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Youth duck hunt ruined (UPDATE Oct 15.)

Discussion in 'Canadian Hunters Forum' started by sjemac, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. sjemac

    sjemac Moderator

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    Had my 13 year old son out with a friend and his 14 year old daughter for Waterfowler Heritage Days in 214 yesterday morning. Just the kids' guns in the boats, ours stayed in the truck. The boy was shooting well and had knocked down 4 ducks and 2 geese when my buddy yells to me "Police are at our trucks!"

    I stand up and look across the marsh and 500 yds away are two RCMP cruisers with the cherries flashing and I can hear them hitting their sirens to get our attention. I'm thinking this must be important so we pack up and head in. As we get to shore 3 officers approach us and tell us that Fish and Wildlife is coming because we are hunting in a closed zone and that they are detaining us until they arrive. I explain that we were participating in Waterfowl Heritage Days, show them the season dates from the Federal website and show them that we very clearly only have one gun per adult/child pair. One officer says, "That's good enough for me" and tells the other officers to call off the CO who is coming from a town an hour and a half away. They make the call and come back to say that the CO says Waterfowler Heritage Day only applies on a day when the season is already open and that the RCMP should seize the firearms and force us to wait. So we wait in the rain for nearly an hour our guns on the hood of the cruiser and people driving by wondering what heinous crime we'd committed.

    The CO arrives and is friendly enough and asks me to come back to his truck to tell him why I would believe the season is open. I show him the federal regs page. I know what is coming and am ready when he then takes out the provincial regs and shows me very clearly that the waterfowl season does not open in 214 until tomorrow (Sept 8). I say, "Yes but WHD is on today for kids".

    He then goes on to speak to me like I'm two as he reads the Waterfowl Heritage Day excerpt from the regs. Showing each word with his finger he reads,

    "WATERFOWLER HERITAGE DAYS

    The first Saturday and Sunday in September are designated as Waterfowler Heritage Days in Alberta. Youth (age 12-17) may hunt waterfowl on these dates without a licence (provincial or federal) provided they are qualified to do so (see Licensing requirements for first-time hunters) and are accompanied by an adult migratory game bird hunting permit holder. The adult permit holder may not have in their possession or use a firearm, or accompany more than 2 minors at one time while mentoring youth. The youth can only hunt waterfowl species for which there is an open season in that WMU. Regular bag limits and possession limits apply."

    I stop him and say thats not what it says. That it read's "The youth can only hunt waterfowl species for which there will be an open season in that WMU." -- meaning that if the season on ducks is open tomorrow, my son can hunt today. He gets quiet for a moment and then say "Well we're probably okay then". He gives me a story that someone had called to report that two men were in a boat and shooting ducks. How someone could see us when we went in in the dark and were completely out of sight of the shore unless we stood on the bench of the boat is beyond me. Nor did his story jive with what the RCMP had told me. I just shut up to help the affair end quickly. He did at least go to the kids to tell them that we had done nothing wrong and was in general a nice guy.

    We get our guns back and our licenses and are just preparing to leave when he stops us and tells us he's just found out that the local CO still thinks we are in the wrong and that we now have to wait for him to come. That guy shows up with his lights blasting and the two of them go and confer away from us -- looking into the regs book. After another 10 minutes they finally say we are good and can go. This was an hour and a half after we were first detained.

    Is it too much to expect the CO's to know the rules themselves? Could SRD not have specific briefings on changes to the regs and could they not follow the lead of the feds and actually post the dates in their regs summary? I'm frustrated that what should have bee a great day bonding with my son was turned into an unpleasant experience for us both, not due to our actions but due to the ignorance of others who should know better. We went out for a perfectly legal duck hunt and ended up dealing with five armed law enforcement officers and 4 sets of flashing cherries -- I was expecting the ERT to show up in a black helicopter.

    I will never again call the CO's to report anything. I could be wrong and screw up someone else's special day. This is the third time I've ended up having to explain gamebird regs to Alberta CO's while checked. With three strikes you're out in my books.

    Anyway the boy and his first honker of the year.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MBgoose

    MBgoose Refuge Member

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    That is too bad, tough start to the season. That is also what happens when you have a bunch of desk jockeys writing the regulations and everybody reads them differently. I wish they would just make the waterfowler heritage days the same right across the country. In Manitoba up until this year the youth were allowed to hunt September 1st-7th and the regular season started on the 8th. This year they opened it up for everyone on the 1st, so much for the youth season, having to compete with adults for fields. I thought it was great the youth got the first 7 days, hope they change it back.
     
  3. bang you'r dead

    bang you'r dead Canada Forum Mod. Eh! Moderator Flyway Manager

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    They opened everything up here on Sept 1, so we don't really have any special season for the kids anymore, which sucks. I liked the one week season, and it was always great to get kids out onto the fresh dumb birds. Now we have to compete like everyone else.

    Sorry to hear about the confusion, but whenever I see something like that in the regs, I always call the CO and get it clarified. It saved some problems for me once, and I still call in the poacher line and give my name if I see something wrong.

    I don't mind getting stopped, but an hour and half was too long. They should have been able to solve the problem over the phone. Nice to see the kids got some birds.

    Perhaps you can contact the CO and ask them to participate in the youth hunt the next year. It wouldn't hurt to get them more involved.

    Glad to hear everything worked out ok in the end.
     
  4. Canuk

    Canuk Senior Refuge Member

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    The 'Desk Jockey' in Manitoba kills more duxs than just about everyone else on the forum from MB.
     
  5. sjemac

    sjemac Moderator

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    I will be calling the local guy next year to give him a reminder. I will be writing the minister immediately to describe my experience and how it could have been avoided through more clarity in the regs summary.
     
  6. Canuk

    Canuk Senior Refuge Member

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    good luck....
     
  7. prairie roamer

    prairie roamer Senior Refuge Member

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    The CO, his boss and their department owe you and your party and apology for ruining your day afield. It's sad to think that this is your son's first encounter with a CO. They should be ashamed.
     
  8. sjemac

    sjemac Moderator

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    Yeah I know. I fully expect crickets as a response. But if you don't try?
     
  9. Lorne

    Lorne Senior Refuge Member

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    I feel bad that your day was ruined. Its sucks.

    But not reporting poachers to prove a point doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

    Lorne
     
  10. Foust

    Foust Refuge Member

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    What a shame. Are all Canadian wardens ate up with the dumbass? Because those two are the dumbest I've ever heard of. Those guys definitely should not be in the field. A phone call to their boss and their bosses boss is in order.
     

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