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northern_hunting_mom

Paid 16% of the fine, no court appearance, kept your license and tag. You got off very lucky and should buy that warden a fruit basket. I would say that is not bad at all for even a first time offense that was self-reported.

Eh, if the warden had let you keep the deer, it would have burned a tag. Now you can go out and try again.

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It is stories like these that I have a sour taste in my mouth about .gov in general.  Sorry "just doing my job" isn't an excuse in my book.  

You did the right thing and were punished for it.  Had you you done the wrong thing you would have likely gone free.

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It is stories like these that I have a sour taste in my mouth about .gov in general.  Sorry "just doing my job" isn't an excuse in my book.  

You did the right thing and were punished for it.  Had you you done the wrong thing you would have likely gone free.

He was not punished for doing the right thing he was punished for shooting an illegal deer.

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It is stories like these that I have a sour taste in my mouth about .gov in general.  Sorry "just doing my job" isn't an excuse in my book.  

You did the right thing and were punished for it.  Had you you done the wrong thing you would have likely gone free.

He was not punished for doing the right thing he was punished for shooting an illegal deer.

And he did the right thing by turning himself in...and was punished for it.  That is silly.  That cause and effect only promotes ethical hunters to either leave it lay in the future or take their chances and secretly butcher the animal.

I have this crazy notion that a law should be value added.  Just because there exists some piece of legislation that some bureaucrat or politician came up with doesn't make it a value added law.  This should extend to the prosecution of crimes.  There is no value added in punishing him for his infraction other than revenue for the state.

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It is what it is, but here are the statistics I would be interested in from previous years

1) # of spikehorn violations self-reported

2) # of spikehorn violators apprehended

3) # of spikehorn or doe found shot and left

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It is what it is, but here are the statistics I would be interested in from previous years

1) # of spikehorn violations self-reported

2) # of spikehorn violators apprehended

3) # of spikehorn or doe found shot and left

Hey, Pete, since you only live one town over from me (and since I hunt all over your town!), why don't you come over to my front porch to discuss over a beer?

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It is stories like these that I have a sour taste in my mouth about .gov in general.  Sorry "just doing my job" isn't an excuse in my book.  

You did the right thing and were punished for it.  Had you you done the wrong thing you would have likely gone free.

He was not punished for doing the right thing he was punished for shooting an illegal deer.

And he did the right thing by turning himself in...and was punished for it.  That is silly.  That cause and effect only promotes ethical hunters to either leave it lay in the future or take their chances and secretly butcher the animal.

I have this crazy notion that a law should be value added.  Just because there exists some piece of legislation that some bureaucrat or politician came up with doesn't make it a value added law.  This should extend to the prosecution of crimes.  There is no value added in punishing him for his infraction other than revenue for the state.

We will have to agree to disagree.  To my way of thinking this would have no effect on an “ethical” person. You do the right thing for the simple reason that it is the right thing and we should all take responsibility for our actions regardless of the difficulties that doing so can present.  This story makes me feel good not angry because once Valuman realized he had messed up he took responsibility for what he did putting a fair amount of effort into it in the process. The warden behaved in a courteous and professional manner and handed out a fair (I know this is JMO) “punishment”.  As far as I’m concerned everyone involved did what I would hope my kid would do. (except for shooting the spike) :)

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It is stories like these that I have a sour taste in my mouth about .gov in general.  Sorry "just doing my job" isn't an excuse in my book.  

You did the right thing and were punished for it.  Had you you done the wrong thing you would have likely gone free.

He was not punished for doing the right thing he was punished for shooting an illegal deer.

And he did the right thing by turning himself in...and was punished for it.  That is silly.  That cause and effect only promotes ethical hunters to either leave it lay in the future or take their chances and secretly butcher the animal.

I have this crazy notion that a law should be value added.  Just because there exists some piece of legislation that some bureaucrat or politician came up with doesn't make it a value added law.  This should extend to the prosecution of crimes.  There is no value added in punishing him for his infraction other than revenue for the state.

We will have to agree to disagree.  To my way of thinking this would have no effect on an “ethical” person. You do the right thing for the simple reason that it is the right thing and we should all take responsibility for our actions regardless of the difficulties that doing so can present.  This story makes me feel good not angry because once Valuman realized he had messed up he took responsibility for what he did putting a fair amount of effort into it in the process. The warden behaved in a courteous and professional manner and handed out a fair (I know this is JMO) “punishment”.  As far as I’m concerned everyone involved did what I would hope my kid would do. (except for shooting the spike) :)

Getting a ticket and having his deer confiscated vs. very likely nothing happening to him had he just practiced the three SSS's doesn't seem fair to me but I suppose that is subjective.

Unfortunately it is my belief, that this was a case of low hanging fruit.  I don't buy it for a second that the end result served the purpose of justice or conservation in any way.

