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Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by swampswimmingshrek, Oct 15, 2007.
Yeah I think I'd take the deal.
So I felt F&G needed some insight so here is the letter I sent them. What do you boys think.
To Whom it may concern;
My name is Bryce Roberts and I'm 25. I have hunted in Idaho for as long
as I can remember. My whole family has hunted and guided in Idaho for as
long as I can remember.
Well earlier this year I was cited for 3 Dowitchers that I killed and
actually handed them to the officer knowing they were snipe. I had no
reason to think differently. Well of course it was completely an
accident that these were dowithers, no one in our hunting party had
even heard of a Dowitcher before. The officer that cited me took 10
minutes looking in his book to determine that it was a dowitcher before
citing me. I commended when he desided to ticket me that I had a few
seconds to deside and it took him 10 minutes. Then I asked how he knew
about them and his comment was because he had a degree in biology. I
then stated "So now I need a biology degree to hunt."
I have always been honest with F&G and always have promoted the sport. I
have also always done my share in reporting poaching, building duck
boxes, and helping with youth. But when this officer cited me for this
honest mistake it upset me extremely. No pictures of a snipe were even
in the regulations, no warning of dowitchers are found anywhere. And
Fish and Game is giving me a ticket knowing how hard they are to
identify especially in flight.
So I did a couple surveys with waterfowl hunters. I presented them
with a picture of a Dowitcher and gave them 3 choices; Snipe, Woodcock
or other. Out of the 189 people that voted, 122 voted it was a snipe or
woodcock. THats over 65% of hunters and this is nation wide! The Idaho
hunters were worse. 80% of them were wrong! When I told them the story
and the fine that I recieved for my honest mistake the comment was
"You're better off hiding it or leaving it lay rather then being upfront
This really bothers me that F&G is sending off this message to people.
You no longer are human in this sport. Your either right or wrong no
matter what. The sad part is hunting is a dying way of life and F&G
isn't helping that with tickets like I recieved. So not only did this
little mistake cost me hundreds of dollars now I also have a
mistermeanor and a year of probation. That will affect my life, and what
jobs I can hold. I question now if this sport is really worth saving, is
it really worth risking things for the rest of your life all on this
sport for an honest mistake?
I know the family and friends I hunt with have lost a great deal of
respect for F&G over this issue and really question if its worth
supporting anymore. I know if we continue this sport and make a mistake
we will be less likely to be honest with F&G now and that is sad. I hope
the $150 that F&G receives from my ticket can replace the Licienses,
tags, and volunteer time that this accident has cost them. Personally I
think a warning would have earned you alot more support and money then
the ticket. You may want to send that message to your officers.
good letter, hopefully they will at least think about it a while.
When I first moved to Idaho 16 years ago I noticed a vast difference between the Game Wardens in Idaho and what I had left behind in Kansas. Idaho wardens were great, personable and kind. In Kansas there were three officers in particular in areas I hunted had terrible reputations for harrassment. As a 19 year old I had a run in with one of them. Three of us teenagers were duck hunting one afternoon, two of us had a few birds, but the newbie we took along hadn't dropped a bird yet. It was nearly quitting time, so we were putting up decoys while the young guy kept watch. We had a couple birds come in and I knew we had a few minutes left, so I let the kid shoot, he missed again. The warden was waiting at the parking area when we walked out and was preparing to write the kid a ticket for shooting late. I asked the warden what time he thought the kid shot and when he told us, I explained to him that the regs showed that even by his estimation we were still a few minutes before shooting hours ended. His explanation was that you can't go by the fish and game brochure, you have to go by the local paper. I was dumbfounded, but I did get the officer to reduce the whole thing to a warning, but it disturbed me enough to write my own letter to fish and game, very similar to what Bryce's letter. I did get a written apology back from the state office, but never heard what might have happened to the officer.
Another event with fish and game had a lot to do with my moving to Idaho. I had a taxidermy client bring me a "bow killed" deer. He was a deputy sheriff in an adjoining county. He brought me the whole hide, hooves and all. His dad was my boss where I taught a couple classes at a local community college. When I got the hide out to work on it I noticed that there was only a bullet hole in the hide, no broadhead, there were even some lead fragments on the opposite exit hole. The real kicker was the guy wanted the horns back so he could have them registered with Pope and Young. My cousin is a regional director for fish and game, so I called him to see what to do. I didn't want my involvement to become public as I feared it would hurt my taxidermy business not to mention my teaching job. We worked out the details and the guy eventually confessed to shooting the deer with a rifle from a sheriff's vehicle no less. The problem was one of our local wardens spilled the beans on me and I ended up not getting renewed at the community college and my taxidermy business fell way off.
I have a good relationship with several fish and game personel here, but I think there are also others that don't have the ability to be reasonable. We shouldn't fear fish and game sitting at our truck after a hunt, we should love to share the events of the day with them. Fish and game should realize that we are their employers and their greatest asset to enforcement when we are treated with respect. With cell phones everywhere, poachers have to be mighty careful to avoid everyone's eyes, but if we don't trust fish and game, most won't bother to make the call or be willing to tesitfy in court. Contempt breeds rebellion and rebellion sin, it gets to the point where folks will just not care anymore.
I just recieved a responce. Looks like I will be making a phone call today.
Thank you for taking the time to voice the concerns you have described
below. As you requested, I have forwarded your e-mail.
I appreciate the support you have giving Idaho Fish and Game and I hope,
in time, you will continue to support our efforts.
If you have additional comments or concerns, please contact Jeff Wolfe,
who is the Regional Conservation Officer for the South West Region in
Nampa. Jeff can be contacted at 1-208-465-8465.
Assistant Bureau Chief - Enforcement
Idaho Fish and Game Department
P.O. Box 25
Boise Idaho 83707
1-208-287-2759 - Office
I think what disturbs me the most about conservation officers is how the F&G wants them to enforce the law. When I was fisheries student, I wanted to be a CO. What my friends and I found out is that they didn't want you to make a judgment call it was black and white and let the court make the call. Well I can tell you that most judges don't know the first thing about wildlife/fish. I don't think as a CO I could have given Shrek a ticket (based on the info given on the forum) but then again that is why I didn't go that route.
I understand your concern as well, but you have to know what your shooting! I know they look A LOT alike, but if you pay attention to the way they act and fly around you can usually tell the difference. Maybe one of the fuge members needs to take you on a good old fashion snipe hunt! Pay the fine and put it behind you! We all make mistakes, but its not the end of the world. Good luck with whatever happens.
You got hosed. I voted snipe too, but I have nothing to compare it to, as all we have here are snipe.
BUT I would have left out the smartazz remark aboutt having a degree in biology to hunt. The guy put his time in to learn that stuff, I'm glad to see he put it to use in his job.
But from the sounds of it, they could have at least given you a few comparisons in a regulations booklet, or publish an "upland game identification synopsis" or the like.
Bottom line: The motto "If it flies it dies" is a bad one to follow.
haha no its a great. Now its "If it flies it dies""Then after the blaze and glory your sort them!"