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Rights when encountering a Game Warden

Hey I feel like I know my rights when encountering police but I'm unsure when it comes to game wardens in the field. When am I required to provide a hunting license?

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non hunters

It seems pretty obvious from the comments below that you all are not hunters.

For example, Nystrom's idea that DNR is there to "preserve resources" is pretty misguided. In point of fact, DNR is primarily working with the insurance lobby to eliminate---I mean reduce nearly to the point of elimination---the deer population in many states. At the same time, a majority of responsible hunters are hunting well below quota in sparse areas to avoid reducing the population any further---and limiting themselves to hunting only bucks (limit basically one or two in most places) instead of does---which reduce the population (virtually no limits in many places, e.g., 8 in my state).

On the other hand, there are urban areas, like most of NJ where there is little hunting and tremendous overpopulation.

Just like Army Corps managing the Everglades, DNR management of wildlife is looking to be quite the failure. Of course, it's not all their fault. Urbanization, in general, is irresponsible, just like it was irresponsible to develop and manage Lake Okeechobee for farming interests.

This is not to minimize the possibility of coming up against limited resources, as you suggest, but that is really not the current dynamic in place. That has certainly happened in the past with over hunting. However, we now face a generation in which the vast majority of the population is simply ignorant of hunting (and the source of their food in general), as the posts below show pretty well.

As far as invasiveness and aggressiveness, something that you all also don't seem to know is that DNR (i.e., the game wardens) is much more objectionable than other agencies in general. They respect no restraints on private property. They do not ask for an invitation. They routinely enter buildings without warrants fishing for evidence. It's really pretty bad.

King's deer?

How dare you kill one of the king's deer without first paying for permission.

"Game laws can provide a legal structure to collect license fees and other money which is used to fund conservation efforts as well as to obtain harvest information used in wildlife management practice." - via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_law

We are currently living under worse tyranny than the original thirteen colonies endured. The boot of tyranny will always permit a loving lick if you bow graciously.

Who gave the state the right...

Who gave the state the right to require me to have a license and hunt during a designated time if I need to feed my family? If I am left with hunting as a only means to put food on my Family's table then how do I feed them?

Re-read the story of Robin Hood, he was a criminal for hunting the King's Deer. Funny line from one of the many movies, Robin tells the Sheriff that someone forgot to tell the Deer they were the King's when they ran into his arrow and it would be a shame to let the meat go to waste.

Government is allowed to possess and control the hunting of every single animal within the state? So they then control the food source and the land they are found on then??

It is understandable that there are some hunters and fishermen/women who do not respect the laws of nature and help manage those animal numbers to insure there is always a ready supply of meat to feed the people residing with in their respective geographical location. Not just themselves alone.

Many times I find 2 legged coyote killed deer. Carcasses with just the quarters and the back straps missing and the rest dumped on the side of the road. Those 2 legged coyotes help feed the 4 legged coyote populations that also keep varmint species in check. The buzzards clean up the left overs. I always hope that their families enjoyed their meals.

But, back to your questions, you just need to understand that according to the majority where you are they will agree with the ideal that the Game Warden has authority over you and authorized to use up to and including deadly force to stop you from violating their laws and/or to take you in to be punished for said violations.

The Supreme Court has ruled that an individual has a right to defend themselves against any authority up to and including deadly force to defend against any violations of their Constitutional Rights by authorities of the state.

Catch 22, do you demand your rights and risk being shot, and do you choose possibly shooting the game warden to defend yourself from being kidnapped?

Or, do you allow them to impose taxation in the form of fines for the alleged violations and try to fight for your rights in a court against a Judge who also works for the state? Who will do their best to insure you are unable to get a jury trial and waste the states time arguing that your rights have been violated.

Everyone knows it's in the "Public's" best interest that the Game Wardens authority and that of the Judges be respected and adhered to. Non-compliance is punishable by those pesky fines and possibly imprisonment.

That's how it's done and maybe you should just do what ever the Game Warden says to do and make sure your in compliance with the public's laws in case you meet up with them.

Unless your willing to take your chances with a Game Warden in the wild then pick the Judge in the court house. Regardless that in either of those two cases your screwed, but, you'll be breathing and the Game Warden can get home to feed his family on your dime.

Yours can only eat as long as you don't get caught hunting or fishing the King's, uh, I mean the State's wildlife.

Michael Nystrom's picture

The problem is that we're facing resource constraints

If we just keep using them, we're going to exhaust them.

Just like if you keep stroking yourself, you're going to come.

He's the man.

I Want to Hunt Game With a Firearm; What Do I Need to Do?

I need to demonstrate I know how to use a firearm safely so I don't cause injury to other persons or to their property. How do I do that?

I enroll in a private run safety course where the curriculum and testing of knowledge meets industry accepted standards for properly hunting game in the wild. I take the course and pass it. I receive a certificate that documents I have demonstrated an acceptable level of hunting knowledge and awareness.

If I'm out hunting on private property and I'm challenged by a owner/caretaker, I can produce the certificate (proof). If I forget to carry the certificate on my person I have to stop hunting there and go and get it.

