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#2541843 - 09/09/13 08:29 AM Warden search authority?
Raspack Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 63
Loc: Kern County, CA
This past Saturday a friend and I were on a CA state run hunt for dove, rabbit and pig on one of the ecological preserves in the central valley. It was a special hunt that you had to apply for and be drawn to participate. During the hunt we noticed a CA fish and game warden patrolling the grounds and actually making contact with hunters. During the time we were there he stopped to talk to us while we sat on the side of the road taking a water break and cooling off. Both of us had the appropriate licenses, tags etc and out shotguns were unloaded, in gun socks and on the floor board behind the drivers seat of the truck. As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle. He looked at each gun starting with mine. It was unloaded and he placed shells in the magazine and then went to the next gun. After finishing his inspection he stated the first gun he checked, mine, was capable of holding 3 shells in the magazine. He even said he had to force the shell and had to do it twice in order for it to fit. The gun has a wooden dowel as a plug and he said I won't cite you because you are "attempting to do the right thing", but also said, " I could cite if I wanted." His attitude toward the whole thing was that of I am the warden and you are just another [beeep] wipe hunter who is breaking the law. My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


Edited by Raspack (09/09/13 08:30 AM)
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My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist

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#2541854 - 09/09/13 09:06 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
doggin coyotes Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 10539
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Raspack
He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


This is where the fur/fish cop and I would of had our first issue.
_________________________
Colorado has smelled like one big azz brush fire every since 1-1-14.

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#2541861 - 09/09/13 09:15 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
6724 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 3072
Loc: colorado
i have watched the show wild justice which is california fish and game people.

i have often wondered while watching that show if the constitution in california matters. it seems to me that they violate rights on a regular basis. starting with the fourth amendment.


opening a closed door to a truck would not be ok with me. i am not a lawyer or constitutional scholar, but sure seems to be an illegal search.

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#2541991 - 09/09/13 04:18 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: 6724]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: 6724
i have watched the show wild justice which is california fish and game people.

i have often wondered while watching that show if the constitution in california matters. it seems to me that they violate rights on a regular basis. starting with the fourth amendment.


6724,
I have also seen a lot of questionable behavior on the show. You gotta remember it's a TV show and everybody's in on the production.
It took about one show for me to drop it to zero on my credibility scale.


Originally Posted By: 6724
opening a closed door to a truck would not be ok with me. i am not a lawyer or constitutional scholar, but sure seems to be an illegal search.


Well,
It seems to me like it was a rude officer with absolutely no people skills, but it sounds like a legal search.
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2541998 - 09/09/13 04:37 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: Raspack
My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And here is the reason he did:

Originally Posted By: Raspack
As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


Your paperwork and doves were evidence you and your friend were hunting, so he had a legal right to check the guns used to take the doves.

In my opinion, he should have shown a little common courtesy and requested your consent first.
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542100 - 09/09/13 07:52 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: fw707]
Radio Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/13/12
Posts: 436
Loc: S.W. Mo
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: Raspack
My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And here is the reason he did:

Originally Posted By: Raspack
As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


Your paperwork and doves were evidence you and your friend were hunting, so he had a legal right to check the guns used to take the doves.

In my opinion, he should have shown a little common courtesy and requested your consent first.


Agree with the above. Also the weapons were in plain sight if looking in the vehicle from outside, so it was not an illegal search by any stretch of the imagination. Pretty rude of him, but he was within his powers. You sure he wasn't one of the "Full of myself" agents on the TV show? whistle

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#2542136 - 09/09/13 08:52 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Radio]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: Radio
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: Raspack
My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And here is the reason he did:

Originally Posted By: Raspack
As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


Your paperwork and doves were evidence you and your friend were hunting, so he had a legal right to check the guns used to take the doves.

In my opinion, he should have shown a little common courtesy and requested your consent first.


