22 replies [Last post]
hunter25's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
It's pretty common here like

It's pretty common here like Critter said. In some places you can have several units in close proximity. In some cases we have have had different guys hunting in diferent units and would go different directions from camp. Another example is we sometimes have had a buck tag in one unit and a doe tag in another for the same season. the biggest case of this in Wyoming like last year when we had tags in three different units at the same time. So eventually we had animals in the truck that had been killed in one unit while we were hunting in another. Just make sure of your laws and document well where you have been and where you are going.

hellomcfly's picture
Offline
Location: Denver Colorado
Joined: 04/29/2007
Posts: 328
I actually encountered this

I actually encountered this problem labor day weekend in CO. I parked in and hiked through a limited unit to get to an OTC unit. Got stopped by a game warden on the way back out who had been watching us walk across the limited GMU.

 He said, "Don't you think you should unstring your bows when you walk through that area?"   First i said, is it even possible to unstring a compound bow without some kinda tools?  then i said i didn't do anything illegal, i walked through the limited unit to get to the OTC unit just over the ridge, all on national forest land.  He said he believed me that i was hunting in the right area then he said he was watching me from the ridgeline waiting for me to "set-up."

 apparently if i would've sat down in the  limited unit he would've given me a ticket... So instead he just gave me a warning...even tho i did nothing wrong. He suggested unstringing my bow or casing it up when i walk through that area. But to my knowledge there is no such law that says i have to do that. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, he obviously knew little if anything about archery hunting

SGM
SGM's picture
Offline
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 929
No such law that I know of

No such law that I know of unless you are riding an ATV. Unstringing a compound bow, that is ridiculous. Glad it worked out for you and that common sense prevailed. As I said before when I ask a DOW officer. He stated it is fine as long as you are not actively hunting.  

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
game wardens

hellomcfly wrote:

I actually encountered this problem labor day weekend in CO. I parked in and hiked through a limited unit to get to an OTC unit. Got stopped by a game warden on the way back out who had been watching us walk across the limited GMU.

 He said, "Don't you think you should unstring your bows when you walk through that area?"   First i said, is it even possible to unstring a compound bow without some kinda tools?  then i said i didn't do anything illegal, i walked through the limited unit to get to the OTC unit just over the ridge, all on national forest land.  He said he believed me that i was hunting in the right area then he said he was watching me from the ridgeline waiting for me to "set-up."

 apparently if i would've sat down in the  limited unit he would've given me a ticket... So instead he just gave me a warning...even tho i did nothing wrong. He suggested unstringing my bow or casing it up when i walk through that area. But to my knowledge there is no such law that says i have to do that. He wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, he obviously knew little if anything about archery hunting

You're right, sounds like that warden wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed.  For him to suggest that you do something that you are not required by law to do is simply wrong and proof the guy just wants control.  That's not the way it's supposed to be in this country with our law enforcement. If it were me I probably would have seriously questioned his reasoning and asked him to prove to me what law would require me to unstring my bow.  Technically even if you had sat down for a brief moment in that limited area, there is nothing that officer could have sited you for, nothing at all.  Harvesting game is proof that you have hunted, that's how hunting is defined in the regs.  Obviously that officer wasn't too bright if he gave you a warning for something he cound not have even sited you for in the first place.  I think sometimes there are few game wardens who just like to harass people.  I've experienced a similar type of harassment twice in Montana.  Makes you wonder.  I sometimes wish that I had been given a summons just so that a judge could see how idiotic some wardens can be.  Then motion to the judge that the warden should be sited for professional incompetence.  Most of those game wardends are good guys, not knocking all of them, but it only takes a few to ruin the image for the whole division.

Critter's picture
Online
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3962
I have ran into some

I have ran into some interesting game wardens on weekends that don't know a deer from an elk.  They are the office help that know nothing about the rules and regulations.  I had one in Utah that didn't even want to check my license, and when I asked him what kind of fish that was stocked in a pond that I had just parsed he had no idea that there was even a pond in the area that had fish. 

Now if you get on of the wardens that are out and about doing their job outdoors that is another story.  The last one that checked me wanted to know all about a double barrel .410 that I had on my wheeler for grouse.  He couldn't ask me enough questions about it he liked it so well.  I have had others help me locate game animals and even drag out a deer that was shot by my brother in law that we had spotted as we drove down a road.  And yes we were legal when the deer was shot.  The warden was watching the same deer thinking that his boy that was with him might get a chance at it. 