But what about hunting on government managed land? I suppose the game warden is the de facto caretaker and if I want to put up with possible violations and punishment that's a risk I would have to consider if it's worth it. The incentive for me would be to hunt only on private land assuming the owner doesn't invite government game wardens on the property.

So why does the State have to require licenses or issue fines, confiscation or even imprisonment if you don't have it? It's the certificate from the safety course that's important, isn't it?

Licensing is an excuse to take our money through legislation. It doesn't protect anyone or guarantee anything other than adding to the government's treasury.

deacon's picture

You believe that,

Don't you?
Where does it state i need a hunters safety course to hunt?
Do I also need a trappers safety course to trap?
them are man made rules. you are free to enroll in anything you want,I will teach my kids how to do things,but don't make your request or opinions my own

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

My Comment was About Peer Review Certification

You said you teach your children how to do things. But somebody had to teach you, either by observing others who are knowledgeable in firearm safety or through a structured class taught to students by individuals who have experience in properly handling firearms used in the hunting of game in the wild.

The point I tried to make is that licensing by the State has nothing to do with ensuring public safety. It's the recognition by peers in a particular discipline that proper training was received and the certification is the document that attests to that training.

deacon's picture

Oh man,

You had me worried,I thought for a moment you went to the dark side :)

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

game wardens have more power than the police

They can enter your property without a warrant. In fact, the police love to bring along a game warden during investigations, because the warden is free to wonder the property and "accidentally" discover drugs.

Now, I am not a fan of any of this, but I am a huge fan of hunting licenses and following game laws, as long as the states own the game. With the lack of property rights when it comes to game, the tragedy of commons is in full effect. Thus, until we get a free market in this field, we need to conserve these natural resources. This is one of the few areas in which the money taken by the government goes directly to help the resources.

While there are asshole game wardens out there, most of them support hunting rights and are hunters themselves. They will leave you alone and be friendly if you are not hunting out of season or doing things they really hate, like road hunting from a vehicle. There are many uncouth idiots out there that blatantly disregard responsible hunting rules, and these are the types of people the wardens want to catch.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

I partially agree with you...

Game wardens are 'needed', but their "powers" are ridiculous. No one has the right to just walk on my property and snoop around. I don't care what costume they have on.

I also think licenses are not only not needed, but also a grand encroachment on natural rights; I really feel this way about all 'licenses'. Any one should be able to go hunt and provide food to themselves/family. However, I do agree with there being limitations so that game populations do not dwindle to unrecoverable levels.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

deacon's picture

A huge fan

of licenses? not a very freedom loving statement
Just whom created the seasons for hunting,who requires everyone to get a license to hunt,fish or trap? who owns them animals? is it the state?
Did the state create them animals?
Does anyone need special permission to do anything in this country?
What resources do them game wardens or the DNR help by taking money from the people?
BTW,no agency has more authority over another person or their property than the owner has

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

I guess you missed most of that comment

Until there are property rights in game, you need licenses. Otherwise, the white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and wild turkey will go the way of the passenger pigeon. Is that what you want?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

deacon's picture

Sorry ED

But people poaching for a living,either to make a living or to eat,will not make any animal go the way of the carrier pigeon,No one needs a license from any agency to do anything that they already have the right to.And that does include hunting.
Them agencies were not created to protect the animals from extinction,they were created to keep us lowly humans from killing the kings animals
People have 'poached' for hundreds upon hundreds of years,and them animals are not extinct nor going that way...People do not go out and hunt geese as there is a big call for them on the black market,but a starving family might want to eat.

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

You might own the land, but not the deer.

"And them animals are not extinct nor going that way," except for the carrier pigeon... and dozens of species of bear, mink, wolf, raccoon, and others that have gone extinct through hunting in North America. I've been a NJ Hunter since I was a teenager, and I support legally enforced hunting seasons and laws. Kill all the does and where will more deer come from? Do things without respect to nature's timing and we harm ourselves in the long run. Proper management of a common resource such as game is not the same as tyranny, that's the proper role of government: protecting my right to hunt, from someone who would destroy it.

"To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

deacon's picture

Feel free

to support anything you want,but don't try to give it to me.
But how do you define legally hunting? who defines that?
who owns them animals?
who owns that land?
who owns you? who owns your children?
who owns the water?
People have been hunting this land for thousands of years,now we need the gov to protect the animals from ourselves?
The gov and all its entities protect everything but the people,that is their proper role,it is not to put everything above them.
Show amyone here where it states put the people under everything including the water in your driveway?
While no one owns them deer you spoke of,neither does the gov,nor do they have the authority to control who gets what or doesn't
What you propose is more gov intervention into things the people have the final say over,not the other way around

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

If you live upriver

if you live up-river from me, and you pollute the water and poison me and my chickens, do I have a right to angry, or a right to sue you? Hunting in an irresponsible way that harms me is the same thing. It makes good sense to make laws that prevent bad hunting as it does pollution of common waterways.

