Sunday, January 23, 2011

How to avoid game violations

First off I just want to say I have been on both sides of this issue; being law enforcment in a rural area I respond to game violation calls and work closely with Fish and Game Agents. But I was young too and did stupid stuff. I have received tickets for failing to wear hunters orange while duck/quail hunting and for using a trebble hook in a river where a single barbless was the only thing allowed to be used.

The number one thing you can do to avoid getting game violation tickets is READ THE REGULATIONS. I realize that you almost need a law degree to undertand them, but playing the ignorant game with something that is clearly stated in game regulations will not help your case.

KNOW THE AREA YOU HUNT. Read maps, talk to land owners, and pay attention to no trespassing and no hunting signs. Know where you are and are not allowed to hunt and fish. Know where the boundaries are from private land to public land.

DON'T BE DUMB. If you know something is illegal don't do it. I know this seems like "DUH" but we have all been there. "There is a big buck and its only 30 minutes to shooting hours." Everyone wants to shoot it, even the game agents who are watching and controlling that decoy buck! I would highly recommend you wait for shooting hours and not shoot from the road.

A little hint: they can put the biggest rack they have on that decoy and its not entrapment. At least not in my state. I really look forward to working the decoy - its amazing what people will shoot.

Now, let's say the agents stop you for some reason. DON'T LIE, it will make things worse. They can take anything that helped you make that mistake (your truck, gun, bow, boat) and fine you lots and lots of money.

If a land owner comes out and confronts you for being on his land (that you got on by accident) I find appologizing and saying your going to leave and never come back works. I recommend to not sit there and argue with the land owner, this will get him even more upset and more likely to call the police. Land owners have been known to block people in their drive way. Don't make things worse for yourself by trying to move anything they put in your way, remember you are in the wrong and if you damage anything of theirs you will be liable for it.

There are of course rules out there that few people understand or agree with, and remember the agents don't make the laws - they are just paid to enforce them.

If you have any questions about legal situations you were in feel free to ask in the comments. Knowing that the input I give you is not legal advice.


  1. Common Sense...but thats what separates the ticketer and the ticketee!

  2. Great tips! I'm a "by the book" outdoorsman. I always do my best to keep everything legal. I know most of the fish and game officers where I fish by name and count several of them as friends.

    A lot of people think of the enforcement officers as enemies , which is untrue. Most of the ones I know are happy to help out and explain things if you have questions and also give advice about hunting or fishing.