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I was thinking about a question that DEER30 asked, regarding the rights of wardens to come onto private land and check licenses

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  • I was thinking about a question that DEER30 asked, regarding the rights of wardens to come onto private land and check licenses

    I was thinking about a question that DEER30 asked, regarding the rights of wardens to come onto private land and check licenses if you're fishing on your own private pond. But then I started thinking, should they be allowed to just come onto your land at all? I know that where I do a lot of my fishing streams and rivers run through private property and I always get out to ask if the landowner would mind if I fish in the water that run through their land. Should game wardens ask as well? Not so much because they have to, but rather just to earn the respect of landowners and fishermen. We take the time to do it, should they?

  • #2
    Streams run through private land but the fish they contain are public property. The week of July 4th is a good time to remind Americans that in England the game was owned by the lord who owned the land and any other hunter was a poacher and thus subject to death. When the colonies broke with the Crown and established the United States of America it was with the radical concept that all the game and fish were the property of all of We The People. So we empower Game Wardens to protect the interests of We The People. We must ask permission of the land owner to fish their land but the fish there on are subject to the public regulations for fishing.

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    • #3
      I am probably the wrong guy to ask this question to. In my generation if you were "disciplined" by an Officer of the law on a street corner. The first thing that went through our mind was "please don't take me home to my dad". Not oh boy I'm going to sue the city. That being said I will tell you what I told my kids. The people that enforce ANY law are there for your benefit. I assume you don't have a pound of dope, an illegal gun or Grandma's body in the trunk of your car. If they stop you politely and quickly submit to a search of your car. Let them get on to where they are really needed and don't be some assh*le wanna be lawyer. So bottom line I would reverse your question. They should already have your respect for the hard job they do. You should earn their respect by doing the right thing and not acting like a D*ck. To further clarify your question of a "River Runs Through It". I would think you would want a Game Warden to intervene if the guy upstream was dumping his motor oil in that stream.

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      • #4
        Dave beat me to the punch and said it more eloquently than I. +1

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        • #5
          I'm all for supporting game wardens, but if a police officer wants to conduct a search of my car I want to see a search warrant...

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          • #6
            Our "Powers and Duties" section of WV State Code reads that Natural Resources Police can come on private property in performance of their official duties. That includes checking licenses and checking for any other violations by hunters and fisherman. The only landowners that didn't want us on their land were violating the law and that was the reason which made it more of a reason for us going onto private property. Most of the time we had a good reason for going onto private property. 99.9% of the landowners were grateful that we were patroling their land and welcomed us with open arms and alot of the time invited us for dinner. The other .1% were busy violating the law. To those of you that support Wildlife Officers Thank You . And Carl if an Officer had taken me home to Dad for doing something wrong it would have been the kiss of death or at least it would have felt that way.

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            • #7
              I have invited local game wardens to come on my property to access the creek and adjacent fields where some trespass to duck hunt. If they come in off the paved road, it is a long walk in and will not be able to get close enough to observe potential violators. That way they can park by my house and walk across the bridge and be on the perps with little warning. Not surprising to find a warden's vehicle in my driveway once in a while! I know most of the ones who work District 4 and they are all good guys for the most part.

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              • #8
                Carl, I think perhaps you misunderstood the question I posed. At no point did I accuse the wardens of being bad people, and in fact I think there should be more with how many violations of taking fish of illegal size I have seen. My concern is for their safety. I know I let my dog out in our woods and she isn't kind to people she doesn't know. I would hate for there to be an altercation between her and an officer because I know what happens to dog that defend their land. Trust me I think more people need to respect the wardens. I just think it would be nice to know when they are out on my land. Especially so that I don't think their is a poacher and call a warden on a warden.

                WA Mtnhunter, I too am a friend of my local wardens and they all do a great job!! I'm glad to hear you have the same experience!

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                • #9
                  Sarge, I'm not saying I don't want them on my land, I DO!! I just like to know when people are there

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                  • #10
                    All of my interactions with Game Wardens have been very positive. They have always been polite and professional.
                    If they did not have the powers invested in them by the state many people would use that as a shield for their illegal activities.
                    I generally favor less power for the gov't but this is one area where I think the laws need to favor enforcement over property rights. If you want to search my car for drugs get a warrant. If you are looking for game that everyone owns help yourself to a look in my coolers.

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                    • #11
                      On our Hunting Lease they ask first to come on, the answer is always YES, I do know some lease holders that
                      tell them to stay at the Gate and check hunting Lic?
                      My guy is a friend and stays at camp to check things,
                      eats lunch or dinner with the Boys, Hes not the type to go up to a stand and ask to see your lic.

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                      • #12
                        I really like Waffles but only with butter and syrup. Not law enforcement. If a Police Officer wants to take a look in your trunk it's for a very good reason. I knew a lot of cops and they will tell you their is a window that a crime can be solved. If they stop you it's for a good reason. If you run the clock you are indeed helping the bad guys. They are not doing it because they want to look at your tuck&roll or think your cute. Maybe they are doing something as mundane as looking for a missing child. Now I think it's great that everyone will open their cooler for a Game Warden. But if your on the side of law and order be on that side. Or just don't keep rolling paper in your glove box. LOL

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                        • #13
                          Here's what I got into.
                          Any waterway with a maintained (?) width of 33 feet is considered by the US Gov't a "navigable" waterway and the actual "property" of the Gov't.
                          According to those laws, as long as you stay within what is called the "second bank", the public can freely access those waterways as "public waterways".
                          Here's the hitch.
                          Local, county and state can pass laws "restricting" access to those properties. While Federal law should supercede local, county or state, the Fed Gov't has a "so what" attitude, leaving lesser agencies to enforce "their" laws, regardless of more lenient Federal laws.
                          I wanted to hunt the Navasota River in Texas, which meets the requirements for "navigable" for the better part of it's "course". County law states the land owner ownes ALL property to the centerline of the "stream". The Fed's say you can stay within the confines of the "second bank". Get caught on the stream and you can be arrested AND convicted for "trespassing"! I voiced my displeasure, all for naught. The Fed I contacted? "So? What do you want me to do? I'd stay off the stream!"
                          In my state, a fishing license is NOT required to fish "private" ponds on your own property! Fishing a private pond on someone else's property DOES require a fishing license!
                          No, I really don't want a game warden on my property, but then, me and Vic get along very well.

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                          • #14
                            I have been check once and a while by a new officer. I always start out by laying my gun aside and starting a conversation with, "Let me tie my dawg over here so we can visit in peace". The only ones that even check me are the newbies on temp assignment from Seattle or Tacoma fisheries patrols, which start with, "Hi, my name is ______. You must be new here" (hand outstretched for a shake). I had one ask to check the "plug" in my over and under once. I broke it open and handed it over saying "sure". He turned a mite red, but I let it go and didn't rub it in. But I bet his warden buddies did after I told them later! LOL!

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                            • #15
                              WAM that has to be one of best stories I have heard yet. I have only been checked once, and it was on a public stream. The officer looked at my license to make sure I was legal and then took a look over my fly set up. He then gave a suggestion to change my fly and headed on his way. I caught a beautiful 16" rainbow off that suggestion!!!

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