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Is it even worth the fight?

Old 01-26-2015, 11:05 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Is it even worth the fight?

Not sure if this is the correct place for this but here goes.
I've been hunting since age 14. 43 now. have killed many of deer with every weapon available. love the sport!
Started taking my son out when he was 13 as well. 17 now.
He has a slight ADD so I have to be sure he has all gear when I take him out in the field. He also has a hard time making out the antler requirements (Antler restriction state of PA) so we typically carry one pack and usually use one gun and sit in the same stand. he typically goes out 2-3 times during the entire season. he probably would not hunt if I didn't nudge him.

To make a long story even longer, I was visited by a game warden for the first time in my life. I was in a climber on private property on the last day of doe season. I have a legal doe tag for the area and a few other areas. The officer said I may be hunting too close to an occupied residence. within 150 yards. I gave him my spotting scope and he ranged the house at 157 yards. he said I was ok to stay where I was as long as i do not shoot into the safety zone. the officer then asked to see my license so I opened my pack and gave him my license holder. he asked if I was James and I said yes, he asked who was Luke and I said that he was my son. he then asked why I was carrying his license. I explained that he was my son who is a minor and we always keep our equipment together in one pack. he then stated that it was illegal to possess another persons license. I tried to explain that my son is not just another person but in fact my legal responsibility. he didn't want to hear it and confiscated his license along with expired licenses from 2013/2014. he stated that i cannot carry expired licenses either. so apparently now i am awaiting a fine. is it worth the fight to try to appeal this ridiculous situation?
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:17 AM
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Spike
 
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It's worth the fight. The game warden was just looking to pick on you because he couldn't get you for hunting within the safety zone.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:27 AM
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That,s nuts.I,d fight it and explain your son,s situation.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:41 AM
  #4  
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If he didn't write a ticket on the spot, he probably isn't going to, but if you get one in the mail you could plead not guilty or nolo contendere and ask for a court hearing to explain the situation. IMHO he didn't use much common sense, but it is probable that he felt you may have been planning on using both tags yourself if it was the last day of the season. In the future I would place the son's tag in a pocket of his securely and take it out at the end of each hunt so there is no reason for a GW to suspect anything in the future if you're checked. I had a long, nasty reply about this, but went back and edited it after thinking this situation over and reading the reply by Oldtimr, which was excellent!

Last edited by Topgun 3006; 01-26-2015 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:45 AM
  #5  
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Luck of the draw, this is the PA Game Code regarding possessing the license of another.

§ 2711. Unlawful acts concerning licenses.

(a) General rule.--Except as otherwise provided in this title, it is unlawful for any person to:

(1) Hunt or take any game or wildlife by any means or manner or device, including the use of dogs, without first securing and personally signing the required license. The required license must be carried on person when hunting, furtaking or taking any game or wildlife within this Commonwealth.

(2) Procure a license in a name other than the person's legal name, furnish an address other than his legal place of residence and domicile or make any false or misleading statement whatsoever in securing a license.

(3) Lend or transfer in any manner whatsoever a license or game or wildlife kill tag to any other person regardless of the purpose.

(4) Issue, acquire or aid, assist or conspire, either for that person or any other person, in procuring any hunting or furtaking license for which that person is not legally entitled thereto.

(5) Possess while hunting or taking game or wildlife or going to or from hunting or taking game or wildlife any report card, license tag, license stamp or game or wildlife kill tag belonging to another.


Your son was not with you at the time you were checked in your stand. Most likely because the officer recived a safety zone complaint. Since you were only 7 yards in the cleat of a safety zone it would make little sense to criticise the officer for checking you. Next, it is clearly illegal for you to have in possession the hunting license or big game tag of another while hunting. Since you did not say your son was with you when you were checked I have to assume you were alone. It was entirely correct what the officer told you, how was he to know you were not planning to use your son's tag and try to take more deer than allowed by using your son's tag? Since WCOs are not blessed with being mind readers to know if you planned to use your son's tag he did exactly what he had evwery reason to cite you. Since you were not issued a citation on the spot I suspect you were checked by a Deputy WCO who must pass the citation through his WCO before filing it. Had your son been hunting with you, I suspect it would not have been an issue. You certainly have a right to take a hearing on any charge, but it is apparent you are guilty of possessing the license and tag of another while hunting. As far as citing you because he could not charge you with a safety zone, that is utter nonsense, there are no incentives for numbers of citations, that is said out of ignorance or the dislike of conservation officers.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:13 PM
  #6  
Spike
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oldtimer, thank you for the reply.
I understand everyone has a job to do and i don't fault the officer or the department. if we didn't have them we would not have the opportunities of today and in the future but The fact that my son has ADD and needs help keeping his gear together, the fact that i did not attempt to tag game, conceal when asked, hide or intentionally possess the license for personal gain, the fact that it was the last day of doe only season and the fact that my son does not possess a doe tag would make the license a bit hard for me to use and or tag game. the fact that i did have a doe tag in my name for the area. i realize it is against the law to posses "joe dirts" license, and or use joe dirts license to take game but this is my son, a minor, my responsibility.
You know, i have carried my fathers 1970 hunting license for good luck in my pack since i was 13. (pink and made of paper, in its own case) he wasn't around and this was the only thing i had to prove he was an outdoorsman. one of the reasons i persisted to be a outdoorsman today. i suppose if i asked that officer, technically, that would be illegal too.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:23 PM
  #7  
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If you are worried about your son forgetting his license, just put it in a license holder and pin it on the back of his hunting coat just like we all did until a few years ago. That officer didn't know you from Adam, he has heard more lies from more people than you have probably ever met and using someone elses license to kill a deer is a very common violation. Under the law, it need not be proven that you had intent to use the license, if you had used the license, there would have been a second charge, the game Code is strict liability. That is your sons license, it needs to be on his person when he is hunting, not your person and you cannot by law carry it for sure when he is not with you. Now you know you were in violation. Plead your case before a judge if you wish, you may get a soft one but you were guilty of a violation and if it were me, I would not use my son as a defense for my mistake, I would just say I made a mistake with no nefarious intent.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 01-26-2015 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 01-26-2015, 01:41 PM
  #8  
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Unfortunately it sounds like there was a clear violation on your part. Theres the letter of the law and then theres the spirit of the law, which could be one reason you weren't issued a citation after giving your explanation of why you had the license on you. Or maybe its like Oldtimr said and the citation will be mailed or issued to you later. Either way, it doesn't sound like you'd have grounds to contest this citation. Why you were carrying your son's license makes since to me but I think its best to figure out a different arrangement for the future. Good luck with what ever happens!
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:54 PM
  #9  
MZS
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Sounds to me like the property owner nearby sent the warden your way. Generally wardens will not spend all the time and effort to check 1 or 2 hunters on private property unless they suspect something or have been given a tip. Interesting law on carrying old licenses - I bet I have 5+ old back tags stuffed in my back tag holder!
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:20 PM
  #10  
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I'd say its time for the 17 year old to carry his own license.....if he forgets it he can sit in the truck.

I'm sure that sounds rude but I don't mean it that way its just that "slight ADD" will never excuse anything in this word.

Not the law, not college, and not an employer.

About every kid alive has symptoms of "slight ADD" otherwise known as lack of responsibility.

Anyway that is the fight I would be fighting.

Last edited by rockport; 01-26-2015 at 05:34 PM.
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