As I have been told by my son," If they fail the attitude test it could get ugly." Many fail the first time they open their mouth, some before. More often than not the attitude you see is nothing more than the reflection of yours amplified.
I have had very few encounters with game wardens in all my years but almost all have been good.
Had one check us while dove hunting when I was 17. Unfortunately, I forgot I had taken the plug out of my 870. He did write me a ticket, but did help me cut plug out of a mesquite stick and made sure it was the right length.
Got to know one well enough at Ft Riley, KS that he would just wave at me when he would see me out in the back 40.
Had one check us after duck hunting on Milford Lake in KS. He must have been watching us, cause he knew how many ducks we had when we got to the truck. Congratulated us on bagging so many greenheads so fast. Real nice guy, didnt check guns or shells, just licenses.
Met one antelope hunting, 2002, north of Laramie, WY. Super nice guy, had a black lab with him. Had another check us in area 38 in WY in 2003, nice guy too.
We had one come onto our deer lease in AL in 2011 and wrote my buddy a ticket for baiting with corn. He knew right where to find the corn in a field. None of us had put any corn out. Rumor had it that the game warden himself was spreading the corn and then writing tickets. My friend took it to court and got it thrown out. Apparently, the judge didnt think too highly of that warden.
The thing about Wardens is put yourself in their shoes. First be legal to a fault, study your state game regulations to the point of memorizing them. Be quick to show them your licenses, wholeheartedly cooperate, and get in a yes'sir or two, and have a positive attitude. Do those things and you might just make a friend, and at the very least have a good experience. We really need to ally with our Law Enforcement, they stick their necks out for us daily. Lets give them our respect.
Same as with police... some great and others need to be slapped.
Where I am the DNR focus seems to be on city people vacationing here. People with too much money always seem to be doing something really stupid.
Few years ago a local warden told us about a guy he caught on state land baiting deer. He filled the bed of his truck with sugar beets and was hauling them out to the woods with two 5 gallon buckets. He even told the guy when he ticketed him he was an idiot for what he was doing... wasn't even trying to hide he was doing.
Met a couple nice wardens when I witnessed a couple guys poaching on the neighbors property, very nice wardens,the kind you could sit down and have a cup of coffee with. I know there is only so much they can do,but I thought in my situation they could have dug a little deeper. Here's what happened.this took place about 4 years ago. It was about the middle of October,early afternoon,I was out checking my fences,when I heard two rifle shots coming from my neighbors property,so I went to investigate. I cut through a little grove of trees that divided my property and the neighbors.when I got to the edge of my property. I saw at what I would guess 150yards,a green Chevy club cab pickup in the field,two gentlemen were bent over gutting a deer out. I watched for a while,until one of the guys looked up and saw me.He then walked over to the pickup and pulled his rifle out,he then pointed it in my direction,I thought he was checking me out with his rifle scope, but apparently not.he shot one round into the top of the tree I was standing under.I decided not to hang around after that..I went back to the house and called the warden,they showed up about an hour or so latter, like I said earlier, they were real nice guys. They asked me a few questions, and then I showed them where I saw the guys gutten the deer.they found the gut pile,and one of the wardens pulled out of his coat some kind of temperture thingy and poked it into the deer liver, he commented that it was no more than a couple hours old..we then went back to the house,where they asked me a few more questions.I told them I didnt recognize the truck but I thought I new who one of the guys were, they left and went to talk to the gentlemen, they must have looked up his name and got his address, he lived in the trailer park and his green Chevy pickup was sitting in his driveway. The wardens told me they asked him if he had been out there today,he said no.I was told they checked out the box of his truck,but couldn't find any blood. The wardens stopped back and told me there wasn't anything they could do. While the wardens were interviewing this guy,I thought I would call my neighbor to find out what was going on,he told me that no one was out hunting there and that I should mind my own business. I got pissed, I told him the next time someone takes a shot in my direction I was going to take that guys gun and shuve it up his A$$. After talking with him,I went to my shop in the garage,to blow off a little steam. Before dark I was working on a little project that the wife had been bugging me to get done, when a deputy sheriffs car pulls in the yard. I walk out to his car, thinking he wanted to talk about the poaching I witnessed. He said he wasn't here to talk about that,he was here to talk to me about the threat I had made to my neighbor. The neighbor got it right when he told the officer I was going to take a gun and shove it up sombodys behind,but he failed to tell him the why. I tried to explain the whole scenario, but the deputy wasn't all that interested in what I had to say in the matter. I asked the deputy now what,you gonna take me to jail, he said no, but my neighbor was really fearing for his life and that's why he reported it.. The deputy then told me that my threat on my neighbor would have to be reported to the county attornies office, to which the county attornies office would start a file on me,and their would be a good chance if I were to threaten my neighbor like this again I would go to jail. That's why now I will never call a game warden again. I no longer trust them to do their jobs and as far as the sheriffs dept they can kiss my behind too.