So there are some goobers out there but there are also a lot of the good ones also. 

hellomcfly's picture
Offline
Location: Denver Colorado
Joined: 04/29/2007
Posts: 328
Yeah there's a few things i

Yeah there's a few things i wish i would've said to him, but i didn't think of them till after he was already gone. I was pretty mad, and  I thought my cousin was gonna let him have it. But we both kinda kept our mouths shut. probably for the best. It's funny, i looked on the DOW site later that day, and the officer's picture was on the homepage as an employment add. He's the poster boy for the DOW

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
law officers and the law

Yeah when it comes to dealing with a potential sticky situation with lawmen and you believe you've done nothing wrong it's always best to keep your mouth shut and don't say anymore than what's nessesary.  Keep a level head, don't argue, and take mental note of everything little detail about that lawman, what he is doing, why, what gear he has on him, did he have binos or spotting scope, and what he says, what you violated, etc.  If you need to question him on a few things then that's your right, but do it only to gather relevant information and do it in a way so as not to inflame the warden or officer. It's also always best to have a good clear understanding of all the regs before heading out and keep relevant copies in the vehicle, or at least know where to find those regs. If they give you a summons or site you for anything then gather all your mental notes, write them down, and prepare for your day in front of a judge.  But generally if you've aren't doing anything wrong then you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Most wildlife officers and law enforcement officers are good people, but some do get over zealous.  Funny, I've had a DOW officers once tell me that he sees more violations when he's off duty and out of uniform than he ever does when he's on the job.

exbiologist's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
I do it all the time

It's one of my favorite tactics to get to a lightly hunted area.  I leave the gun unloaded or uncapped while crossing through the unit if I can't hunt it. Never been questioned about it, but have also run into lots of people who do it wrong do to confusing boundaries or just stupidity.  For instance, last week on my muzzleloader hunt, it's a half day hike to the unit boundary I was hunting in, but a guy hunting from the trailhead was hunting both units illegally.

Offline
Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 881
I'm good friends with the

I'm good friends with the local warden in my unit. I asked him once if it's legal to carry my gun while scouting in off season. He said if I was carrying a loaded gun he would assume I was hunting. I would unload a gun if I was in a unit I didn't have a tag for. No reason to keep it loaded anyway.

I got around the problem by getting a small game licence, and saying i'm hunting for coyote. Good for the whole state year around.

WesternHunter's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
carrying a loaded rifle

Still Hunter wrote:

I'm good friends with the local warden in my unit. I asked him once if it's legal to carry my gun while scouting in off season. He said if I was carrying a loaded gun he would assume I was hunting. I would unload a gun if I was in a unit I didn't have a tag for. No reason to keep it loaded anyway.

I got around the problem by getting a small game licence, and saying i'm hunting for coyote. Good for the whole state year around.

Why would your local warden friend assume you were hunting if you had a loaded rifle or shotgun with you in the wilderness?  I understand that during the season it's easy to assume stuff about someone being armed, but there are often other reasons why someone may be carrying a loaded rifles in the wilderness.  I thought in the USA we were innocent until proven guilty and that we were supposed to be free from unessesary interrogation, questioning, and free from search and seizure of property without just cause?  I though that's what distinguished us from other countries and why people fled Europe in masses to come here as recent as 100 years ago? At least that's what high school history class taught me at one time.

As far as I know it is legal to carry a weapon (loaded firearm) when in National Forest, State Forest, BLM, State Land, and most Wilderness areas.  Basically most rural public lands so long as you are lawful with that weapon.  You see people carrying loaded rifles all the time in the bush of Alaska.  I've seen it quite often all over rural Montana.  Used to see it to some extent here in Colorado.  None of this should be of any cause for concern when it is perfectly legal to cross a GMU.  Suddenly these days a guy with a gun is cause for major concern everywhere, even in the boonies. Confused

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
She said WHAT?expatriate2304/26/2009 22:30 pm
Border crossing infohunter251307/31/2013 20:25 pm
Elk crossing highway in Wyomingcowgal401/11/2011 10:58 am
Deer ScentsReal1007/16/2006 09:22 am
Hunting In Canadasc8721105/09/2006 17:09 pm