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California Game Wardens review


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#1 poacherjoe

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 01:30 PM

 When I first joined this site I made a post about how a Game Warden stole my trail camera. I want to do a survey and see what the members opinion's are about the wardens in their area. Please tell us how they act when they approach you. I have spoken with lot's of hunter's and most don't like the attitude that the warden has. Most act like you are trying to hide something and treat you like your a criminal from the very moment they greet you. If they act in an unfriendly manner then do as my attorney advised me . Simply tell them you have nothing to say!! If you have your license and aren't breaking any laws don't talk to them at all. I have met a FEW that were very cordial but  for the most part they are rude and aggressive. I know a guy that was fishing off a bridge and the warden checked him and he was legal. The warden wanted to check his tackle box and it contained a jar of salmon eggs from the 1970's so it was just dried out and worthless and of no use. The warden wrote him a ticket for having them in a salmon spawning habitat and it cost him 300 dollars. I have herd other ridiculous stories of the Fish and Game dept. but I would like to hear from other members what their opinion is of the wardens that they deal with??? Please share your stories and views.PJ



#2 Alan

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 03:06 PM

All public employees are nothing more than a slice of humanity, and thus act just like the rest of us. Some are bad, some are good, and unfortunately, some take their job as is it were a curse. 

 

On a personal note, I have hunted all of my life, having started at a very young age (≈7), because my parents owned and operated a sporting goods store. Here I am now, 70 years later, and I have only been ask once for my game license. The only game officer I have had interface with of late, is as nice a guy as you can imagine. I've even gotten a few pointers from him, with respect to feral hog hunting. 

 

You bring up another issue, intended or not, and that's were a game officer may trespass. They have free reign on any public land, no matter who owns it. Private land, at least here in New Mexico, is off limits, unless said officer has reason to believe a violation has occurred or is occurring. And frankly, I don't care where on my land they go, as long as they close the gates behind themselves. 

 

As for the stolen camera... If you have proof a game officer stole it, and it wasn't in violation, then file suit against the officer. 


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#3 Red

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 03:48 PM

Mostly I've found them to be decent. I've had several interactions and have almost always been treated fairly. In fact in one incident I had technically violated the law but was inside the "spirit" of the law. After my explanation he agreed and no penalties were involved.

 

There's always one that sticks out though. A couple years ago I was relaxing outside my camper. I was not even hunting at the time. It's mostly hunters that camp there at that time of year, it was early November. My wife and I were the only ones at the campground. A woman warden pulled up, abruptly popped out of her vehicle with her vest and attitude and began sternly questioning me about deer hunting. I explained I had not been deer hunting at all, tho I had killed one coyote. She kept going back to the deer hunting and wanting to see my deer and deer permit. What was I doing there etc. I repeatedly told her I had neither, I was there to hunt coyotes. It was like she was trying to get me to unintentionally purger myself. My only guess is she had some tip about someone in the area. But she was quite unpleasant.

 

Like Alan said, each are individuals.


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#4 Bronze Bullet

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 04:59 PM

with almost 50 years +/- of hunting I can remember only one occasion where the officer was brash and aggressive.  He was young, new to the job, and not very astute, as the direction he had approached me from was some 600 yards into my farm from the border of the state park.  After I set the record and geography straight with him he left my property, several land owners complained about him trespassing and he was dismissed the next spring.

 

How can you know a person stole something without seeing them do so, and if that were the case why didn't you prevent them or lodge a complaint?

 

BB



#5 mongochicago

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 05:13 PM

   Don't forget, everyone has a bad day once in awhile.  We are all human.   He could be just a jerk., or he could have had dealings with a real jerk just prior to meeting you.   The experience that I had with with game wardens has been pleasant.



#6 MikeNC

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 05:52 PM

I've had three experiences and all were professional. Two on game lands and one on private property where they responded to a call on a possible poacher during off season. I had a light, a camera, permission and no guns. I was trying to get pictures of raccoons and possums with young during the early summer at night. I would suppose the game warden was a bit unnerved when he approached during this time of year at O' Dark thirty. I did exactly what he instructed and it turned out well. He was very cordial and we laughed about it over a cup of coffee as I also had a thermos. All respect for them and for what they do. 



#7 Masonread

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 06:33 PM

Ive seen it both ways. Ive heard stories about night poachers hunting with game wardons. Kinda makes me wonder about my situation. Ive also met some really nice ones. If you suspect wrong doing, modern technology can work in your favor. Ive been fighting a 3 year war around my place and if i wanted to i could put the hurting to some people. But im trying to do things legal so im going through the channels. Depending on the outcome, i cant do anything but take someone for their word. Things have gotten so bad around my house ive lost trust in just about everyone and im fighting outnumbered. Im not out gunned though thats for sure. Ive taught 4 of my 5 kids how to knock an acorn off an almost empty water bottle open sights with a 22 at 20 yards. That isnt easy. We shoot dimes for fun and rolling baseballs.
As far as the game wardons go, we shall see. I figured before someone gets shot, i better try to end it legally.

#8 dangerranger

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 07:45 PM

 The California Fish and Game some years ago was changed to Fish and Wildlife  department. Along with that change they changed their mission. They now consider themselves Wildlife and Environmental Police. With that change they attract a different kind of officer. And not for the better. I think its all part of the plan to stop all hunting in CA.