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braque du upstate
If he hit it with his truck, probably would have got paid  4k and  kept the deer. i wish i could get someone to pay me  $ 500 for a spike. I hate to see the woods or water raped as much as the next guy. Farmers can kill them and let them rot. I have a hard time paying $ 70 bucks to have a deer processed. I can buy hamburger for less $. $ 10,,000 seagulls ? At some point the fine should fit the crime.  Deer meat isn ' t worth poaching.  I understand large fines for trophy animals or threatened species.  The drama surrounding big game hunting is out control.
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Kansas Big Dog

Game warden is pretty much the holy grail in law enforcement jobs for many. I expect them to drop the hammer every time.  The days of a slap on wrist are over. 4 k spike deer, wardens driving 100 k vehicles.  My state doesn't f around. They hit hard and get paid. An honest mistake fishing or hunting can cost thousands.  I don't blame people who quit altogether. I almost feel like i need legal representation to hunt \ fish certain property.

I have not found this to be true.  I have made a couple honest mistakes, and owned up to them.  Once in Kansas and once in Montana.  In both circumstances, I was given a warning that would be recorded on my record.  No fine or loss of privileges. I think Tim did the right thing and basically got a warning, maybe a stern warning, but  a warning that he needs to be more certain of his target, which I am sure he will be in the future.

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FWIW this is my first time reading this thread since I made post #3 on Thurs morning. Been uptacamp with another UJer grouse hunting while he deer hunted.  Haven't postholed a single word. Great discussion, lets keep it that way.
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I did a little internet snooping and was interested to learn that Vermont still has check-in stations for the physical verification of the deer carcass.  I'm not a wide-ranging deer hunter and so kind of assumed that everyone had gone to the self-check by telephone as Kentucky did back in 1996.  That's what I get for making assumptions...Frankly I miss the old check stations and the convivial air that surrounded them.  

Sneaking an illegal deer home in Vermont would thus carry a great risk to the hunter, while in Kentucky you can easily make an illegal deer suddenly legal by calling it in and pressing buttons, "1" if correct, "2" if incorrect, etc. Different zones carry different regulations so simply changing the county of harvest can render an illegal deer good to go. No doubt the management of the Kentucky F&G knows that tons of illegal deer are sliding under the radar this way, but with our burgeoning herd and the enormous license revenues coming in, they must consider it a sustainable cost of business.

I was also surprised to learn that Vermont allows 2 bucks per hunter as well as a third doe.  The current antler restrictions mean that spikes are the only protected deer in the state, and I can't think of a reason for that. But I'm not a professional game manager either.

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And if you knew the history of deer herd management or mismanagement in VT depending on what side of the argument you are on you would not envy Pat.
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I was also surprised to learn that Vermont allows 2 bucks per hunter as well as a third doe.  The current antler restrictions mean that spikes are the only protected deer in the state, and I can't think of a reason for that.

This warrants a bit of clarification, trust.

One doe may be taken on an archery tag, or by special lottery issued tag that is zone specific and legal for muzzle loader season only. No does may be taken in the regular firearms season. Because there have not been any doe tags issued for my primary hunting zone as long as I've been hunting here and because I don't bow hunt, or apply for ML tags in other zones, I'm limiting myself to bucks only.

One may take two legal bucks in a single year only if hunting multiple seasons in that year. In other words, you may not take two bucks in archery, firearm, or muzzle loader season, but may take a total of two bucks across those three separate seasons. As previously discussed, a buck must have at least two points on one side in order to be legal.

Let me also say this about my mistake. The deer was standing in a patch of young, striped maple when I saw him, making it difficult to pick out antlers from branches. There were several things that flashed through my mind during the 15- 20 seconds that it took for the whole thing to play out.

1. I saw a deer, saw antler and raised my rifle to look through the scope that was set to 3x. I saw antler and I saw a point going to my left. How many points are there? His head went down, then reappeared looking in the opposite direction.

2. I saw a point from the same right antler facing the opposite direction. I have hunted these woods for many years, have had game cameras out for the past four or five and in that time none of my buddies, nor I, have ever seen a spike buck in person and only one on camera. The one that showed on camera was an obvious six month old deer and this one was much bigger than that, so I made an educated assumption that it was a fork horn.

3. During this whole time there was a clock ticking in my head. That clock and my educated assumption that this was going to be a fork horn, precluded me from taking the time for one more look at his headgear once I had the deer looking straight at me. Fifteen seconds is a long time to have a buck in view for a shot in my experience and I didn't think he'd be there for a killing shot for much longer. Because of all this I decided to shoot without taking another look.

The bottom lines are this. I made an assumption; that assumption was incorrect. Had I taken one more look, one of two things would have occurred and this story would have been very different.

1. The buck would have bounded out of there, not giving me a shot.

2. I would have seen that one antler from an angle that would have made it obvious that there was no fork and I would not have shot.

One more thing. I am not faulting anyone for the outcome. I made my decisions based upon what I thought were the right things to do, both at the shot and when I reported my mistake. My lamenting the loss of the deer is just that, lamenting, not complaining about policies. I fully understand the decisions made by the warden and by the department. Were I in warden Joyal's boots, I would have made the exact same decision that he made.

That we can have this discussion here with the commissioner participating, is excellent. I hope our discussion creates some understanding from both sides of the coin and that it may have an impact on future decision making from both sides of that coin as well. I'll pay my fine and keep hunting and I'll be certain about my next buck being legal before firing a shot.

I hope whomever ended up with that tasty little buck did it justice for the table.

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