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Experiences with game wardens? Good, bad or otherwise.

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  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,197 Senior Member
    I've only been checked while hunting once that I can remember. The GW and his partner met me at the end of the "tractor trail" as I was walking out one evening.
    From about 100 yards away, he announced his presence by calling out, "Game Warden, I see you've got your orange on, so come on out"

    He had already looked at my truck and seen an AR mag loaded with HPs that he thought were FMJs, and I was carrying my AR with the Beowulf upper on it. So the first words out of his mouth were, "Is that AR loaded with full metal jacketed bullets like the mag in your truck?"
    He got a surprised look when I told him, "No sir, it's not even the same caliber as the ammo you saw in my truck, not to mention they aren't FMJ they're hollow points and then handed him a mag full of 335gr HP 50 Beowulf ammo (I had cleared my weapon as I was approaching)

    The wife's friend who owned that property was engaged to a different GW, and the one that checked me didn't realize her property went as far as it did.

    About a week later, the landowner called me and asked if I minded if she gave that GW my home phone number, because he had some questions about a rifle he was thinking of buying and decided I knew a thing or two about guns.

    That was 4 or 5 years ago and that GW and I talk on the phone every couple of months, we've pretty much become friends. :beer:

    Have also been checked when I shot at the WMA range a couple of times. They require you have a valid general hunting or WMA license to use the range.
    Never been cited for anything.

    Some advice a LEO friend gave me YEARS ago applies to dealing with GWs too, "If I'm in the mood to write you a ticket, you're not going to talk me out of it. However, if I'm NOT in the mood to write you one, or am undecided, you can talk me into it EVERY TIME"

    I always treat them respectfully and haven't had a problem.

    I've been checked while fishing much more often
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I've had a few "Twilight Zone" encounters with Game Wardens. Never got written up, though.
    Funniest one was on a deer hunt on management land. I had two doe permits and killed a doe in a cedar swamp. In TN you have to tag it first thing. Well, it was a long way to the truck, and a doe doesn't have anyplace to hang the tag, like antlers. So I put the tag in a small zip lock baggie I carry for tying the tag to a bucks antler, and opened the doe's mouth and stuck it in there, and tied it in good and tight with string through the baggie, and around the doe's jaws to keep them closed.

    Got to the truck and a TWRA (TN Wildlife Resources Agency) officer pulled up as I was lowering the tailgate. He checked my rifle and license, and then said he was going to ticket me for not tagging the doe. I told him it was tagged. He said, "I don't see a kill tag anywhere on it!" I untied the string and pulled the tag out of the doe's mouth. He said he'd never seen that before, and guessed it would prevent the tag getting lost dragging the kill to the truck. When I told him where I'd killed it, he laughed and said that he was surprised there was any hair left on it after dragging it that far. I got the doe in the bed of the pickup, and cut a hole in one of her ears and tied the kill tag to the ear.

    He asked why I was hunting the cedar swamp, and I told him that was where the deer were at because nobody else was hunting there. They were all hunting within a few hundred yards of the road, and that pushed the deer to the cedar swamp. He told me that was good to know as he had the next weekend off! He was one of the good ones I've encountered.

    We have a female TWRA officer now in this county, and she's batscat crazy. And she's ALWAYS mad about something. She replaced the TWRA officer that was growing marijuana on a plot of WMA land and got busted cultivating it. :rotflmao:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    Here is an example of how a hunters 'attitude' can dig him a deep hole.


    Quite a few years back (90's) I was out duck hunting and had just returned to the boatramp to be met by a group of hunters who made a complaint about 3 guys in a speedboat that had been chasing ducks down and shooting them. I headed back out to the area and sat and watched as I knew which route they would have to take to get back to the ramp. Sure enough about an hour later I see a boat with a 90hp outboard following the mangrove line. When it was about 600yds away a pair of ducks flew out and they dropped them. I headed towards them and ended up chasing them all the way back to the ramp.

    When I approached them and identified myself and produced my Rangers warrant, they became belligerent and threatening. Initially I was going to write them up and confiscate their guns and birds, but one of the group ( the leader and boat owner) was a back yard lawyer and proceeded to tell me where I could go and that I was only a 'Honorary' ranger with no powers.

    Despite my explanation that he wasnt doing himself any good by being an idiot he continued along the same lines.

    Finally, I decided to throw the book at him so I exercised all the powers that I had and using the section that says 'and may confiscate any equipment used in the commission of the offence' I confiscated not only the guns and birds, but also the boat, trailer, and tow vehicle. That really set him off and luckily for me, the other hunters who had complained were present so I deputised them. ( We can call upon any member of the public to help)

    He insisted that I call the police..........so I pulled my Police ID out and showed it to him. He then demanded that I get a Sgt or Snr Sgt as he wanted to deal with someone higher than 'just a beat cop'. I then quietly pointed out that my badge had my rank on it ( Snr Sgt) and if he wished I would get my Inspector to drive the 60miles so he could talk to him. At this stage his companions became quiet ( they had been 'egging' him on)

    I also informed him that I was confiscating his and his companions camo hunting clothes and they ended up standing on the boatramp in their underwear until I let them get a change of clothes out of their truck.

