California Hunting Guide Loses License

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A Department of Fish and Game (DFG) investigation led the Humboldt County District Attorney's office to file 17 charges against a bear hunter and licensed guide. In an April 12 plea agreement, Edgar Ray Roden, 56, of McKinleyville, pleaded guilty to four Fish and Game Code violations.

In June 2009 DFG wardens caught Roden running his hounds in a dog control zone in Northern Humboldt County that was closed at the time. They later served a search warrant at his residence. The subsequent investigation uncovered 17 violations of California's wildlife laws. Charges ranged from illegal take and possession of black bear to illegal possession of mountain lion hides that were made into rugs. Licensed hunting guides are subject to the same laws – and the same penalties for violating them – as all other hunters.

"People who offer guide services to hunters in California know the difference between legal hunting and poaching," said Warden Jackie Krug, lead investigator in the case. "We count on them to help educate hunters, and expect them to know, respect and obey the laws and regulations."

Roden pleaded guilty to taking two bears over the legal limit, using hounds to pursue/take mammals in a closed zone, falsifying his guide license application by failing to disclose a prior spotlighting conviction, and failing to keep and submit guide log records as required.

The court sentenced Roden to three years of probation and fined him $3,140. He was also ordered to forfeit his 2011 hunting license and hunting privileges for all species, beginning the opening day of bear season and ending the closing day of bear season. In addition, he will not be permitted to apply for or receive a guide license for three years from the date of sentencing.

The DFG Law Enforcement Division reminds Californians that environmental laws exist to ensure proper wildlife management and species survival. Poaching – illegally harming or killing fish or wildlife – is an insult to the vast majority of hunters and anglers who obey the rules. Californians can help protect their wildlife and habitat by reporting poachers and polluters to DFG by calling the toll-free CalTIP hotline: 1-888-334-2258 (888-DFG-CALTIP). For more information, please visit the CalTIP webpage at


groovy mike's picture

I’m not sure that’s what is going on here.

It seems unusual to me that a guide would be in violation of so many game laws even in the state of California. 

Seventeen charges is a LOT of offenses.  I don’t know as you can hold a hunter in violation of hunting in a closed zone if his hired guide brings him there though.  I think that the hunter would have to assume that the guide knew and obeyed the law.  There may be evidence that he knew he was in the wrong place though.  I wonder if the dogs started the track in a legal area and ran the bear into a closed area?  I guess there is just not enough evidence presented in this article to know for sure. 

As for the charges of illegal possession of mountain lion hides that were made into rugs, wouldn’t that depend on where and when the hides were obtained?  There’s a lot of detail missing here.  Theses might be guilty as sin, but seventeen charges sounds like a witch hunt and throw the book at them to me – especially if they are digging up penalties from the guide application fee.  Who did this guy tick off that decided to be vindictive and started digging up everything that they could think of?  Did they search his freezer too?  I bet they did. 

If he was guilty of seventeen counts then the penalties levied are extremely light.  A sentence of no jail time and only ONE year of lost hunting privileges doesn’t seem like much of a penalty to me.  Even if you add in three years without a guides license. 

Three grand isn’t much of a fine for a serious offense.  So this light punishment tells me that either the case was weak or that there was more to it than what has come out in this article.  It makes me wonder.  Then again – I guess I’m just a suspicious person by nature.

Lest there be any confusion, I think deliberate poaching is stealing from every honest hunter and future generations and so it should be punished.  But I’m not sure that’s what is going on here.


Anybody else think this might be a bit fishy?

Ca_Vermonster's picture

They won't mess around with

They won't mess around with that out here in California.  Especially if it deals with bears, and if he was dealing the gall bladders.

They are pretty protective of the bear population.  We have a season that closes as soon as a certain number of bears are killed each year, if it was after a week or 5 weeks, doesn't matter.

Glad he got caught.  Hopefully he'll get the point, but if he's just getting caught at that age, I bet he's done it a long long time.  Hard to break that habit. 

We'll probably see him violate his probation, and hopefully thrown in jail next time.

hunter25's picture

It's bad enough with all the

It's bad enough with all the poaching and game law violations going on out there as it is but when giudes and outfitters make the news for breaking the law it's even worser. As hunters we need to know the laws of the state we are in and for the animal we are hunting but should be able to count on a hired guide to know and obey as well.

As I've said before hopefully the punishment will be enough to strike the point home and put an end to all this lawless behavior. I doubt it but I can only hope.