Agree with the above. Also the weapons were in plain sight if looking in the vehicle from outside, so it was not an illegal search by any stretch of the imagination. Pretty rude of him, but he was within his powers. You sure he wasn't one of the "Full of myself" agents on the TV show? whistle


This is a state by state issue. That crap might fly in the communist republic of CA but not in MT. Checking licenses , animals, etc is fine but here atleast a Warden has no authority to check a vehicle without permission, a search warrant, or exigent circumstances that would have to be articulated well to constitute a lawful search.
_________________________
Hey, Theres no call to bring Facts into this argument!!!!!!

God prefers kind athiests over hateful christians!

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#2542153 - 09/09/13 09:31 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: bigsky_songdogs]
6724 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 3072
Loc: colorado
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: Radio
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: Raspack
My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And here is the reason he did:

Originally Posted By: Raspack
As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


Your paperwork and doves were evidence you and your friend were hunting, so he had a legal right to check the guns used to take the doves.

In my opinion, he should have shown a little common courtesy and requested your consent first.


Agree with the above. Also the weapons were in plain sight if looking in the vehicle from outside, so it was not an illegal search by any stretch of the imagination. Pretty rude of him, but he was within his powers. You sure he wasn't one of the "Full of myself" agents on the TV show? whistle


This is a state by state issue. That crap might fly in the communist republic of CA but not in MT. Checking licenses , animals, etc is fine but here atleast a Warden has no authority to check a vehicle without permission, a search warrant, or exigent circumstances that would have to be articulated well to constitute a lawful search.


i would have to agree, in colorado your vehicle is considered an extension of your home. just because i have a fresh elk head in front of the house or in the garage, does not mean that the warden can walk freely into my house to check guns. like i said before, i am no attorney, BUT, i think any information/ evidence found in the truck without a warrant or consent would be thrown out by any objective judge.

but, i have seen personally law enforcement violate rights, mine. i was checking a rifle in at the airport once and there were some county cops hanging out, they came over to "inspect" my case, they wrote down the serial numbers off my rifles. pretty sure they have NO business in checking serial numbers without probable cause or consent. this was back many years before 9-11.

most of the law enforcement people that i have dealt with, both good and bad, know very little about the law and hope their "victim" does not either. when called on their behavior many have backed down.

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#2542200 - 09/09/13 11:30 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
Quote:
a CA state run hunt for dove, rabbit and pig on one of the ecological preserves in the central valley. It was a special hunt that you had to apply for and be drawn to participate.

When you applied for permission take part in the said hunt, did you sign any paperwork as part of the application???

Since it was a State sponsored event on what sounds like a potential State controlled area, I'm betting there was some fine print, as well as a liability release, involved in the application forms that gave full authority for necessary inspections as deemed necessary by the agent...Maybe not worded exactly that way but similar...

A lot of applicants to similar events are so involved in the application being totally correct that they gloss over the fine print as to personal rights...
_________________________
Nature shares her secrets not to those that hurry by, but to those that walk with a happy heart and a seeing eye...


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#2542232 - 09/10/13 01:11 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Fursniper Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 1967
Loc: AZ
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.

I believe the search was lawful, but the officers did a poor job in how they handled their hunter contact in the field.

In AZ for example, there is actually a state statute that enables wildlife officers to search without a warrant. This statute only applies to wildlife officers, not for all AZ state peace officers.

ARS 17-211(E3) states in part,
E. Game rangers and wildlife managers may, in addition to other duties:

1. Execute all warrants issued for a violation of this title.

2. Execute subpoenas issued in any matter arising under this title.

3. Search without warrant any aircraft, boat, vehicle, box, game bag or other package where there is sufficient cause to believe that wildlife or parts of wildlife are possessed in violation of law.

4. Inspect all wildlife taken or transported and seize all wildlife taken or possessed in violation of law, or showing evidence of illegal taking.

5. Seize as evidence devices used illegally in taking wildlife and hold them subject to the provisions of section 17-240.

6. Generally exercise the powers of peace officers with primary duties the enforcement of this title.

7. Seize devices that cannot be lawfully used for the taking of wildlife and are being so used and hold and dispose of them pursuant to section 17-240.



Edited by Fursniper (09/11/13 03:06 PM)
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Introducing a new person to hunting and watching them be successful is more rewarding than being successful yourself.

Make time to create a conservationist.

