When the game warden calls, be polite!

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crs
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When the game warden calls, be polite!

#1 Post by crs » Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:23 pm

Remember this buck just before Thanksgiving?
Image

The game warden in Rockport, TX on the Texas coast came across the antlers in Wyatt's Taxidermy and was curious why a teen age hunter from northeast Texas shot a trophy buck on a MLD ranch near Victoria on the Texas coastal plain and dropped it off at a Rockport Taxidermist. So, he called Troupe, me, and the ranch owner to chat. After the chats, he said all was OK. The main reason he was so interested was that the hunt date was not clear on the Taxidermist check in form.
Since all our stories checked out, he was satisfied all was legal.

Wardens may catch a lot of folks by checking game processors and taxidermist early in the season.
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#2 Post by Booger Bill » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:11 pm

In 1962 I worked for the wisconsin state conservation dept for a short while. I was checking catches on opening day. Three guys were walking towards the lake with a bunch of poles and fishing tackle. They seen me walking towards them about 70 yards away carrying my steel notebook. It was comical. They alerted like a deer, froze and one hollered out, We aint fishing, the boy is! They were obviously grandpa, father and son. The kid didn't need a license at his age. It reminded me of when I was a kid at the end of the war. All my uncles were returning from the war and my dad that I barely knew took me fishing on the creek behind our country general store that my mom ran during the war years. He caught a black bass and made the comment it wouldn't be legal until next week end. I scooped up the fish and was climbing the bank behind our store. Dad was coming up about twenty yards behind me. A stranger was on top the bank and yelled to me, Kid, that fish is illegal and that he was the game warden! I yelled back, "He made me carry it, pointing at my dad! The stranger cracked up laughing along with my dad. I just met another uncle I didn't know!

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#3 Post by Pitchy » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:03 pm

Glad all worked out well. 8)
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#4 Post by piller » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:14 pm

I never have had a bad experience with a game warden. It started for me when I was 12 and out hunting pheasant with my Dad and older brothers. Someone wounded one and it hit the ground making like a roadrunner. I hollered that I would get it. About a half mile sprint later, I caught up and grabbed it by the neck. I rung its neck and made my way back. At 12 I wasn't allowed a shotgun. When I got back, Dad and my brothers had limited out and the game warden was there. I got there and showed my pheasant. He asked who it belonged to and I said it is mine. He asked how I got it and I told about the chase. I said that one of my brothers had not limited out when this one was hit, it would have got away if I hadn't chased it. I dug out my Hunter Safety card and said that I was legal to take game. The warden laughed and said that I earned that bird. Never an issue with a warden in my experience.
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#5 Post by BlaineG » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:48 pm

Couldn't hunt under adult supervision at 12?? That's stupid. :evil:
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#6 Post by piller » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:19 pm

That was my Dad's rule. Go along and walk the fields at 12. Get to have a shotgun at 13. Nothing in the state laws about how young except for passing hunter safety class.
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#7 Post by Booger Bill » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:16 pm

The law I believe in wisconsin was 12 years old to hunt with a gun. That was when I started out in 1953. I tagged along with my dad a year or two before that. When I was about 14 another deer hunter emptied his rifle at me! I left home and haven't hunted back there in almost 60 years so dont know the laws now.

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#8 Post by Mike Armstrong » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:59 pm

I've fished since I was four (I'm going on 76) and hunted since I was 8 and have never met up with a game warden or any other LEO who was interested in checking my catch, weapon, or license. That includes hunting and fishing in just about every fishing, small game, and upland bird season (I missed one hunting season) in the states I was living in, which include California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Idaho, Vermont, and New York, plus "safaris'" to Kansas, Montana, South Dakota, and Mexico. Plus a couple of dozen deer and elk seasons.

I've watched other hunters and fishermen get checked, and some get ticketed, and one get arrested. But the cops just weren't interested in me. I may be invisible. Mostly I just don't meet cops or anyone else when out in the boonies, but I ran into a pair of NYS Troopers coopin' in heavy brush in their unit one morning while grouse hunting and got an eyeful. Backed away from that unit VERY quietly.... And I had an NYS Park Police officer park right by me when fishing, get out of his unit, have a smoke, bid me good luck and go back to patrol without checking me at all.

Have always gotten fishing and hunting licenses and made sure to follow the laws to the very best of my ability*, including reading the ever more complex rule books (can't say I understood them perfectly, for sure!). Maybe I get along on a clear conscience and good intentions. Be nice to think so. But I suspect it is merely unbelievable good luck.

*I do cop to killing my first deer with a .410 slug at the age of 8. Many years later I found out that .410 slugs were illegal for deer in CA in 1951. Statute of limitations????

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#9 Post by Mike Armstrong » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:06 pm

Booger Bill, I quit hunting deer in Wisconsin when I was sitting in a diner called "The Bobber" in north-central WI one day in 1974 and heard some locals discussing how many "sound shots" they'd taken that morning....

As my Social Anthropology professor once said, "An individual can fight the local culture but he will almost always lose." I wasn't interested in becoming "Exhibit A" proving his gloomy thesis!

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#10 Post by Booger Bill » Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:50 pm

Here`s my story on that post: It was the last hour of the last day of the deer season. My dad had placed me on the edge of a marsh about the required 100 yards off the road, and walked on. I was hunched down sitting screened by some brush. I seen a hunter walking on the road to his vehicle. He stopped shaded his eyes and was checking me out. I just froze. Then he raised his rifle and I could hear the bullet fan by me! I looked behind me to see if he was shooting at a deer I didn't see. I didn't see any.
Then he kept shooting and levering. I heard all six or seven bullets whizz by me. I froze and did nothing. I had a single shot Iver Johnson 20 gauge with a slug. I was thirteen. When your a kid and they are adults it probably "snowed" me. He ran out of ammo so I stood up. The guy sprinted for his car about forty yards down the road, didn't case his rifle, (a big no-no back then in wisconsin,) and scratched out. When he did that I had no doubt he was shooting at me!

