of great pleasure with a gun.

I lived Fort Collins for 19 years. I know just about all the guys in the DOW trucks in Weld, Larimer, Boulder and Jackson Counties patrolling the mountains and plains and most of the guys at the DOW headquarters on Prospect Road - almost all great guys.

I'm not here to change your mind.
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:20 PM   #15
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About 20yrs ago, my brother and I were both cleaned out by a game officer who wanted to take us for everything. I wont give all the lengthy details..but I will avoid ALL game officers If I can. I only hunt on private property and what I do, I will keep to myself and my God. Im not a law breaker but I won't be a money bag for those clowns who are looking to get off by cleaning someone out just in time for the Holidays.
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
The warden showed up. Here is how he was rewarded for his honesty. They confiscated his gear, they took the deer, and he was issued a $1,000 fine. Granted, he did break the law. But, you would think they would have given him a break for being an honest hunter.
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:07 PM   #17
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Heard a story one time of a fellow that was turkey hunting. This fellow called a turkey up the side of a hill(cut firelane). There was a large ant hill approx. 3ft. tall by 4ft wide in the middle of firelane between turkey and hunter. Hunter hadn`t seen turkey yet but had his shotgun focused downhill waiting for turkey. Turkey came in slowly and crested over ant hill. Hunter fired,ran downhill and when he peered over ant hill two birds are flopping. One came in directly following the other. He didn`t know what to do so he called his buddy that checks game and was told to only bring one bird. Didn`t want to hear anything else. Hunter did what he was told to do,(I think). I know DNR has heard every excuse you could think of when catching a slob hunter doing something illegal but as careful as law abiding hunters are, these kinda things(although very rare) are going to happen. IMO it would be a sin to leave a game animal in the field to rot.
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:23 PM   #18
Rembrandt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roy reali
....The warden showed up. Here is how he was rewarded for his honesty....
No one should expect rewards for being honest nor pats on the back....honesty is a component found in people of good moral character. If the guy is sincerely honest and turned himself in, then he should be willing to accept the consequences for not knowing the difference between an antlered deer and one without.

This example seems more focused on the punishment than the fact that he failed to identify the proper target, (of which there is a legal consequence). Antlers could be substituted with any number of more serious scenarios, the harsh fact he didn't know his target before pulling the trigger is the real issue. He should "Man Up" and take the punishment.
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:55 PM   #19
retrieverman
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The three S's would have saved that guy a world of trouble.

Shoot
Shovel
Shut up

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Old November 21, 2009, 09:58 PM   #20
oneounceload
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Quote:
What do game wardens do with the deer that they confiscate?
Have a BBQ at the office??? Saw similar things in CO - elk or deer killed on the road....hmmmmmmmmmmmm

as to wardens versus regular folks, read about Claude Dallas - he was around the area I lived in NV in the early 80's........things generally have two sides to those stories
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
No one should expect rewards for being honest nor pats on the back....honesty is a component found in people of good moral character. If the guy is sincerely honest and turned himself in, then he should be willing to accept the consequences for not knowing the difference between an antlered deer and one without.
Intent is a very important thing to be considered in the legal system.

Treating someone who accidentally shot an antlered deer and calls it in the same as someone who is deliberately shooting game out of season is akin to charging someone who accidentally ran over and killed a jaywalking pedestrian with 1st degree murder and seeking the death penalty. Or charging someone who shot and killed a drugged up thug in their home with 1st degree murder. Or spinning out on an icy road and running into a lamp post, then getting charged with felony destruction of property when you call in to report it. It is totally inappropriate and sends the message to the public that being honest is the worst thing you can do.

When being honest is punished just as much as being dishonest people will naturally be dishonest because being honest means reporting what you did while being dishonest means a decent chance that nobody will find out what you did. The zero-tolerance policies at school drilled this into me and my classmates and I find that very sad.

When people start to fear and distrust the Police/Game wardens and being dishonest is seen as safer than being honest, something is very wrong with the system. When "Shovel & Shut up" is seen by many as the "right" thing to do one needs to look at and see where these mindsets come from.

Sure one shouldn't expect a reward for being honest in such a situation, however they also shouldn't have to worry about getting totally screwed over by law enforcement when they call in to report their mistake.
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:34 PM   #22
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I am surprised

The attitudes and comments posted by many in this thread are one of the very reason's officers/warden's go hardcore.

No season's and limits.....they tried that once, by the early 1900's certain game animals were in endanger of extinction. Some shot for market are extinct. Ever hear of buffalo or passenger pigeons. A deer/turkey was rare in certain areas too.

No license......that guy is stealing from everybody.

Claude Dallas....a murderer, nothing less.
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Treating someone who accidentally shot an antlered deer and calls it in the same as someone who is deliberately shooting game out of season is akin to charging someone who accidentally ran over and killed a jaywalking pedestrian with 1st degree murder and seeking the death penalty. Or charging someone who shot and killed a drugged up thug in their home with 1st degree murder. Or spinning out on an icy road and running into a lamp post, then getting charged with felony destruction of property when you call in to report it. It is totally inappropriate and sends the message to the public that being honest is the worst thing you can do.
Roger on 'Nat, CrossHair. Your entire post is on the money.

I understand that he "was wrong" and shot a deer that wasn't positively identified, but the consequences were/are entirely too harsh. I can see taking the deer, that's a "No Brainer", but shake the hunters hand for being honest, and leave it at that. Let's be American!.......???
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:44 PM   #24
roy reali
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re:Christchild

Quote:
I understand that he "was wrong" and shot a deer that wasn't positively identified, but the consequences were/are entirely too harsh. I can see taking the deer, that's a "No Brainer", but shake the hunters hand for being honest, and leave it at that. Let's be American!.......???
Being American is getting harder and harder everyday!
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:51 PM   #25
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Claude Dallas....a murderer, nothing less.
maybe yes, maybe no - but Bill Pogue was no angel either - his attitude towards anyone was well documented and widely known in Idaho and Nevada - it would seem, if you are in that position, that besides common sense, tact and diplomacy would be your friend not one of "I got a badge"

YMMV
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