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Official Warden Bashing Forum

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salmontogue

As a former LEO (detective) I offer one piece of advice, You have the right to remain silent.  More often than not, an individual with too much knowledge of a violation or perps, despite not being involved, gets sucked into the investigatory vortex and forever remains on the radar screen.

 

Perk

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Brad Eden

Finally had a chance to read the Linked article. No good deed goes unpunished...sure rings true on that one. I’m in the never had a bad experience with a warden camp. I must hunt in areas void of hunters because I have been stopped once in the 30+ years I’ve lived in Maine, and that was while trolling for salmon. I know our local warden and he’s a good guy. My understanding is they have a good amount of discretion, and will ding you bad if you are deceptive or lying. Typically they already have info on a person, and test the air for lies. As I have droned on about before, the Northwoods Law reality TV show did more harm than good for the Maine warden service reputation. It’s now filmed in NH. 

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steveziv

As an outdoorsman who was raised to read and meticulously follow the hunting, fishing and boating regulations I have no animosity toward DNR/wardens.  They are doing a tough, dangerous job protecting our resources from the all too common slob/entitled hunters.

 

Its a bit of a stretch to interpret the OP as a serious call for a warden bashing forum.

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erik meade
1 hour ago, Brad Eden said:

My understanding is they have a good amount of discretion, and will ding you bad if you are deceptive or lying. Typically they already have info on a person, and test the air for lies

Two weeks ago our farm bureau had a conservation officer come in to talk. It was pretty interesting to me on a number of fronts. 

 

He said exactly this. He will watch someone commit a violation (say shoot 4 hen mallards)  Then he will circle around in his truck and drive up like he just got there.
When he asks how the hunting is, if someone says they just got these 2 mallards there, he already knows they are lying and will just let them talk and see where that leads.  But they are going to get fined.  He figures that they cannot be trusted, will not learn their lesson from a warning or a talking to or minimal ticket, and probably are regular offenders, etc.

 

On the other hand he has had people when he pulls up basically confess "you caught me..."  He says unless there was something else flagrant, those guys will either get a warning, or a minimal ticket.

Of course he might be just working us trying to convince us in the farm bureau to just give up when we see him :) 

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jeff88

Since we are on the subject of Wardens, I've had a couple of funny experiences:

 

1.  Late 1980's my older brother and I are walking out of a two-track to a gravel lot off a two lane blacktop in a pretty remote part of the W PA.  Parked next to my Guards Red Porsche is a warden's truck.  As we walked toward the car the warden gets out of his truck and wants to talk.  He thoroughly and politely checked us out - game bags, licenses, stamps, guns - all good on our end.  We had a ruff, a couple of cotton tails and a pair of woodcock.  We talked a bit about the area and then the subject changed to my ride.  He started laughing, said he just had to check out who was driving a sports car to go hunting.  He said this was one he'd tell his wife about.  I took a picture of him with my brother next to the car with his camera, then my brother took one of the warden and me with my camera.  That was one of my brother's favorite hunting stories.

 

2.  Couple years later at bird camp in W PA we're joined by a friend of one our regulars who happens to be a State Trooper.  We were coming out of a large goldenrod field after a morning hunt for phez and bunnies when a warden pulls up.  The warden starts with checking things when our buddy pulls out his badge.  It all comes to a halt, the warden and the trooper start talking.  And talking.  It almost took a crowbar to separate those two to resume hunting.  This is in the 1st week of November.  In January during a late season hunt I'm in the same area with my two brothers and guess who stops by to check us out?  Once I mentioned we talked earlier in the season the subject changed.  A few minutes later my brothers and I are heading to an area where we had a really good PM of hunting thanks to the warden telling us about it.  Nice!

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erik meade

Jeff, I have had a couple of encounters that I am sure were merely because the officer did not expect to see a hunter in a Miata.

One particularly eventful one during deer season a sheriff's deputy was waiting for me as I walked out. He had me put my gun on the ground, and keep my hands on the hood of my Miata while he quizzed me about what I was up to.

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SelbyLowndes
34 minutes ago, erik meade said:

Jeff, I have had a couple of encounters that I am sure were merely because the officer did not expect to see a hunter in a Miata.