    Him and his mates subsequently went to court and ended up paying half the cost of their gear to get it back.

    It pays to be polite when you are caught with your hand in the 'cookie jar'
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,197 Senior Member
    Good on you :beer:
    orchidman wrote: »

    It pays to be polite when you are caught with your hand in the 'cookie jar'
    Yes, yes it does
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Lonewolf-PeruLonewolf-Peru Member Posts: 619 Senior Member
    Good Job, Orchidman :up: :up:
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Here is an example of how a hunters 'attitude' can dig him a deep hole.


    Quite a few years back (90's) I was out duck hunting and had just returned to the boatramp to be met by a group of hunters who made a complaint about 3 guys in a speedboat that had been chasing ducks down and shooting them. I headed back out to the area and sat and watched as I knew which route they would have to take to get back to the ramp. Sure enough about an hour later I see a boat with a 90hp outboard following the mangrove line. When it was about 600yds away a pair of ducks flew out and they dropped them. I headed towards them and ended up chasing them all the way back to the ramp.

    When I approached them and identified myself and produced my Rangers warrant, they became belligerent and threatening. Initially I was going to write them up and confiscate their guns and birds, but one of the group ( the leader and boat owner) was a back yard lawyer and proceeded to tell me where I could go and that I was only a 'Honorary' ranger with no powers.

    Despite my explanation that he wasnt doing himself any good by being an idiot he continued along the same lines.

    Finally, I decided to throw the book at him so I exercised all the powers that I had and using the section that says 'and may confiscate any equipment used in the commission of the offence' I confiscated not only the guns and birds, but also the boat, trailer, and tow vehicle. That really set him off and luckily for me, the other hunters who had complained were present so I deputised them. ( We can call upon any member of the public to help)

    He insisted that I call the police..........so I pulled my Police ID out and showed it to him. He then demanded that I get a Sgt or Snr Sgt as he wanted to deal with someone higher than 'just a beat cop'. I then quietly pointed out that my badge had my rank on it ( Snr Sgt) and if he wished I would get my Inspector to drive the 60miles so he could talk to him. At this stage his companions became quiet ( they had been 'egging' him on)

    I also informed him that I was confiscating his and his companions camo hunting clothes and they ended up standing on the boatramp in their underwear until I let them get a change of clothes out of their truck.

    Him and his mates subsequently went to court and ended up paying half the cost of their gear to get it back.

    It pays to be polite when you are caught with your hand in the 'cookie jar'

    Where do people like that come from??? It's insane! What arrogance! That guy deserved to do some hard time! That's just stupid! And he had more than his hand in the cookie jar, I think he dove in head first!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • LWODLWOD Banned Posts: 1 New Member
    Too many obscenities in this unnecessary anti-American rant.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I give the above post a healthy "LOL" because it's silly, ignorant, and we all know how it's gonna end. Hey, I guess if you're going to go out, you may as well go out in a blaze of glory.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 2,088 Senior Member
    I was going to avoid this post becuase I'm not into warden bashing. I'm very happy to see where this one is going. I believe the warden has one of the most stressful and dangerous jobs in law enforcement. Most of the time when you aproach someone they are going to be armed. There is always the chance of stumbling on a dope field or it's growers who are also armed and their fields booby trapped.

    I have had many encounters with wardens and haven't had a bad one yet. Some wardens have been Richard Craniums but they're everywhere. I've had them all from totally professional to open and cheerful. All in all thay are just doing their job to keep us safe.

    I was 21 and hunting deer in Pa. A couple under age kids had gut shot a doe sending a bullet over my brother's head and landing five feet from my brother-in-law after hitting her. We tracked her down, finished, field dressed and left her on a jeep trail. We called the warden and gave him the kid's tag numbers and location where he could pick up the deer. When he got ther he found the two kids and thier cousin draging the deer off. He threw the book at them. The cousin later threatened me back at our truck so I filed charges on him. I was stationed in Washington DC and had to drive back to Pa for the hearing. The warden knew the parents and expained this was a good family and the kids were just young and stuped. They had already recieved large fines and this kid lost the rifle he had worked all summer to buy. His uncle had taken him to a court to see what was about to happen to him for threatening me. The warden asked me to drop the charges. I agreed to, after the hearing was over. The warden laughed and expained our wishes to the judge. A good man with a sence of humor and justice.

