Poaching Sting Along I-70 in Colorado

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife with the assistance of Colorado State Patrol and Fish and Wildlife Division are pulling over all non-commercial cars and trucks. They are making sure the occupants of the vehicles are not poaching animals or "participating in any illegal hunting operations." It is a 24 hour operation that is located along the I-70 highway corridor. From NBC11News.com.


hunter25's picture

I agree with all the opinions

I agree with all the opinions here really. I don't like the random stopping of everyone on the road but also agree it's probably the most effective way to catcha lot of violators. I would guess the big goal or aim is to catch guys from out of state that are headed home on the interstate and think they got away with something. Although you don't hear about it much it has actually been going on for decades now. I remember the news when I first moved to Colorado back in 85 showing a guy getting a ticket as they were heading home in just such an incident. He was very upset as his group was traveling in two trucks but only his was stopped. He had by chance half the game quarters they had taken but it was all is matched as the rest of the quarters and hunters were in the other truck that was long gone. No cell phones back then to turn the other truck back and straighten it out. I had an uncle also fined on the way home to Wisconsin as he had too many fish in his car. My other uncle who lives here didn't bother to fill out a paper donating his fish to him and he had to pay pretty well because of it. Anyway I myself have never been stopped like this as much as I travel but would cooperate full with nothing to hide.

ndemiter's picture

i'm going to have to agree

i'm going to have to agree that i don't find this situation favorable at all. the problem is that there are people who willingly give up their rights for search and seizure. before you know it, we'll be like south america. if the police see you have a nice car. you get pulled over, arrested, your property is siezed, and you're lost in prison for 5 years

i'm majorly concerned with these minor liberties we are losing. i think  i'd not cooperate with officers if they pulled me over for a "random" check of every body.

heck i got stopped at a DUI checkpoint a while ago and didn't cooperate.

what are they, the KGB?

COMeatHunter's picture

I'm with retired, kind of

I'm with retired, kind of mixed on this kind of enforcement strategy.  It's great the DOW wants to make this operation very public, might act as a deterrent if someone knows they might get checked on the way home.  I would also support stepping up enforcement for poaching as we all would agree it happens to often and doesn't get the justice due most of the time.

But a random operation on I-70?  And during a Monday/Tuesday timeframe?  That part of it doesn't seem to make as much sense.  

On the positive side, the DOW did get some press coverage to highlight an ongoing problem.  And more public awareness of this kind is definitely a good thing.

This no cause, random stop BS

This no cause, random stop BS gets worse every year.  So now you can be pulled over without cause for potential: poaching, DUI, driving a diesel truck(red fuel checks), driving withing 50 miles of the border...  Are there any times left that they actually need a warrant or cause?

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, I actually have no

Well, I actually have no problem with this.  I knwo Retired, you think we should have them sitting at the gates of our national parks or something, but tell me this, how many poachers are actually caught in the act?  Not many.  Usually they are caught from investigations or citizens reports.  Once they get the animal in the car, they are almost home free if nobody witnessed it.

However, if you do this on the roads, where they probably have let their guard down, it's way more effictive.  And, it's not like they are taking a week off to do this, it's only 24 hours. I bet they could get more violations in that span than in an entire season working in the field.

Of course, i am in law enforcement, so I may lean towards approving of this type of operation, but I still think it's a good use of resources.  Good to mix it up.  Poachers, or most criminals, will pattern law enforcement, and know when they can commit their crimes with the least chance at being caught.  Springing something like this on them will snatch a few of them. And furthermore, I cannot stand the fact that they have to publisize things like this, or DUI checkpoints.  It's telling the crooks "drive the other way".  Makes no sense to me.

Retired2hunt's picture

  I have mixed feelings on


I have mixed feelings on this.  While I applaud all legal and focused efforts to catch poachers I don't know if stopping a predetermined plan of vehicles on a US Interstate is the best possible effort.  Watching the video there were a slew of officers from various agencies that were used in this check point.  Couldn't these officials be better off at the entrances/exits of our national forests doing the same random check?

Don't get me wrong here as I am a law abiding hunter and fisherman and have no issue telling an official yes, I am a hunter/fisherman and no I am not illegally transporting any game or fish.  I was stopped by a DOW official earlier last month - he thought I was illegally hunting antelope until I showed him my rabbit harvest taken from the small-game walk in unit.  He then checked my license and stated good to see somebody hunting small game and have a nice day sir.  I was on my way with only a very small delay in the conversation... and I was able to speak to my planned antelope hunt in December with this DOW official with him giving me some good information to assist in my harvest.  So I'm actually glad he had stopped me.

I know many feel this is a constitutional infringement.  The state must provide specific publication of the check point in advance and must have a specific planned process with any deviations documented for any required reasoning.  If the DOW and law enforcement officials are doing everything by the book I have no issue with a check point that is properly placed.  I don't think this one was properly placed nor are we getting our bang for our sportmen's dollar - and taxpayer with the state law enforcement involved.  A US Interstate contains a lot of general public travelers that amount to a great deal of vehicles most likely not involved in hunting or fishing thus many checks and time wasted.  Having this manpower on the roads of our national forests and other hunting lands would be more useful and productive.

On the other hand here, our wildlife is a very precious resource that brings in a tremendous amount of revenue - for the DOW and for the businesses that are visited.  Everything in our power as a state needs to be done to ensure all harvesting of this state resource is done by the published regulations.  Poachers steal from all hunters and fishermen.  They are criminals and need to be dealt with - and in my opinion very strict with jail time and large fines.

I'll be eager to find out the results of this check point to see how many illegal poaching situations were actually caught.


How would that be

How would that be constitutional?  Find probable cause, get a warrant or piss off.