One particularly eventful one during deer season a sheriff's deputy was waiting for me as I walked out. He had me put my gun on the ground, and keep my hands on the hood of my Miata while he quizzed me about what I was up to.

 

"Stop and Frisk?"  Most likely anyone driving a sports car hunting is probably just coming back from a visit to his marijuana patch...SelbyLowndes

 

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Dave in Maine
1 hour ago, jeff88 said:

Since we are on the subject of Wardens, I've had a couple of funny experiences:

 

 

2.  Couple years later at bird camp in W PA we're joined by a friend of one our regulars who happens to be a State Trooper.  We were coming out of a large goldenrod field after a morning hunt for phez and bunnies when a warden pulls up.  The warden starts with checking things when our buddy pulls out his badge.  It all comes to a halt, the warden and the trooper start talking.  And talking.  It almost took a crowbar to separate those two to resume hunting.  This is in the 1st week of November.  In January during a late season hunt I'm in the same area with my two brothers and guess who stops by to check us out?  Once I mentioned we talked earlier in the season the subject changed.  A few minutes later my brothers and I are heading to an area where we had a really good PM of hunting thanks to the warden telling us about it.  Nice!

Similar story.  Coming back from a week fishing in Ontario, we're crossing the border.  The one guy in our party was with one of the federal police outfits, one that considers itself a bit elite.  His truck had a cop-group vanity plate, wigwags, screamed "cop".  And he had the shoulder patch of his outfit lying on the corner of the  dash where anyone coming up on the driver's side could see it.  So the border guard says "are you really with [elitist federal police outfit]?"  And my buddy says "yes, I am" and, on request, shows the guy his lieutenant's badge.  So, like the guys in your story, these two get to talking.  What do you do?  And talking. What's it like working in DC?  And talking.  Are the people you work for really jerks like on TV, or is that just TV? They're getting deep into comparing retirement plans with a huge line backing up at the border crossing booth.  Like 20 cars.  Must have gone on for like 10 minutes.

Once they get to talking, they can't stop.

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mccuha

cars like Miatas were not uncommon to use when I first started deer hunting. My first deer I killed I strapped it across the hood of my VW bug. I didn't want to put it in the front trunk because like most other bugs. That dang hood was a pain to get open . Sometimes nearly impossible.

 

The last time I duck hunted on our local lake , several years ago with a couple friends. It was opening day and I had the boat and they knew a spot.  We parked at the ramp that morning and it was crowded with boats putting in and some already on there way to a spot.  Anyway when we come out at the ramp there are 2 GW's. I don't know them , but that didn't matter.  They checked our guns, ducks( well one duck between 3 people) license. Then they asked to see our shells.  I had put all my shells back into it's box but one of my friends had gotten scatterdin his waterfowl bag.  The GW checked me and all is fine. He checked my buddy and seeing his shells scattered in his bag made him dump the whole bag out.  How in the world but somehow a lead shell was in that bag. While the GW was discussing this with the guy I got to thinking. I let a couple buddies borrow my boat a week or two before duck season to hunt crows on the lake islands( these are great very minimal used areas to hunt crows). I just happen to look in the floor of the boat and there was a lead shell laying in my boat.  I grabbed it very carefully to not be noticed and dropped it over the edge into the water. Never said a word.  I learned a valuable lesson that day. Check my boat thoroughly before going duck hunting again.  If I'd been caught I would have paid the piper and went on but I was lucky. 

 

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steveziv

My wife and I were just talking about how Ohio State Troopers never let anybody off with a warning.  Then I remembered the trooper who pulled me over one night driving home from Columbus to Cleveland.  He asked about the duck call on my passenger seat.  I told him I practiced while driving.  Only time I remember a state boy letting one slide.

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Randy S

Not a warden story but, I was driving to southern Nebraska to meet a sargent in the sheriff's office for a coyote hunt. Got stopped right off of I-80 by a sheriff deputy. When he was calling in my license, I asked him to tell Kevin I'll be running a little late. I stopped at the courthouse and the whole crew was in the office. Kevin asked if the deputy wrote me. I told him he did and he said, "Good!"

