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Honesty question

Old 12-13-2013, 08:28 PM
Dominant Buck
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Default Honesty question

I was sitting in a hospital last Thursday waiting for my turn at some surgery. And in my neck of the woods, men this time of year talk deer hunting. One fellow I did not know but like me was waiting his turn brought up an interesting dilemma question.

What would you do if you broke a game law? Even if it were by accident.

-Would you turn yourself in, or would you stash the evidence?

What if it were your best friend that did it?

-Would you turn him in?

And last, what if they did it and it were not an accident, and they even found it humorous? In other words, if your best friend were poaching, would you turn him in or ask him to stop?

I never got to hear their answers as I was the first to be called. But I respect members on this forum and I wonder how you would answer this question.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:34 PM
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I would get them to stop.
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:45 PM
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Many times sitting in a stand, I have asked myself this same bunch of questions. Thank goodness I never goofed up and hand to decide it Whether I were a criminal or not. I try to be honest and not lie. But would you cause yourself to face possible fines and forfeitures? Tough question. The one time I made the mistake of shooting two deer with one shot, I thank you know who I had tags to cover my mistake. And while my friends thought it was really cool, shooting two deer with one shot, I made sure to stress the fact, it was a mistake and something I was not proud of.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:41 PM
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Location: Far West central Indiana
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I tell and have told all my friends and family if they violate a law such as poaching when Im with them I would turn them in...I once payed a 100.00 fine for forgetting my hunter orange and didnt realize it until the game warden ask me where it was, I reached up to my head and no orange hat, in my rush to go bunny hunting I left it laying on my kitchen table...couldnt argue I was in the wrong.
Ive got a couple neighbors who think because they own their ground they can make up their own laws, such as killing 2-3 bucks when only allowed one... have made it known if I ever see them doing this they will be turned in. If you dont want to follow the rules/laws then find another sport is the way I feel about it, they are there for a reason.
As far as a total accident, most conservation officers are not going arrest or give you a ticket if its a legit accident, I say most but not all.

Last edited by dbowling; 12-13-2013 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:05 AM
Dominant Buck
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dbowling, I agree.. if I'd forgotten something and was caught by the Game Warden I would never argue or try to get out of it. And I commend you for your stance on poaching. I have told those I hunt with and those I let on my land the same thing... if you poach or break the law, I will turn you in. Also its automatic off my property and don't come back asking.

Being a retired police officer I can tell you, most DNR wardens in my State that I knew and dealt with, even if it were an honest mistake, would write you up. They are without compassion on any violation they find I normally observed.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:01 AM
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Enough with the trivial info, how did your surgery go??? LOL

As to the question at hand, I have never poached or done any what I consider cardinal sins. If stillhunting on our property, I still make people wear some orange for the safety even though we are not required by law in Texas on private land. That said, I have ever broken a law indavertantly. Yes. And hypothetically, lets say I find a deer on my property caught in the fence with two broken legs. I would probably put him out of his misery and leave him lay. I would not see any reason to report this to the authorities as the meat would not really be good enough for human consumption if the deer had been there several days. If I thought the meat was consumable, I would handle it by the book.

And has someone occasionally transported a deer from the field to the dressing/skinning area prior to tagging it? Probably, but we have NEVER shot a deer that did not get tagged or that someone didn't have a tag for. While that breaks the letter of the law, it doesn't break the spirit/intent.

Last edited by txhunter58; 12-14-2013 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:12 AM
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First off - hope the surgery went well.
As far as the question - very thought provoking to say the least.

I can't say I've always adhered strictly to the laws and regulations in the distant past, but today I try to carefully follow all regulations for all the hunting and fishing I do.

(Before you think I've been a poacher from that statement, let me give you one example.
In years past our regulations said you could not hunt turkeys "over bait". I had a deer feeder the turkeys visited daily and almost always came to it by the same route. I asked the local wildlife officer what "hunting over bait" meant. He told me as long as they weren't standing there pecking at the corn he didn't care how I hunted them. I did ambush a couple at the creek crossing 100 yards from the feeder. Today the regulations have been re-worded to make that practice clearly illegal and I no longer do it!)

Would I report another hunter (or fisherman) in for a violation?

Depends on the circumstances.

If the person was breaking the law out of ignorance I would make them aware of the law they were violating and what happened next would depend on their response and attitude. If they seemed truly remorseful and promised to not repeat the violation I would probably look the other way - if it were something that probably would not have a major impact on the species. (For example, if they were setting at that creek crossing hunting turkey, but didn't know I had a feeder just 100 yards down the trail.)

If they were intentionally violating the law out of disregard for the regulations I would turn them in!
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:32 AM
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I would hope that i'm a better judge of people to not have a friend who was a poacher.

If I found out one of them was. He wouldn't be a friend anymore, but I wouldn't turn him in.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:45 AM
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Well I hope all went well with the surgery.
As for the poaching, I already reported in my cousin's husband for shooting more deer than allowed. He figured that because he hunted right behind his house he could get them home without tagging them and butcher them up himself.
As far as I know the Game comm. never caught him in the act.
As for myself, during an anterless season several years ago I made a great shot on a "doe" at about 350 yds with my .270. It turned out my "doe" was a small forkhorn with antlers only as tall as his ears. I tagged it with my anterless tag as required and called the local WCO. After meeting him and explaining what had happened all I had to do was pay the $25 accidental kill and normally the WCO would take the animal but in this case he allowed me to keep it. He said he would rather me have the deer than issue me a new tag and then he would have one less hunter in the woods to worry about.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:52 AM
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I've been in a situation where one guy was talking about not tagging a deer. I told him is it worth loosing your licence, your vehicle, your guns? He could do whatever the hell he pleased, whenever I was not with him but if I am with him he goes by the law!

Accidents are one thing and I get it that it might happen. If it ever does, we will call a CO.

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