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#2542235 - 09/10/13 01:25 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Rocky1 Offline
PM Junkie

Registered: 11/24/10
Posts: 11518
Loc: ND/FL - USA
Well they get into force it in mode because there are those who run without a plug, then whittle one from the nearest green bush when the warden arrives. One of their favorite tricks is to fold up said green tree branch by forcing that last shell. Even our local warden has laughed about that one in conversation.

I guess my first question would be, is the plug in this shotgun original equipment? If not, you might want to find one that is. Because while this guy's attitude wasn't great, he did at least not cite you, when in fact he could have. And, whether you beat the case in court or not, it would have cost time off from work, attorney's fees, court costs... just generally more aggravation than it's worth. And, next time the gun might not be in the truck.

No, he probably shouldn't have. Can he legally??? I'd have to agree with Jeff and OT, there may have been fine print allowing consent, that you missed. Otherwise, by your statement above the warden asked to check licenses, game, and guns, and you had already consented to 2 out of 3 in offering your licenses and showing the game. Since all three were requested in the same stroke, it could be construed legally, that you consented to all of the above, in providing any one.

I'd write it off to experience and correct the issue with the plug in the shotgun.
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Think about how stupid the average person is, then stop and realize... Half of them are stupider than that! -- George Carlin

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#2542238 - 09/10/13 01:45 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Fursniper Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 1967
Loc: AZ
Personally, I believe a plugged shotgun has nothing to do with protecting the resource. Bag and possession limits are what protects the resource, not how many rounds are in a gun. I would like to see the US Fish and Wildlife Service abolish this law and let the states decide if a round restriction for shotguns is really necessary for migratory birds. AZ does not require a plugged shotgun to take upland game birds, turkey, and small game. I don't see why migratory birds are treated differently.
_________________________
Introducing a new person to hunting and watching them be successful is more rewarding than being successful yourself.

Make time to create a conservationist.

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#2542274 - 09/10/13 09:03 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: OldTurtle]
Raspack Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 08/09/11
Posts: 63
Loc: Kern County, CA
Originally Posted By: OldTurtle
Quote:
a CA state run hunt for dove, rabbit and pig on one of the ecological preserves in the central valley. It was a special hunt that you had to apply for and be drawn to participate.

When you applied for permission take part in the said hunt, did you sign any paperwork as part of the application???

Since it was a State sponsored event on what sounds like a potential State controlled area, I'm betting there was some fine print, as well as a liability release, involved in the application forms that gave full authority for necessary inspections as deemed necessary by the agent...Maybe not worded exactly that way but similar...

A lot of applicants to similar events are so involved in the application being totally correct that they gloss over the fine print as to personal rights...


The hunt took place on a private ranch. The ranch is owned by a group that allows hunting and it is located in a state ecological reserve. The state then has special hunts on the property twice a year to a limited number of hunters. There was not any paperwork for liability presented. For those from CA, the draw is available through the ALDS system, the new CA licensing system.

I feel like the warden should have asked for permission to see the guns instead of opening the truck himself. It would have been really interesting if my shepard was with us and in the truck. She would have taken his head off as soon as the door was opened.
_________________________
My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist

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#2542296 - 09/10/13 10:44 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: Raspack

I feel like the warden should have asked for permission to see the guns instead of opening the truck himself.


I think that's one point that we all agree on.

Originally Posted By: Raspack
It would have been really interesting if my shepard was with us and in the truck. She would have taken his head off as soon as the door was opened.


Would it have made you feel better to see your dog attack the warden?
If your dog had been with you and had attacked the warden, what do you think his response would have been?
I think it would have been "really interesting".
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542299 - 09/10/13 11:02 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
Personally, I believe a plugged shotgun has nothing to do with protecting the resource. Bag and possession limits are what protects the resource, not how many rounds are in a gun. I would like to see the US Fish and Wildlife Service abolish this law and let the states decide if a round restriction for shotguns is really necessary for migratory birds. AZ does not require a plugged shotgun to take upland game birds, turkey, and small game. I don't see why migratory birds are treated differently.


