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Tracking wounded deer after dark

Old 12-23-2005, 04:59 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

This seems pretty black and white to me. Dispatching an alreadywounded deer as quickly and cleanly and safely as possible is the morally right thing to do. PERIOD!

Unfortunately in this case, the right thingwould be aviolation in most states. The only grey areasurfaces if a warden shows up. A warden with a sense of sportsmanship, respect for the animal or whats right would let it go.
The Barney Fife type would write a ticket. Given the circumstances, I'd take my chances on reasoning with Barney if he showed up. If Barney was a moron I'd try the judge. Either way, there shouldnt be a question about putting down a mortally wounded animal as humanely as possible.
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:20 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

By and large, most of the game wardens I have come across, in the field or not, seem to be good guys! They have a job to do like all of us here. They, in most cases, do it to the best of their ability. Everyone here knows that there is a lot of poaching that goes on. In the case of a firearm being carried, tracking a wounded animal after dark, it's your word against his on whether the animal was shot legally in the first place. Who's to say it wasn't shot after legal shooting hours and being tracked. If it was another hunter in the area that you hunt out after hours,most would claim it was a poaching situation.Game wardens are not the enemy here! We allhave to abide by the rules!
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:47 PM
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

I think there is a difference between hunting at night with a light and tracking with a light. A lot of bow kills take place close to the end of legal shooting time. When its early in the season you don't want to wait until morning to go find the animal. Just leave the weapon in its case in the vehicle.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:18 PM
  #14  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

Theres a lot of grey area in law enforcement. A gang banging thug carrying a gun in his car would be arrested. Billy Bob hunter would be free to go.
Its always left up to an officer and his judgement as what to do.
I still cant believe NY is still saying it's poaching. Damn ! the game warden just said it ok to use a light and wanted to say go ahead and dispatch the deer but just cant out of legality reasons.
What the heck do they put in that water up there in NY. it's not common sense I can tell you that.
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Old 12-23-2005, 09:03 PM
  #15  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

No grey area here in NY. It's illegal. The lawconsiders tracking an animal as hunting and it makes no difference if you are carrying a weapon or not. If you do it after legal shooting hours you're hunting illegally and that is why NY says it's poaching. He's right as far as NY state goes. I think it's another dumb law, but that's the way it is here.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:49 PM
  #16  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

i can't speak for ya'lls area, but here where i hunt...game wardens are generally thick (plentiful). with this being said, it is fairly easy to get ahold of one. i have had times where i have called one and had him meet me at my truck. hearing my story, he willingly assisted me with tracking and he finished off the deer.

also, being that game wardens are thick in my hunting area's...if they hear a single shot after legal shooting hours, they will wait by the vehicle nearest to the shot to talk to that hunter. if that hunter drags a deer out with two gun shot wounds in it and him only hearing one shot...common sense says the shot he heard was finishing off the animal. the game warden's here work with the hunters and help when they can. they also know they can't always be there to help if they are busy somewhere else. as long as you stay in good standing with them and don't get caught up in a lie, they usually give you the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 12-24-2005, 01:32 AM
  #17  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

ORIGINAL: CamoCop

if they(game wardens)hear a single shot after legal shooting hours, they will wait by the vehicle nearest to the shot to talk to that hunter. if that hunter drags a deer out with two gun shot wounds in it and him only hearing one shot...common sense says the shot he heard was finishing off the animal. the game warden's here work with the hunters and help when they can.
Great point. IMO, Unfortunately not all game wardens use common sense. Some assume your poaching regardless of situation. The rules are written clearly. I personnaly believe a hunter is obligated to track andfinish off a wounded animal regardless of whether daylite or darkness.On the other hand if good shot placement is used, then usually a followup shot is not necessary.
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Old 12-24-2005, 05:52 AM
  #18  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

I agree that most game wardens are professionals with a job to do.

In Pa, however, we also have unpaid volunteer deputies. In all the years I've been hunting, every "real" GW's I've encountered have been courteous, sensible and professional. I ahve also encountered many deputies and every single one has been an unprofessional wise ass with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove.

Here's just one example of a Barney Fife deputy:

About 15 minutes before quitting time, Ihit a deer with a handgun. Itwas hit hard but ran out of sight. Becauselight was about to fade I took up the trail immediately. It got up and stumbled away definitely hit hard so I marked my trail to return later. I was back in a bit and by the time my buddy and I came out to the roadit was 1/2 hour after dark. We were walking the road toward the truck and as we walked past a parked Bronco the door flew open and a guy in a suit and tie jumped out and into my face (6-8 inches away) and said "comin out pretty late aint ya!" I responded by saying we were tracking a deer and that our guns were unloaded. He pushed himself closer and yelled "what are you gettin so smart for?" I did get smart at that point and said " Who the f___ are you to even ask?" (remember, siut and tie, no uniform, no badge, and he didnt identify himself verbally) At that point, he turned around and reached into his car and came out with his badgeand A GUN POINTED AT OUR KNEES. I wont drag out every detail but he kept us there for half an hour trying to find something wrong with our licenses gear etc. He wasnt exactly careful with that gun and was generall a horses butt till we left. I also made the mistake of telling him that we'd be back with lights, but no guns,to find the deer. He was still waiting there. Rather than put up with him again, we kept going and came into the woods from another road.

Unfortunaetly this is the type of attitude I see in too many of our PAdeputies.
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Old 12-24-2005, 06:10 AM
  #19  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

" I was trailing a wounded deer"
This is probably the most frequent reason heard by GW's to be late from the woods. The first one to be used by a poacher. If a GW is not sceptical of this and simply lets all who use it an unqualified pass, he is not doing his job. And would open the gates for anyone who wished to be a highly succesful late afternoon and early evening hunter.

Perfect case of a law needed because of those who would abuse the right to track to completion with a weapon after dark - the actions of a few dictate to the rest.

No way is this a take on DD's actions - just my opinion on why the laws are what they are.

Steve
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Old 12-24-2005, 06:54 AM
  #20  
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Default RE: Tracking wounded deer after dark

With me a lot depends on where I'm at, . .if I'm on a game managment area I would ensure that I did'nt get caught with my pants down. If I'm on my own private land miles from anybody, I take a rifle and if need be dispatch the animal and drag it out. I see a difference tho in putting one out of its misery and chasing one around that has been wounded. If the animal has been fatally hit then usually if we're patient enough and wait a half hr or so before searching the deer will expire on his own without any further need to put him down for good.
I can see the bigger picture from the GW's perspective tho . . .most anyone could be shining at night and then claim when their caught that it was a "wounded" deer that you simply put out of its misery. All that said, ethics to me is doing whats right and being humane is not always legal.
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