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#11 Post by Booger Bill » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:04 am

Mike, I don't know if this following story is true but I believed the guy. I was a Lockheed company guard in california. There was a real wild tough talking employee there that gave trouble to other workers. Other guards had trouble with him and him with them but for whatever strange reason the guy liked and respected me. The guy was a avid hunter and knew his guns, reloading etc. He told me some years prior he was deer hunting in northern california and another hunter shot at him. He told me he fired back, the guy dropped. He said he read in the paper a few days later the dead body was found! Could be BS but I believed him.

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#12 Post by Booger Bill » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:28 am

Think about it. Every encounter a warden has with a hunter, the customer is armed. Not so with all other leo in their stops. I did get in one deal years ago when I worked in Yosemite NP as a grunt, (not a ranger). My boss was driving. We came around a curve at the glacier point turn off. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was a turnout where a beggar coyote was a regular. A old couple had pulled over and the lady was throwing it some bread or something. Another car had pulled over and the driver had got out with a shotgun and was injuning around the car to get a shot! He had his wife and a couple of young kids in the car watching. My boss skidded to a stop right along side him and said, "Okay fella, give me the gun! (We were not armed). Aint nooobody gonna take my gun! The ball opened. The boss grabbed the shotgun and the guy wouldn't let go. I had to get out, run around the truck to pile on. The guy gave up and we did a citizens arrest. We had him follow us to the ranger station. My boss was jazzed about it but frankly I kind of felt bad having his kids and wife see that. Now you can have a gun in your vehicle in a national park but back in 1960 it was highly illegal.

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#13 Post by Mike Armstrong » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:21 am

Bill, I guess if you live long enough, you get in some interesting tangles, even if you'd rather not! I recall from my days in Idaho in the 1970s and '80s reading that the federal LEO most likely to be assaulted with a deadly weapon was a US Fish and Game warden (from the FBI "Uniform Crime Report" of about 1979). Your post explains why. And good luck calling for backup!

I very much like the novels (loosely) based on game warden mysteries, like C.J. Box's and Paul Dorion's. They get parts of "the wardening business" right at least!

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#14 Post by marlinman93 » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:31 am

I've had a few bad interactions with game wardens here in Oregon, and every time it was a younger warden. Every seasoned warden interaction was very pleasant. Only one interaction resulted in a ticket for me, and it was for a fishing "violation". Stupidest ticket ever, and it was drastically reduced when the court looked at the details. I was fishing the mouth of the Descutes River, which is likely the most regulated river in Oregon! Fly fishing only for most of the river, and I was below the deadline at the mouth where you can fish any way you want. The idiot GW said I cast a lure that landed above the deadline "slightly", and wrote me a ticket. Court thought he was being nit picky and reduced it to $20. Still irritated me, as there's literally no way to see some line in the water, and if you're standing below the deadline it should be fine to cast straight out. Only a rookie desperate to write something would see otherwise.
Others were just a couple rookies who went out of their way to make life miserable, but didn't find anything they could write a ticket for. Stuff like checking tags and license twice in the same morning. Or wanting to check license as you're trying to get a deer loaded in the truck, and it's pouring down rain.
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#15 Post by Booger Bill » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:15 pm

I worked 6 months for the Wisconsin state conservation dept in 1962. I was temporary, if they kept you over 6 months they had to make you permanent back then and maybe now? It was the same in the NPS when I worked there in 1960 Yosemite and the Grand Tetons in 1961. I just did dirty grunt work all three seasons. Blister rust checker, fire fighter and with the fisheries division in wisconsin. We weren't hired as LE but was told if we seen something blatant we had some power. I did see a few eager beavers push it a couple times. My dad had a friend who was a game warden back home and dad told him the state gave him the job to keep HIM from violating!
When my six months ran out on the district fish crew they told me to take a few weeks off and I was to come back as a seasonal (assistant??) warden for the winter. I kind of wish I had done it but another job came up for me about a week later that involved traveling to other states and that appealed more to me at the time.
Funny how such small decisions we make when we are young change the entire course of the rest of our lives. I recall hiring into the dept in 1962 for $320 a month and then getting raised to $350 a month. $320 back then on my inflation calculator would be like $2,629.59 a month now, but they owned you hour wise too as the job didn't pay overtime. Those jobs were interesting though. In wisconsin I worked with the state fish biologist netting and tagging fish, poisoning and restocking lakes, surveying catches etc. It was the type job that occasionally local newspaper outdoor writers might follow us around to take pictures etc. of what we were doing.

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#16 Post by Rusty » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:03 pm

I've never met a GW in the field. In fact when I was a deputy I met 2 of the local GWs at the county jail where they were having a cup of coffee. I said to the oldest one how come I never see you guys out in the field when I'm dove hunting? I've never even been checked. He said have you got your license? I said sure, he said let me see it. I handed it to him, he looked at it and turned it over and signed it. There, he said... now you've been checked. We all got a chuckle out of it. I said thanks, now I feel better.
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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#17 Post by gcs » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:18 pm

So..what yall saying is, if you did something a little off, all parties should get their stories straight right away... 8)

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Re: When the game warden calls, be polite!

#18 Post by Booger Bill » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:12 pm

When I was a boy my dad told me if you cant think of what to say when your in trouble, just tell the truth. It`s worked for me.

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