Back from Iowa....Got Hosed!

Discussion in 'Bow Hunting Forum' started by wingmastr23, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. wingmastr23

    wingmastr23 Elite Refuge Member

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    Well,

    I am writing a letter to the Iowa DNR. I sincerely am considering NEVER hunting Iowa again....and possibly a lawsuit.

    We (me and 4 friends from 3 different states) arrived to our hunting cabin on Friday the 2nd. We hunted Sat thru Tues. (The WORST days of the trip due to high winds and fairly warm temps) on Tuesday evening the county CO saw me in a field and walked in on me....essentially ruining my evening hunt.

    BTW....I should also mention that I lease the land we hunt (about 4000 acres) and have done so for the past 8 years.

    He asked me all the "regular" questions, I showed him my tags, etc. After he reviewed them he then told me that I was hunting in the wrong zone. I explained to him that I have been hunting in this zone for over 10yrs as a non-resident, and hunted in it for 5 years as as resident. I KNEW we were in the right zone. This guy admitted that he was NEW to the CO thing....but used to be a cop....He "knew what he was doing!"....:rolleyes:

    Well, I guess that left a bad taste in his mouth, and he demanded that I load up all my gear in his truck, and take him to the cabin where we were staying. He then called his "buddy" (Fellow CO officer) and they both commenced to bullying all 5 of us. Separating us, yelling in our faces about being deceitful, purposefully hunting in the wrong zone etc. They wrote us all tickets for hunting in the wrong zone.

    3 guys in our group had antlerless tags (but when you already put your deposit in for the cabin, buy your plane tickets in advance, even though you don't get drawn for a buck tag, you still have enough invested to go with an antlerless tag.....besides, shooting a big buck is a dream, but it is still fun to hang out with old friends and get in the woods!) Anyway, we got bullied big time. They accused us of buck hunting with improper tags, even after one of them showed up that evening with a dead doe (tagged of course) He got a $1500 fine for shooting a doe in the wrong zone, and with all the other fees it tallied over $2000.

    At the end of the night, I looked like the idiot. I had told everyone what zone to apply for. According to the CO's, the zones had changed this year. The CO's also said that if they caught us hunting we would be fined a minimum of $500 and would be jailed overnight. Keep in mind that we have all flown into Des Moines from various states, and our flights didn't leave until the following Sunday (yesterday).

    For 3 days we sat in the cabin. One of the days we drove to the "correct zone" to scout a public hunting area to find 8 hunters parked and hunting. We didn't want to disturb their hunt and without having a clue where they might be hunting, we ended up turning around and driving 80 miles back to the cabin. During those 3 days, we noticed the CO's vehicles parked on hills, driving slowly past our cabin, and driving around all of my leased ground. It was pathetic!

    Well, the night of the 3rd day we went into the nearest town to get something to eat. They just so happened to have a stack of DNR hunting booklets. I grabbed one, and as soon as I looked at the zones, I knew the CO's were WRONG!! WE WERE HUNTING IN THE RIGHT ZONES AFTER ALL!!! I was so ticked off!! They had said that the "zoning had changed"....WRONG! It was the same as always.

    We had 2 days left in our hunt. The past 3 days were perfect. A cold front had moved in and there were nice bucks chasing does all around our cabin.....the deer were moving like crazy!!

    We went back to the cabin to strategize our last 2 days. We were confident that we were in the right zone, so we all decided to hunt. That morning as I walked a gravel road to my stand (around 5am) a truck flipped its lights on and drove up to me. It was my favorite CO....I was trying to be cool about it, and I calmly told him that I reviewed the DNR zone map, and was confident that we were hunting in the correct zone.

    He flipped a lid! He got 2-3 inches from my face and screamed "BULLSH!T!!!" Made me drop all my gear and put my hands on the hood of the truck. He searched me, "accidentally" stepped on my brand new Matthews bow that was lying on the ground where he told me to drop it and then handcuffed me. Took me to jail, I sat there till the judge came in at 9am.

