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Believe it or not.

earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member

I've been hunting the same area for 22 years. Never kept a log. Hard to really be certain how many years ago stuff happened. That in mind, some years ago well packing out a cow elk I was lucky enough to down, a game warden stopped to check me out. When he saw the S&W 44 on my hip he show'd obvious anxiety. I immediately produced ID, tags, etc., and began friendly conversation so as to hopefully ease any possible tention with an armed LEO. It had the desired effect. It happened that that year I had arrived at camp a week early and had been some 10 or 12 days without talking to anyone. I was anxious to relay the details of my success with someone, and kept him engaged much longer than had time for. He was very patient about it and it struck me that he was a very nice guy and I remembered him. Fast forward several years later, like maybe 10 or so I think, to two seasons ago. Two hunters, a man and his wife camped near me. After they were done setting up I payed a friendly call. We talked a bit and the man informed me that the road we were using was closed to motor bikes and atv's by the Forest Service and was posted as such at the entrance. I'm not a user of those vehicles and had never checked that posting. He also said he was in the habbit of confronting violators of that posting. I wished them luck and went back to my camp. Awhile later someone came down the road on an atv. The guy I'd talked to came running from his camp to confront the atv rider. I watched thinking he was being foolish. Fast forward again a day or two. I had a successful hunt and healed up from carcass extraction enough to spend some more time in the woods well waiting for the butcher down in town to wrap and freeze my meat. Well crossing the road the same atv rider pulls up dismounts and approaches me on foot. The wind catches his coat flap exposing a hidden badge beneath. We exchanged pleasantries and I recodnized him as the patient nice game warden from years ago. I made mention of the fact and that I saw his badge. He questioned me about other hunters in the area after checking my documents. When I said I was unaware of the status of the guy that unwittingly confronted him about the atv, he informed me that guy was in trouble, but didn't elaborate or invite inquirey. Later that evening he pulled up to their camp with the guy and his wife in tow. He questioned them in his pu truck separately for 3+ hours. This made me very nervous, suspecting that they were guilty of some terrible crime and maybe even dangerous. I had been packing only bear spray but out of caution began packing a gun the next morning. I crossed paths with that guy and his wife. We talked and he said their offense was placing a salt lick at a strategic location and hunting over it, ie baiting. Fast forward again to the next season 2017. The regs for that year contained updated criterion and stricter definition of baiting. Believe it or not.

Seeing it in print it don't seem like a big deal, but living it was quite strange, and one of the reasons my time hunting here in Colorado is tentative.


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