Bob, I agree completely. I think the plug law is totally useless.
KY state law requires a plug in a shotgun for almost all hunting.
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542323 - 09/10/13 12:29 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.





Not here it wouldnt, but wouldn't be surprised if it is in CA. In MT your vehicle is an extension of your home and is protected by a specific expectation of privacy clause on our state constitution
_________________________
Hey, Theres no call to bring Facts into this argument!!!!!!

God prefers kind athiests over hateful christians!

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.-Albert Einstein



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#2542328 - 09/10/13 12:50 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: bigsky_songdogs]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.





Not here it wouldnt, but wouldn't be surprised if it is in CA. In MT your vehicle is an extension of your home and is protected by a specific expectation of privacy clause on our state constitution


That's interesting.
I can't find it.




It looks pretty much identical to the US Constitution.



The CONSTITUTION of the STATE OF MONTANA

PREAMBLE

We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of
our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of
life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future
generations do ordain and establish this constitution.

Section 11. SEARCHES AND SEIZURES. The people shall be secure in their
persons, papers, homes and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant to search
any place, or seize any person or thing shall issue without describing the place to be searched
or the person or thing to be seized, or without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation
reduced to writing.
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542348 - 09/10/13 01:45 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: 6724]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: 6724

i would have to agree, in colorado your vehicle is considered an extension of your home.


6724,
I can't find that anywhere in the Colorado Constitution either.
would you please post a link to that? I'd like to read it.
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542408 - 09/10/13 04:24 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: fw707]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.





Not here it wouldnt, but wouldn't be surprised if it is in CA. In MT your vehicle is an extension of your home and is protected by a specific expectation of privacy clause on our state constitution


That's interesting.
I can't find it.




It looks pretty much identical to the US Constitution.



The CONSTITUTION of the STATE OF MONTANA

PREAMBLE

We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of
our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of
life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future
generations do ordain and establish this constitution.

Section 11. SEARCHES AND SEIZURES. The people shall be secure in their
persons, papers, homes and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant to search
any place, or seize any person or thing shall issue without describing the place to be searched
or the person or thing to be seized, or without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation
reduced to writing.


Article 2 section 10
_________________________
Hey, Theres no call to bring Facts into this argument!!!!!!

God prefers kind athiests over hateful christians!

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.-Albert Einstein



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#2542416 - 09/10/13 04:43 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: bigsky_songdogs]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.





Not here it wouldnt, but wouldn't be surprised if it is in CA. In MT your vehicle is an extension of your home and is protected by a specific expectation of privacy clause on our state constitution


That's interesting.
I can't find it.




It looks pretty much identical to the US Constitution.



The CONSTITUTION of the STATE OF MONTANA

PREAMBLE

We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of
our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of
life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future
generations do ordain and establish this constitution.

Section 11. SEARCHES AND SEIZURES. The people shall be secure in their
persons, papers, homes and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrant to search
any place, or seize any person or thing shall issue without describing the place to be searched
or the person or thing to be seized, or without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation
reduced to writing.


Article 2 section 10



Section 10. RIGHT OF PRIVACY. The right of individual privacy is essential to the well-being of a free society and shall not be infringed without the showing of a compelling state interest.

Ok, I got it.
Now explain to me where it mentions searching a vehicle, and how does it prevent a search that would otherwise be legal under Article 11?
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542425 - 09/10/13 04:56 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Tbone-AZ Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 6884
Loc: AZ, Phoenix
He did it.. The case is if he would have cited you for a plug issue, then you could have taken the issue to court as a violation of the 4th ammendment.

As the example of from AZ shows that Fish and Game has the right to search.. Well just cause it's the law doesn't make it legal.

If he asked.. I would show him, maybe, I am not affraid of saying no, and am prepared for the reaction because they don't like hearing no.
I am all about making it legal to record any and all interaction with law enforcement, and challenge these laws that take away your rights. The guns were in the vehicle and they should get permission, or a warrent based on p cause to search.