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ARKBRDHUNTER

As has been said the good one far outnumber the bad ones. Most of my encounters are during deer season and when they find out I am bird hunting their interest goes way down. 

 

I have gotten one ticket and deserved it. The hybrid bass in the lake I live near school in the fall chasing shad, on a calm day you can see them from a long way off ( looks like someone is dropping rocks from and airplane). When a school surfaces boats will race to them and start throwing top water lures. One school surfaced I motored to it and soon there were other boats fishing it as well. I was fishing in a small flat bottom boat and when the fish went down the other larger boats took off in search of another school. I stayed put waiting for them to leave as their wakes came close to swamping me. After they were gone I cranked up and was heading back to the launch when I saw this boat flying straight in my direction, my first thought was what is his problem then figured out it was game wardens. No problem, I had my license and was not over limit, life preservers, no worries. Next thought was why are they passing all those other boats and making a bee line at me, then it hit me, my boat registration. In Arkansas you renew them every 3 years and I have not even thought about it. The 'new' warden took all of my information while the older warden who I had known all my life sat in the back of their boat and smiled. the conversation went like this. Young warden, ' is this information still correct, address etc.?'  Older warden ' how is your dad and grandad?' Young warden ' sign here please'  old warden ' how many bird dogs you have now?' 

 

The 'young' warden was wildlife officer of the year that year, they base it off of citations written, I always thought it humorous that I helped him get there. 

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DoubleAuto

I have done a lot of dove and waterfowl over the years and frequently are checked by game wardens.  Some are certainly friendlier than others but I have never come across any of them that have been rude or a jerk.

Last dove season in Oklahoma all of the hunters were checked coming out of the field by a young friendly game warden.  It had started raining and I was the last one in line.  The game warden took quite a while checking buckets and bags and shotgun magazine capacity.  I had my shotgun (a nice Browning A5 Light-20) in a field case.  I took the gun out of the case and he checked on how many shells it would hold.  Then he got to admiring the shotgun, talking about it and kept holding it.  I thought I was never going to get the shotgun back.  By now the shotgun and I were drenched.  But he was a nice guy.

 

About every other year when hunting doves in Oklahoma a game warden will see my out-of-state truck tag in the parking area and wait around to see if I have the non-resident license.  I have had one wait over two hours.  The guy who guides the hunts (and knows the area game wardens) tried to tell him I was legal.  

 

I hope if I ever come across a game warden who is a jerk that I am hunting with a Browning Double Auto.  I will just hand him the DA and three shotgun shells and watch him look foolish trying to figure out where the magazine tube/plug is.  I have never come across a game warden yet who was familiar with the Double Auto.


 

 

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Canuck

Back in the mid-80's duck numbers were terrible. Manitoba had a two mallard limit. Four of us lined up a wheat stubble field that was loaded with ducks for an afternoon shoot.We had my female retriever with us. She was in heat. When we arrived at the field there was a game warden and an RCMP officer parked on the road allowance about a half mile from our field. We waved at them as we drove past and proceeded to drive out onto the field and set up our decoys. We hid the truck and settled in to our blinds. The first flock of mallards worked into our decoys and everybody fired two shots. Ducks rained down. When we got the ducks all fetched up we had nine birds, one over our limit. One of the guys said he thought he had got three ducks with two shots and he would take the extra duck. He wanted to hide it in the truck but we said no. He finally agreed to dig a hole and bury the extra duck. Just after he finished the burial, into our field comes the game warden and the RCMP Officer. The game warden has a black lab with him and lets it out of his truck. My buddy opens my dog's kennel and lets her out. The warden's dog never found the over limit duck. While the dogs romped the RCMP officer tore our vehicle apart, emptying everything out. Our group was made up of four professional who would never intentionally break a game law. There was nothing to find, all our licences and guns were in order. The warden and officer drove off. My friend dug up his duck, breasted it out and swore he could not commit wastage that way. He ate the illegal duck for dinner that night. We called him "the poacher" after that.

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JWP58

I've never had a bad run in with game wardens. In fact I've only had two. Once out sage grouse hunting and once in the backcountry elk hunting (was surprised to see two wardens riding up on mules).

 

But then again I'm already on the "wrong" side of the Law....

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