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#9 poacherjoe

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Posted 05 November 2016 - 08:52 PM

Thanks for the replies. I see  some of you guy's are from other states and not Kommifornia. When I go out of state I have met several wardens and they were all very pleasant and they treated you with respect. I made specific reference to the state of California's wardens having the attitude. If you ever by chance hunt here you may see what I am talking about. I would say that the change took place in the 80's. Prior to that the wardens were cool as long as you weren't breaking any laws. The one that stole my camera got 2 weeks without pay for his wrongdoing . Grand theft and trespass  normally get's people in trouble but these worms did an internal investigation so they could cover it up.The warden mentioned was first stationed near  los Banos and the hunters at the refuge filed so many complaints against him that they relocated him elsewhere. But before doing so someone fired a shotgun round into the radiator of the wardens truck. I could go into detail on some other offenses he has done but I don't want to write a book. I have discussed these problems with other wardens in other states and they can't explain it. It's something about California. I went to an NRA dinner and we discussed this and most everyone was having  or had had a confrontation with the wardens in their area.Remember I am talking about California wardens.Dangerranger knows of what I speak. And I must be pretty close to the center of California too. Near Modesto


Edited by poacherjoe, 05 November 2016 - 08:54 PM.


#10 Old Hickory

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:52 AM

I had two run-ins in one week with two of the worst in Oregon years ago. If fact, it almost  turned into something much worse. It is also why I left the state and never returned.

 

Alan says it very well.

 

Part of my job is enforcing game&fish laws. It has its ups and downs but one must not take a bad day to work with him nor take a bad day home.


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#11 Red

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 05:30 AM

Joe, I remember your post about this sometime ago. Probably because initially I couldn't believe it. Then after reading I realized that guy is a real problem. I'm in IL, I thought you were trying to get a perspective on CA wardens vs other states, hence my prior post. I'm not surprised anymore about anything that happens in CA when it comes to hunting or guns. Changing the name from Fish & Game to Fish & Wildlife is an indicator. They changed ours to IL Dept. of Natural Resources a few years ago. I guess they think it's more politically correct, or, perhaps it enables them to more easily and covertly misdirect funds. They steal our license and permit fees that should go toward hunting and fishing and use it for politicians pet projects or lobbyists instead. It's criminal really.


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#12 MikeNC

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 06:18 AM

 The California Fish and Game some years ago was changed to Fish and Wildlife  department. Along with that change they changed their mission. They now consider themselves Wildlife and Environmental Police. With that change they attract a different kind of officer. And not for the better. I think its all part of the plan to stop all hunting in CA.

All of that makes sense. Scary to say the least. 


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#13 mongochicago

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 03:17 PM

     Don't forget.  Game wardens are there to catch illegal activity, from minor transgression to criminal activities such as poaching.   They are coming up against people with loaded guns in hand, so the odds are not in their favor.   They are employed from the masses, there isn't a factory turning out law enforcement personnel.   There are jerks in every profession, doctor, lawyers, elections, plumbers etc etc.  With that said, if there seems to be a lot of them being jerks, they may me getting political pressure from on high.  There may be an agenda afoot to stop hunting by making things miserable for hunters.


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#14 Red

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 07:44 PM

     There may be an agenda afoot to stop hunting by making things miserable for hunters.

 

As far as California goes, enough said.


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#15 Aspencreek

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Posted 07 November 2016 - 11:01 AM

I've been checked a number of times here in Idaho and most times it was simple and the wardens were fairly polite (although I always feel like I'm being caught doing something wrong no matter that I'm not).  But not too many years ago I ran into one who didn't know the regs as good as I did.  Was pheasant hunting opening day with a buddy at a public land area that was very popular and busy.  We each had a bird or two and as we were heading out we ran across a warden waiting in the little parking lot for hunters leaving.  He asked to see our pheasant permits and licenses and we turned those over.  The rules at the time stated that as soon as you bagged a bird you were to mark on the permit the specific hunt area number and EITHER notch out OR fill in with ink one of the triangle things on the side of the permit.  We had done that with a sharpie rather than cut out the notch, but the agent said it had to be notched/cut-out and what we had done was illegal.  He threatened that he could confiscate our birds and guns, but said he would let us off with a warning - but not before he did a perp walk with us and made us line up in front of our rigs for photos so he could keep tabs on us.  Then we got a 15 minute lecture about poaching and law-breakers.  This was all done with other hunters milling around the parking lot, so needless to say it was embarrassing and unpleasant.  I even explained before the perp walk that I was sure the regs said ink was fine for the notching, but I didn't have a copy in hand and he said I was wrong, even though I had been checked by other guys in that area before with no issues.  

After getting home I found my copy of the regs, found the line where it specifically stated cut or inked was fine and then called the main office to lodge a complaint against that warden.  I doubt anything was really done to him, but he did later call me and apologized for the mistake, but it's one of those things that just pisses me off still if I think about it.  He should have known the rules backwards and forwards if he's going to be checking/enforcing rules and trying to intentionally shame hunters like he was.  Also, my buddy was a very new hunter and what little bit of interest he had in getting into it more kind of got squashed with that idiocy and he hasn't been out again that I know of.


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