"To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

deacon's picture

Not the same

1 harms you,the other doesn't
Polluting you and hunting are different
Why do people hunt? to eat,to make a living?
raccoons are not hunted out of season,they are hunted,trapped in the winter
when their pelts are thick,same with muskrats
people hunt,fish or trap to make a living,there can be no other reason for it
gov regulations caused the up rise in coyotes and wolves,these eat more
of them than people do,do you complain about that regulation?
man made regs caused the up swing in bears,does this give you cause for alarm?
Gov regs caused the rise in feral pigs,and now people can hunt them year round.
While you think hunting irresponsibly hurts you,and or yours,you cannot claim harm by that hunting,it does no personal harm such as pollution
I cannot lay claim to owning them animals,neither can you nor any gov
we did not create them

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

No poaching laws at all?

I don't think animals go extinct because people need food, they go extinct because of over-hunting because of profit and selfishness. One moose can provide over 500 pounds of meat, that's about a year of protein for a family of four. So if we set a limit at one moose per family per year, that's reasonable. However, if moose antlers were prized like elephant tusks, poachers would move in, kill large numbers of moose, take their antlers, and leave the carcasses to rot, that is not acceptable. If not a crime against man it's a crime against nature.

It also makes sense to prohibit hunting during certain seasons if that hunting would prevent breeding which maintains the game population for future generations. And the idea that we can't make laws about things we didn't create, I don't really understand that... we didn't create any of the things we need to survive, not air, not water, not land, should there be any law at all?

"To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

deacon's picture

I do agree with you

But not sure how to go about doing it.I agree about antlers and such (which is wrong to me also)
I do agree with how some of it has been handled,an example would be the seat belt laws(while these do save lives,it is not right to fine people for not wearing them) and car ins.
If one is hunting to provide for his family,then to me,it's not wrong for them to hunt,and no fine should be imposed
Game wardens even come onto private property,which is wrong to me,they do not nor should they have rights over the owner
What happens,that I see is an overstepping of bounds,and authority
They 'might' start out with good intentions,but it doesn't stay that way long.
If possible,it should be left up to the people to decide. I do not like being harassed while out on the water,hunting on my own land,or walking along a stream,all these have happened to me.
When they start limiting this or that,they impose their own on the people,and then act as if the people owe them something,when,their jobs were got by stealing taxes or imposing a license on things they do not owe,did not create,and act as if people should kiss their boots,or something else a bit higher.
But imposing or creating more laws is never good,and usually takes from the people,and given to the ones who work for them.
The fed gov tried to get a bill passed to say they owned all the water,including your pond,your stream,and it did include that puddle in your driveway> I just don't see how another can think they have ownership of things that are not theirs.

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

I think I know what you mean.

Reasonable laws are reasonable, but some people misuse the law and authority and abuse the rights of people-without-badges.

"To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

deacon's picture


And I hate laws,while some are needed,they get taken to extremes
Thanks for sticking with me..oh,and understanding :)

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Depends If You're Hunting

Things get sticky if you get stopped by the W@rden & told to produce your license when you're neither hunting nor fishing.

"I'm just out taking my gun

"I'm just out taking my gun for a walk and also happen to think camo is fashionable" will probably not be considered a convincing argument ; )

Natural Rights cannot be taken away but only violated.

Natural Rights are invariant to one's company.

meekandmild's picture

If you sign you fishing/ hunting license sign it with

All Rights reserved.
Game warrens also take an Oath to uphold the constitution.

Yes remember all of the deer in the land and all of the fish --

in all of the seas and lakes belong to the sheriff of Nottingham and you must not catch or consume them.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell

its pretty simple.. use the

its pretty simple.. use the allowed gun, shoot/fish up to and not over the limit; and don't hunt on posted property.

My father was a upland game biologist and certified warden- I remember once around the age of 14 he forced a van off a gravel road in his state truck; they were driving around with rifles poking out the windows of a van in the country hunting geese.

they had licenses, but were obviously breaking more than just hunting laws.

My father took their ids, walked back to the truck for 5 minutes, got back out; then gave them back.

"I told them their IDs had been reported to the local police and they should expect a visit soon.. Their mouths dropped and their eyes were as big as the moon"

deacon's picture

nice story

Your dad broke the const by not allowing the people to have the authority it
affords them
Man creates laws,and MOST are created to stifle them,and at the same time
violates the const,and their oaths of offices to uphold it

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

How so?

You made the statement that he broke the const by not allowing the people (referring to the people in the van?) to have the authority it affords them.

How did he brake the const and what authority are you referring to? I just fail to see your point of view, please explain.

I don't really agree with what he did either, considering he just caught them riding around, not actually shooting or killing the geese, but I fail to understand your point.

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

deacon's picture

Family matters

Took away my time to answer in a reasonable time frame
What I meant was,The gov's are supposed to be for and by the people,and the people run them. If the gov has not that power,then no agency can have it.
The people did not give the gov the authority to create any agency that has more power or authority than the people do. So that same gov cannot create
an agency that puts animals above the ones who are supposed to have th final say in what the gov does. If the gov creates another gov agency,then the people in that agency have to swear an oath to uphold the highest law of the land,and that is the constitution.If said gov creates a NGO (non gov org) or,it is against the const already,so therefor breaks the law

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence