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Game Laws

Old 11-25-2010, 07:13 PM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 362
Default Game Laws

I would like your opinions. The situation: My buddy was hunting on private land with permission. Well, someone called in his truck for some reason. The WMO ran his plates and went to his house. He saw blood in the bed of his truck and started questioning him. Ran his license and found out he had not checked any deer. My name came up because we had processed three deer together at his house. He had a buck and doe and I had a doe. The morning I showed up we started talking and simply forgot to check them. In TN you can do it online now. Anyway, the WMO asked him if he could come in and look around. My friend said no problem as he wanted to cooperate. Well, he has Noah's Ark in his game room. All of which are legal. He had multiple antlers from over 20 years of hunting to include 2 deer hides in the freezer. Well, the WMO took it ALL. Said my friend didn't have check ins recently so therefore he can't prove when he harvested it all. Whether it was 2 days or 20 years ago. For all he knows my friend could have gotten them as sheds, at a flea market, or as a gift. (They were all legal harvests BTW). The burden of proof is on him the hunter NOT the WMO. My friend is looking at losing his license for up to 5 years and thousands of dollars in fines. I realize our error in not checking the 3 deer. We are both licensed and never take more then our limit. Statewide limit is 3 antlerless a day and 3 bucks all season. After signing the tickets the WMO stated to my friend that he never had to let him the house and that the only charge he had him on from the start was $50 fine per deer for failure to check. That was it. IMO I believe they are taking it too far. I know he is only doing his job. My question is this. What are the statute of limitations on tags for antlers? Do you have to keep record of every deer you checked? How far back do the Wild life management keep records? Once again, I know we were wrong by not checking. It was an honest mistake. It just frustrates me when I read on here how guys witness people shooting from vehicles or from houses or knowing there are poachers etc out there getting away with it.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:28 AM
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Location: Virginia
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Yeah, y'all made a mistake by not checking the deer, but I have forgotten to do it the day of and did it the next day or day after when I remembered (in VA, you notch your "tag" on your license, then are required to check the game either by phone or web within 24 hours). An honest mistake, especially when you've got a lot going on, have a carcass to skin, quarter and butcher, and have wife and kids wanting your attention when you get home. The thing is, you can't prove good intentions, so although the $50 fine is a PITA, it's not completely unreasonable.

I think it is interesting that the officer told your friend after that fact that he basically made a mistake by letting him in the house. I know your friend wanted to cooperate, but he's also got to understand that the LEO has a duty to cooperate with his rights. They are trained to undermine your rights though, to word things in a way that make you think you don't have a right to say no, and if you do, you must have something to hide, etc...it goes on from there.

I hope your friend gets his stuff back, but IMO this was a painful lesson in what it means to know your rights AND TO USE THEM. Sounds like your friend bent right on over and took one up the yin-yang from the State.
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Old 11-26-2010, 04:37 AM
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Location: Ponce de Leon Florida USA
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Hate to say it, but it is sort of like being pregnant, either you are or you ain't. He didn't check the deer and that is a violation. Around here a possum policeman only has to have a reasonable suspicion to enter anywhere he wants to, don't know what ya'll have in Tn. As to the confiscated items, I would think the officer knows the law and it will be a uphill battle to get them back.
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:07 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Virginia
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Taking his stuff is complete BS. The officer obtained consent to get in the house. You (the owner) NEVER have to give consent to an officer. It's not cooperating, it's the law. There is nothing the officer could have done had your buddy said no he couldn't come in unless he had reasonable suspicion, which he didn't, and in turn, he asked for consent. I normally will never give consent to an officer.

OK, so you guys forgot to check the deer in, I've done it before as well. So slap me on the wrist and let me be on my way. Getting consent and taking all the man's mounts and what not is below the belt. He needs to retain counsel and get his stuff back. That is such a crock. Sorry about the rant, but I just tried to imagine if that would've happened to me and my buddies. Decades of hard work and good times/memories confiscated? Wow!
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Old 11-26-2010, 02:31 PM
Typical Buck
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Location: Fulton county,IL
Posts: 617

If he gets a lawyer and fights it in court I would say he shouldnt have a problem getting his stuff back,just another bozo with a badge he should have written the tickets and been on his way,next time tell him he will need a warrant and while he goes to retrieve the warrant get anything you dont want him to see out of the house.

I have seen guys lose there boat and in the end get it back but the was using the boat to get across river to deer hunt a wildlife refuge so if they can get there boat back your friend should be able to easily get his back because he didnt commit any crime by having these things in his home he could have bought them from ebay for all anyone knows,I would think it would be in violation of the 4th amendment: Illegal Seizure,if that was the case I would go the extra mile and sue the state.

Last edited by blackhawk_archery; 11-26-2010 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:02 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 362

Thanks for the replies. Yea it all pretty much sucks. The WMO had called me and asked what I knew about the situation. I said I showed up with a deer and my friend was processing his. We got busy and forgot to check them. He said he wanted to meet with me and talk more but I never heard back from him. My buddy is all about paying the fines and even paying restitution to Wildlife Managment. He even said whatever about the antlers. He can't hunt and get more. What is eating him alive right now is not being able to hunt and likeliness he will lose his hunting privelages for the next few years. He is getting counsel who knows game laws.
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Old 11-27-2010, 08:41 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: S.W.PA
Posts: 178

Who among us has tags for every animal they have taken in there lives I dont and some of the stuff I have was my dads which I got when he died.How in the world could I ever prove that???The govt aint on our side never let them in.I tell my kids even if you have nothing to hide if arrested the 1st word out of your mouth should be LAWYER.Then shut up.Judges and Police have to much power.To beable to just take a bunch of hunting trophies to me borders on Communism.I mean would'nt those police resources be better used on say catching drug dealers or child molesters.Heres an idea since they are hunting police go hunt up some ILLEGAL ALIENS yeah maybe they could check some green cards....
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:12 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Michigan
Posts: 127

Wow...crazy. In Michigan we don't have to check our deer (except in a couple of counties where they're checking for CWD).

I like the idea overall, though...I think the state can keep better tabs on the deer population by doing mandatory checks.

But I don't agree with what happened to your friend. Yikes.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:30 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 763

Law Enforcement are pricks.

Except last year a CO stopped at my house because I had 4 racks laying on my boat. 3 of them were fresh. So I told him. The 8 pointer was mine. The 10 pointer was my nephews, and the other fresh one was illegally taken. We checked in the 8 and 10 pointers and the check stations had them on file. But the other deer was hit by a car. Someone had began to cut the rack off but the deer was bloated and was about 2 weeks old. So one night when the temperature was below freezing, I went out and cut them off.

He let me keep them. He said if the meat was useable then it was illegal to take part of the animal, but I reassured him that the deer was bloated badly and way past useable. And the legs were mangled and broken too. I even told him where to find the deer.

Most everyone I know will stop and take the rack of a buck if they find one laying on the side of the road.
I dont trust roadkill meat unless I had been through there a few hours before and it wasnt there. That being said, the only roadkill I ever ate was a COPPERHEAD. lol

Last edited by bristowboy_20; 11-27-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 18

Taking the stuff seems crazy but I don't know the laws. You should know your rights though. If the officer asked for permission to come inside that means he didn't have probable cause to enter the home (or else he wouldn't have asked). I'd get a lawyer if I was him.
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