    This last season I had do deal with a wadren about some poachers. Deer are hard to come by where I hunt and these jokers would enter the area by boat, six would jump out and climb the hills then WWIII would start. I counted 14 shots in less than an hour. The warden was aware of these guys and was trying to track them down. He was very professional and courtious. At one point he asked if we saw hunters on the road near the cabins and that he had recieve a complaint from one of the locals about them. I told him ya I know the guy who made to complaint. He's an anti hunter who thinks he owns the woods and feeds the deer like pets. My party was the group he was complaining about. We hunt from the top of the hill and work our way down. We unload our rifles before we reach the cabins and our pistols when we're out of the woods. There's a lot of cougar where we hunt. This local was rude and agressive with us and not interested in the fact that you have to get back to your camp some how or that our actions were completly legal. Two weekends later he told me he had a long talk with that fellow. This same warden had written a citation to some house boaters who were harrasing hunters. It is legal to shoot deer from a boat as long as your not under power. Two hunter had seen and harvested a buck form their boat where these house boaters could see them. They came over to the hunters and gave them a very hard time. The hunters called the warden and the house boaters were issued a citation.

    I've been checked while fishing and hunting more times than I can count and in most cases it's been great. Some fellows just aren't very nice but I've never been cited or harassed. Two of my hunting and fishing partners are cops one is cold and calculating, all bussiness the other a cowboy. Both say "Be nice" it will serve you a lot better. These guys deal with BS every day of their life and all the want to do at the end of the day is go home to their wife and kids. Someone who is co-operative and nice to them will make them more relaxed and willing to over look a mistake. Mess with them and they will be very creative with their ticket writing. The all bussines cop is very good at writing lawer proof reports and the cowboy is very good at "Testalying".
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Back about 20 years ago there was an older warden that got transferred to the county I live in. We met one night after I called in a report on poachers. Being new to the area, he didn't have any contacts in the area with local farmers, and poaching was rampant. I had him meet me at the house next morning, and showed him the field road to my hayfield on the hill; it had a good view of the roads for a couple miles. Told him he was welcome to use that as a place to park to watch for spotlighters. I also drove him around in my truck and introduced him to the local farmers I knew and worked out permission for him to park in their fields at night to stop the poaching. He made it pretty rough on the poachers during deer season. He could tell some funny stories about his job over the years, too.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • rbsivleyrbsivley Senior Member Posts: 1,166 Senior Member
    These are some good stories. I've never had a bad experience with a game warden. I've had my license checked a few times. I knew a guy out inIndendence, Ks that was one and he always had a story. Especialy with the mechanical deer.
    Randy

    Rank does not concur privileges. It imposes responsibility. Author unknown

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God 9 not by works, lest any man should boast.
    Ephesians 2:8-9
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    rbsivley wrote: »
    These are some good stories. I've never had a bad experience with a game warden. I've had my license checked a few times. I knew a guy out inIndendence, Ks that was one and he always had a story. Especialy with the mechanical deer.

    Funny you should mention that rbsivley, cause i have a funny story about that. We call the fake deer Bucky here in Texas. One night a guy that is pretty famous around the county from the metropolous of Seadrift Texas, was going down Hwy 185 from Port O'Connor to Seadrift, Approx 18 miles apart. He came across a deer in the ditch that he just couldn't pass up. It was a dark night but he just happened to have a spot light plugged into his cigarrett lighter so he illuminated the deer and took out his trusty .22-250 and proceeded to blow holes in the deer, but the deer didn't fall over or run. Then he realized his ridiculous mistake at having shot Bucky full of holes and about that time a couple of lights came on and spotlighted him. Then he heard the megaphone tell him to cease and decist and get out of his truck with his hands raised above his head and leave his rifle in the truck. It was two game wardens and a deputy sheriff who busted him. It ruined his day. LOL!!! . Like I said, he's sort of a local legend and now even more of one, LOL!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • olesniperolesniper Senior Member Posts: 3,763 Senior Member
    Had one near miss with a rookie game warden, on Reelfoot Lake, around 35 years ago. The lake was covered with boats and the TWRA was out in force, checking permits, flotation gear, boat registration, etc. A friend and I usually rented one of the small 3 1/2 hp powered wooden lake boats but they had all been rented and we ended up with a larger fiberglass version, with a 8 hp motor. Turned out to be a lucky thing. We were approached by 2 game wardens, in a V-bottomed boat, with the rookie at the tiller of the 25 hp outboard. As they got close, the rookie turned the boat and twisted the tiller so the engine would quit and the boat would drift up next to ours..........that was his plan.......to bad, he twisted the wrong way. The boat went to full throttle......the nose raised out of the water and their boat hit us, broad-side. My fishing partner ducked as the keel of their boat slid down our gunnel, to the stern, right over his back, and dropped back in the water. If we'd been in one of the small wooden boats, we would have been rolled over and all our gear would've sunk. The senior officer and us, spent the next several minutes cursing the embarrassed rookie and threatening to toss his butt into the lake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil: For I carry a .308 and not a .270
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