    To make a long story a bit shorter, I told my story to the judge, he asked the court deputy to provide him a copy of the zone map. After he reviewed where I was hunting, he determined that I was hunting in the correct zone! I was free to go. Of course, the CO's were all out on my leased land searching for my buddies.....

    I bummed a 30 mile ride (from a local) back to the cabin. I showed up at the cabin, the CO's were there with my friends. They seemed shocked that I was there. I told them what the judge said. They looked at the DNR booklet that I brought with me from the restaurant, called the courthouse and left the cabin. They didn't even apoligize!!!! Their excuse was, there have been some changes made to how out of state tags are purchased.....blah blah blah....something about "must be for antlerless only"....All of my confiscated hunting gear "magically" appeared at the cabin in the middle of the night... The sight on my bow had been removed. It was missing the screws, and lying next to my bow.

    I had one day left to hunt....I had 2 tags (buck and doe)....I ended up leaving Iowa with 2 unfilled tags.

    I did quick math, including the amount I pay for the leased ground every year, our hunting group spent $10,000 in the state while we were there. (tags, land, groceries, supplies, etc.) 2 of us left with does......What a joke!

    I am not including the names of the officers, nor the county I was in, because I am considering legal action.....

    Needless to say......I got screwed.....
     
  2. jmills

    jmills Senior Refuge Member

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    there's the problem
     
  3. wingmastr23

    wingmastr23 Elite Refuge Member

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    Yea.....I guess we ought to just split the good ole USA up into 50 different countries....cause being a US citizen means nothing....if you hunt in another state....they treat you like a criminal.

    BTW...the real problem is that CO's think they can do whatever they want....and their IQ's must not be considered when being hired.
     
  4. hailcall

    hailcall Elite Refuge Member

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    Jon,

    I would definately consider legal action. You would be foolish not to IMO. If it were me those guys would be working in Alaska within the week,my time is very valuable to me, and I am sure your is as well. You should have not had to deal with that. They should have to pay all of your expenses and damages. I live in Ne and If you would like I have a great fella for counsel. I can see if he has privelages in Iowa if you would like. Pm me if interested.

    Seriously

    Seth
     
  5. Beard

    Beard Senior Refuge Member

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    It took you 3 days to go look at a map when you had $10,000 invested. That must have included the cost of alclohol.
     
  6. gbrownlee

    gbrownlee Senior Refuge Member

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    That is the worst story i have ever heard happen to a group of hunters. I would pursue legal action as soon as the judge told me i was in the right zone. That really made me ticked off just reading that. If it were me, those CO's would be cleaning toilets for a living... Sue their ***.
     
  7. SBEkiller

    SBEkiller Senior Refuge Member

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    That'll happen in the great state of Iowa....carp cops have walked in the timber lookin for me a few times. They dont want anyone shooting deer, legal or illegal
     
  8. Joey O

    Joey O Senior Refuge Member

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    Man, thats a raw deal & if it was me I'd be looking for a good attorney in Iowa that is familiar with fish & game laws. On the other hand, there is a lesson to be learned for all of us. When hunting (especially out of state) be a110% sure of the state games laws & zones, you would have been able to "nip it in the bud" when he citied you for the first offense & not have had to miss 3 days of hunting.
     
  9. JShelton

    JShelton Elite Refuge Member

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    I would definatly get a lawer and I would get my buddies to help out so you could really get someone good.

    Not to sound bad:eek: , but I don't understand why it took ya'll so long to look at the Reg Book. That would have been the first thing I did.:confused:
     
  10. ghak99

    ghak99 Elite Refuge Member

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    If you are 100% sure you did nothing against the law, I would attempt to make an example of the officers. I don't know how far you will get on the financial side of things, but you had a lot of money tied up in this trip and it is worth a shot. The only way the bad agents get removed or "moved" is for someone to speak out, lawyer up, and get the attention of the correct people.


    Before I take a bashing.......There are a lot of good game officers/agents out there. Every herd has bad genetics and from time to time someone has to do the culling.:tu
     

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