Oh yes by the way, after a while I heard that the neighbor had asked these two guys if they could get him a couple deer for his freezer, the neighbor was in on it all along.
out here in oregon i am lucky enough to not run into them much, with that said i have met a couple while coyote hunting that were pretty cool ,good guys i am on good terms with another one of them and well there is always that bad apple that is a total jerk wad one of those kinda guys that got the [beeep] kicked out them in high school and now they have a badge and gonna get even with the world. i realize they have a job to do and i appreciate the job they do. so for me mostly positive except for one. glad they are out there
One morning we stopped into a gas station in a small town before heading home. It was still dark. I was pumping gas when a game warden pulled in to the other side of the pumps. He saw we had 2 dead coyotes in the bed of my truck and went ballistic on us saying those coyotes were minding their own business and we came along and shot them. I told him their business at that particular time was trying to kill a newborn calf. He called me a liar. I wasn't lying and told him he needed to drive up the road and talk to the rancher that owned the calf.
Ironically, the rancher was at first pissed over us killing the coyotes, too, but when he saw the damage done by the coyotes he calmed down. As far as the warden went I reminded him that we weren't breaking any laws and if the state didn't want us killing coyotes they'd put them on the protected species list rather than the non protected species list. Our conversation was laced with a lot of profanity and it wasn't coming from me.
My other story is about a warden that lived in the same small town that I did. This guy absolutely hated predator hunters. People say that if you're hunting at night be sure to call the warden for that area so he knows. Doing that with this guy would assure him teaming up with his BIL deputy sheriff and tracking you down. If he couldn't write you up for a game violation the deputy could always find something. The warden once told me that everyone breaks the law every day and it was easy to bust you. He said that when we're calling at night and accidentally run our light over a rabbit we've broken the law.
I had a hunting guide's license and he harassed me for a good 3 years. The final straw came when we couldn't get permission to access a mud hole where geese were coming in every day so we had to walk over a mile through gumbo hauling our decoys over public land. This was the desert and there would only be a single flight of geese in for the day. I saw him drive up and sit in his truck until he saw the geese approaching. Then he got out of his truck and walked towards us shooing the geese off of our spread. He checked our licenses and shotguns grinning all of the time knowing full well what he'd done.
When I got home I wrote a letter on him as did my hunting partner. The letters were certified and mailed off. This guy had gone to a few town councils and tried to get hunting outlawed in certain areas which caused other people to write letters on him. Also, one night he got his BIL to confiscate a couple of friends' firearms. He caught them calling coyotes which he hated. Those guys went to a judge and got their guns back but the guns were just tossed into the back of a truck and were badly banged up. More letters. Mine happened to be the final blow. He was demoted from Captain to Lt and a second warden was assigned to the area. He was one step away from being fired.
Like I said in a prior post. Most wardens are decent guys just doing their jobs. I've been checked out a lot of times over the years and have actually appreciated the contact. I've seen other guys breaking the law and wished there was a warden around to bust them. Wardens are looking out for our interests, too.
Now a funny one. I lived up in SE Alaska for 15 years. One morning a friend and I got up for the first day of waterfowl season. While we were out hunting this gal came up and checked our licenses. We were okay. Since we were wrapped up by 8:30 am we decided to go salmon fishing. We took my skiff out and hooked up right away. Amazingly I caught a steelhead in the salt water. When we got back to the boat ramp here was that female warden checking out our licenses and catch. She started to write me up for catching an undersized king salmon but I proceeded to show her that it was a steelhead. Fortunately we were right next to the Fish Lab where a friend of mine who was a fish biologist worked. He came down and showed her it was a steelhead so she walked away.
