Not only would..... did. 7 or 8 years ago, there were a couple guys hunting deer in our area, using snowmobiles... illegal during shooting hours. Down at the general store that evening, we ran into the local warden and told him about the snowmobilers and where they were running.
Next day, he busted 'em.... not only were they using the sleds to pursue the deer, they had a truckload of deer back at their camp - they had only 4 tags but had about ten deer. Vehicles confiscated, snowmobiles confiscated, rifles confiscated, and hunting priveleges suspended for five years, as well as about $2500 each in fines.
For breaking game laws, have and would do so again. Being a law enforcment officer I have a duty to do this and even take action if in my jurisdiction. Even if I were not an officer, I would report infractions of most kinds. Those involving kids or obvious beginners I might not but I definitely would have a talk with them to point out the error of their ways. As for recklessness, a maybe, as some forms of recklessness are not actionable. I would likely have a talk with the offenders if I thought the action was due to ignorance or faulty reasoning but would contact authorities if I thought the reckless acts were due to spite or willfulness.
I feel there is a need for discretion in much of law enforcement and with some people a warning and a pointing out of error will go much further and get a better reception than a ticket. Of course, if it were what I consider a serious or flagrant infraction I would have no compunction tossing the book at them.
For the most part, yes. I have known people who were down & out so badly that the deer they poached was all the meat they would get for a very long time...and they had kids to feed. That would make for a much tougher call.
As a kid we had 7 children my mother and invalid grandfather (dad was gone)so I had to raise, kill or catch fish or animals to feed my family no matter the season,I tried to stay within the seasons as much as possible and never killed multiple deer on a hunt.If I knew of that situation I would look the other way as long as the person wasn't killing alot of game,I have known folks that would look the other way out of fear of retaliation,not wanting to get involved so to speak.I personally have been threatened if I turn them in and I reminded them bullets fly both ways and avoided any confrontation,when you see someone you know and was raised with, they kinda expect no one will tell on them.Now days if I see someone breaking the game laws or shooting at anything that walked in a reckless manner I would turn them in and not worry,I never fear people and from the posts I can tell you guys don't either,thats good I like friends with backbone.Drop-Shot
It's kinda weird but I jumped on one my son's friends here awhile back for killing 2 turkeys with one shot. He just didn't look before pulling the trigger. I coached him again on choosing his shots and basically gave him heck.
Why that one turkey pissed me off so bad I don't know. Killing an extra deer,that will be put to use,never has bothered me all that much.
Killing animals outof season, even to feed one's family, still doesn't sit too well with me. I have way too much taken out of my paycheck and other taxes to pay for assistance to those who need it to allow someone to "tax" me in another way, i.e. illegally taking game. If the person is truly in need, I would excercise discretion and point out the various programs available to them. Those that think of this as a "pride" thing should also look at what can be lost if one is charged and convicted. I think this is a bit of false pride which all have to guard against. Those in this boat with these feelings are those I have no problem assisting as they have held jobs in the past and will get another one as soon as they can. I look at it as getting their money back from past taxation and/or borrowing from future contributions. I know people like this and have had heart to hearts with them of "hypotheticals". I don't go out of my way to investigate them but I would not turn a blind eye if I found them poaching. Then there are the others who use this excuse but are really just theives who are really no different than burglars and con men only they steal public property rther than private. Those I have no problem tossing in the pokey at the first offense.
I'll put it to you this way,I have chased poachers on my hunting land last year with my 4 wheeler. If they had been caught,the police would have probably thrown me in jail too. I can't stand a poacher.As far as bullets flying ,I shoot back and I call myself a good shot.
A couple of weeks ago, I turned in a group of camo-clad youngsters for illegal target shooting activity on the San Bernardino National Forest here in California.
The area they were shooting in has been closed to target shooting since 1994.
That said, I grew up target shooting in that area, so I figured that they might not be aware that they were brekaing the law. I decided to walk over to them and politely inform them that it was now illegal to target shoot in the area, and to give them directions to the limited target shooting area that remains in that National Forest. I figured that if it was an honest mistake made by normally upstanding citizens, that they'd rather learn about from me than from a Sheriff's Deputy or Forest Ranger.
It turned out that they knew they were breaking the law and figured it didn't matter as long as they didn't get caught. They had absolutely no intention of stopping until they were ready to quit, and said so. I might have let it slide were it not for their attitudes, which definitely needed a little adjusting, and for their unsafe gun handling -shooting across a road, shooting in the air, and so on.
Cell phone + call to sheriff's office = problem solved.
JP you may have saved someones life in the not to distance future,recklessness never gets better with age,I just hope those guys learn from their mistakes instead of holding a grudge.I have heard holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die,never works out well.Drop-Shot
I have to say each case would have to be considered on it's own merits. Someone feeding his family, I don't have a problem with that. Someone shooting for a trophy, or just for the fun of it, nail his hide to the wall.
When I was 12 my Dad got sick and was unable to work. My Mom was too lazy to work, and too lazy, (stupid, illiterate, proud, stuborn) to put in for welfare, or let anyone know of our plight. We recieved sever beatings from her if we did anything or said anything to let the neighbors know how things were in our house. Us five boys got tired of nothing but dried beans and corn bread. I killed a lot of pheasent with a bow. Rabbits, squrrells, ducks, geese, even an occasional deer, fell to my silent arrows. I'll never forget how happy my 4 little brothers were, (and how my Dad would quietly cry) when I brought home meat for the table. So you can understand why I would not turn in someone poaching to feed his family.
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