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Gray area Game Warden encounter, see first post.

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  • Gray area Game Warden encounter, see first post.

    Gray area Game Warden encounter, see first post.

  • #2
    So one of my in-laws came into town from out of state to go bear hunting. I take him out for a few days and he ends up shooting a beautiful blonde bear. He has health issues (pinned lung) that prevent him from going on tough hikes. He shot the bear and it rolled about 400 yards down the hill into a steep, nasty creek bottom. My brother, my wife, and I hike down in to retrieve the bear. We walk up on the bear still alive, but just barely, at 5 yards in the thick brush so I put four .44 mag rounds in him to finish him off. In my mind this is the safest, most humane option in a scenario like this. The game warden wrote me a ticket (granted a lesser ticket than he could have) for shooting the bear with my pistol without a license. Now I appreciate that the game warden didn't try to throw the book at me, but I also think that 100/100 times, shooting that bear is the safest, most logical route to go. What are you guys' opinions on what should/could have been done differently on my part or on the game warden's part? Again, keep in mind that what I did WAS in fact against the law, but on the other hand it was a wounded bear 5 yards away in thick brush.

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    • #3
      There's always extenuating circumstances.
      I'd say be glad your citation is minimal and go on.
      On the other hand!
      Blasting away at a wounded game animal with a hand cannon was not the wisest choice!
      Apparently, according to the citation, retreating until the animal expired would have been the best choice.
      How did the officer find out about the infraction?

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      • #4
        Ye wuz lucky to git off lite.

        Shoulda carried a roffle instead.

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        • #5
          You reckon your bro in law appreciated the extra holes in his pelt?

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          • #6
            When regulations containing prohibitions are written, the rule-making body can't think of every possible scenario that might qualify for an exception.
            That's where law enforcement has to look the other way to serve the interests of justice.
            The game warden in this instance was a book-man.

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            • #7
              A wounded bear is very dangerous.
              Ricky, your safety comes first before any fish and game law.
              I agree with you shoot the bear at five yards away. Why wait and let the bear suffer and die a slow aggrandizing death.
              Taxidermists today can do amazing work and can also hide any holes inside the animal's pelt.

              The Conservation Officer and you were both correct. If you appeal the case the Honorable Judge may agree with your decision to shoot and may drop the charges because of the life threatening situation.
              The C.O. gave you a break so forget about it.
              Appealing it in court would only pi$$ off the officer.

              Remember "pay backs are a b.tch".

              Comment


              • #8
                That is a bit of a sticky situation. I am pretty sure I would have done the same thing. First, a wounded bear in brush is a safety concern for all involved. The most important thing is to kill the bear so he does not kill or injure anyone. The Second thing is the fact that the bear is suffering and no animal deserves to die slowly. In my mind, calling a game warden to drive out and kill the bear is not an option. Who knows when one would be available and who knows how far away they are.

                I would and have done the same for deer hit alongside the road. Its just the right thing to do even if its the unlawful thing to do.

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                • #9
                  You didn't what that bear was still capable of, I would have done the same thing.

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                  • #10
                    BTW, what type of .44 magnum was it?

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                    • #11
                      Correction-You didn't know what that bear was still capable of

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                      • #12
                        I agree a wounded bear in the brush is right up there with smoking at a gas refinery, but dispatching an animal from 5 yards away who, "is alive, but just barely" is a little over kill. I think the officer is/was justified in his actions and did use his judgement effectively in not citing you for all that he could have.

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                        • #13
                          Up here it is against the law to let an animal expire from wound if you can end it quicker. I'm sure most of us have done it ... but we shouldn't be doing it. Check the regs. May be a similar thing on the books there. If that's the case, plead it when you get to court. It doesn't sound like you expected the bear to be dead when you went after it. Go through the details in front of a judge and see what he thinks.

                          Now, as to shooting a bear that is "just barely alive" with four more .44 mag rounds: what's up with that? One shot from a mere .38 Special to the head should have been sufficient. I commend your honesty for confessing the complete details (and I'm sure the judge will too). But really, it sounds like you got a bit too excited? And I certainly don't agree with above individuals who chastise you for taking that hand cannon into the gully instead of rifle. You didn't expect it to be alive and a .44 mag is certainly capable of doing as much if not more damage at close range than most hunting rifles. I'm curious as to what kind of rifle was used to shoot the bear in the first place.

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                          • #14
                            I think some of you guys are missing the point. The licensed hunter couldn't hike to the bear so the unlicensed rickno5 dispatched him with a pistol. Sounds like the lack of license was the issue so even if he borrowed the shooters rifle he still would have been wrong. I think you got off light.

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                            • #15
                              Correct Safado, the gun used was not a problem. Most .44 ammo meets Colorado's criteria for legal method of take for big game. The problem was that I wasn't a licensed hunter. And for those of you who are saying that I should never have put the animal down in the first place I would ask why not? I don't enjoy watching an animal (even a bear) lay there and suffer. And I definitely don't want it to get a sudden burst of energy and hurt somebody either. Maybe the bear would have died within the next 60 seconds even without my intervening, and more than likely wouldn't have hurt anyone, but I'm more of an "err to the side of caution" kind of guy. As far as extra holes in the hide, anyone who has dealt with many bears in regards to taxidermy know that a bears fur is much thicker and longer than a deer or something similar. Hiding stitches isn't a problem at all when it comes to bears. Something that would lessen the trophy value of a bear would be to shoot it in the head considering that a bears skull is a large portion of the trophy. I'm not saying that there aren't gray areas or possible "what if's" about what happened. My only regret is that I got a ticket. After MUCH consideration, I still feel that acting as I did was the safest, most humane option. I appreciate the input fellas, and thanks for keeping it civil!

                              Comment

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