Later in the day I was out the road fishing for cohos. There was a guy above me catching fish and then tossing them back. Trouble was he'd killed them. I kept a couple of them and cussed him out to his face. When I got back to the road guess who was there. Right. That female warden. She asked to see my license. I handed it to her and then said, "This is the third time you've checked me today." She looked shocked then said,"I'm sorry. I never looked at your face." I just rolled my eyes and headed home.
99% of the ones I've had the displeasure of meeting in this state are arrogant A holes who seem to treat everyone like they're a criminal and guilty of breaking the law.
My last encounter a couple of years ago is an prime example. I was legally hunting on a state owned 1200 acre bowhunting only farm that required a permit and call in reservation to hunt. I checked in with the wardens by phone as required, received permission to hunt that afternoon, drove 1 hour and parked my truck in one of the designated parking areas as required. I also had my hunting permit with number displayed on drivers side dashboard window of my vehicle as required.
I was in a treestand overlooking a swamp a few hundred yards from the parking area when a saw a wardens truck drive up to my vehicle (the only one in the designated parking area) at 4:10 in the afternoon. Through 10x bino's I watched him get out of his truck, walk around my truck and look at my hunting permit displayed in the window. After a few minutes he got back in his truck and drove back the way he came in. He stopped his truck every 50 yards got out and walked a few yards in the woods looking for me. After a few stops he parked directly in front of the patch of woods I was in (truck running), got out and again walked a into the woods looking for me. All of this mind you was taking place during peak hunting hours during the Rut.
Finally when he was about 30 yards away from the tree I was in I stood up and shouted ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ME? After he came back to earth he said yes if that's your truck parked up there. I said it was and he proceeded to walk to the bottom of the tree I was in. I asked him what was the problem? His answer was nothing, I just need to check your license. At that I about came unglued!!!
I proceeded to climb down the tree (in my climber) and handed him my license which was totally unnecessary because in order to receive a hunting permit an applicant has to furnish their state license info, vehicle make/model/year, address/phone number etc. All my info is on file with my permit number which he clearly saw. All he had to do was call it but that would have been to easy. Instead he chose to be an A hole and ruin an afternoon of hunting for no good reason.
My thought on the vast majority of game wardens I've encountered....I wouldn't piss on their leg if they were on fire.
Luckily, I haven't had any personal contact with GWs in this area. However, I HAVE observed them breaking the traffic laws, i.e., exceeding the speed limit & changing lanes with no signal. In just a couple miles, I observed him on the side of the road, parked in an area lots of people use to walk down under the bridge to fish the creek. Was VERY close to pulling off and getting his info to report him, but had more urgent matters to tend to & just blew it off. Won't do that again. I'm tired of people who carry a badge & believe it gives them the right to behave in any way they please. Btw, it's not just the GW here who does that: I've seen VERY few LEOs who obey the traffic laws. They don't believe those laws exist to protect public safety. They believe those laws were passed merely to inconvenience LEOs, so they refuse to obey them.
Most I have had contact with have been very nice and professional . We had one in our area for years that was ...for lack or a better word special. He even threatened a local town police officer for spot lighting in a field around the local sewage treatment plant because deer were in the field and he had a weapon. Said if it happened again he would arrest him. Need less to say once the Chiefs of both agencies talked the CO never said anouther word. But that was just him, like any job you have a few testing personalities.
Most wardens I have come in contact with are just everyday Joe's doing a job. If your legal then there's no problems. Some aren't just overly friendly but never rude. The public land I hunt, during certain times of deer season, coyote hunting is off. One GW told me I couldn't call coyotes during deer rifle season but it one came buy it was OK to shoot him. That being said, its deer season till a coyote comes by, then its coyote season, at least for a few minutes!! I'm sure if your an A-hole to them, they can be a bigger A-hole right back.
I've always made it a point to form good relationships with them. I've never had any issues. I've never been questioned or asked for my license by them. It's been quite the opposite. They always ask me to let them know if I see any suspicious activity in the field, which I wouldn't hesitate to do. They take a lot of heat similar to what law enforcement officers are taking these days. Why make their job more difficult.
I respond to any law enforcement with yes sir no sir answers and make it a point to tell them I appreciate them. And look, I've never been shot, tased, maced or had my head beat in with a billy club by one. Isn't that weird!!