I have run into game wardens while driving, and they have asked me for a hunting lic. I wasn't hunting at that moment, so i told them i have a drivers lic and registration if they would like. He didn't like it, but moved on. I had no animals and AZ is an open carry and no concealed permitt required state, i don't need a hunting lic to be out and about and have a gun. I know it's being difficult, or a thorn, but the government should be a minor part of society, and if i don't have any animals or I am not activly hunting, i dont need a lic, depending on the land where i am at, and don't need an access permitt.
_________________________
Have fun being an [beeep].. I hope it's all you hoped for.

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#2542427 - 09/10/13 04:59 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: fw707]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country

I didn't mean the constitution said that about vehicles, I was trying to make 2 points, #1 that vehicles are treated as an extension of your house here, and #2 that we have a right to privacy in our constitution.

And that search doesn't meet consent, search warrant, or probable cause that a crime has been committed to apply for a search warrant , so here they could not search your vehicle for that. Not to mention the only ammo capacity restriction we have is for waterfowl.
_________________________
Hey, Theres no call to bring Facts into this argument!!!!!!

God prefers kind athiests over hateful christians!

The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.-Albert Einstein



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#2542445 - 09/10/13 05:48 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: bigsky_songdogs]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs

Not to mention the only ammo capacity restriction we have is for waterfowl.


You sure about that?

Page 3 of the 2013 Montana Migratory Bird regs:

No persons shall take migratory game birds –
• With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance. • With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the
gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.

I can't find an exemption for doves.
Did I miss it somewhere?
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#2542451 - 09/10/13 05:59 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: fw707]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs

Not to mention the only ammo capacity restriction we have is for waterfowl.


You sure about that?

Page 3 of the 2013 Montana Migratory Bird regs:

No persons shall take migratory game birds –
• With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10 gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance. • With a shotgun of any description capable of holding more than three shells, unless it is plugged with a one-piece filler, incapable of removal without disassembling the
gun, so its total capacity does not exceed three shells.

I can't find an exemption for doves.
Did I miss it somewhere?


Sorry, migratory birds is correct, when most people here say waterfowl regs etc that encompasses all migratory birds, but I should have said it correctly. Upland birds have no restriction, migratory and waterfowl limit is 3
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#2542454 - 09/10/13 06:07 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
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Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Although I believe the Eurasian collared dove is an exception because they are an unprotected and unregulated invasive species in MT, but that is irrelevant to what we are talking about
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#2542462 - 09/10/13 06:20 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
Quote:
#1 that vehicles are treated as an extension of your house here, and #2 that we have a right to privacy in our constitution.
....Search and Seizure court case rulings may have changed over the years, but all the training and Constitutional Law courses that I've taken have ruled that if an item is within a locked/secure article, where the owner has the explicit expectation of privacy, a warrant is needed before any search or seizure...However, if it is not in a "Secure" area, it may be seized if it is in Plain View, the vehicle is being towed to an impound facility and the officer needs to inventory the contents for documentation and safe keeping, or the owner (or person immediately having custody) gives permission...

I know that under the "Castle Doctrine" in some states, the vehicle specifically is considered an extension of your home or domicile for the purposes of self protection on the public roadways, but if you come under a the jurisdiction of a special and restricted function, the search and seizure would come under a judicial ruling...Could really be interesting to "make some case law"...
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#2542464 - 09/10/13 06:25 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: OldTurtle]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: OldTurtle
Quote:
#1 that vehicles are treated as an extension of your house here, and #2 that we have a right to privacy in our constitution.
....Search and Seizure court case rulings may have changed over the years, but all the training and Constitutional Law courses that I've taken have ruled that if an item is within a locked/secure article, where the owner has the explicit expectation of privacy, a warrant is needed before any search or seizure...However, if it is not in a "Secure" area, it may be seized if it is in Plain View, the vehicle is being towed to an impound facility and the officer needs to inventory the contents for documentation and safe keeping, or the owner (or person immediately having custody) gives permission...

I know that under the "Castle Doctrine" in some states, the vehicle specifically is considered an extension of your home or domicile for the purposes of self protection on the public roadways, but if you come under a the jurisdiction of a special and restricted function, the search and seizure would come under a judicial ruling...Could really be interesting to "make some case law"...


MT is unlike most if not all other states in that aspect in that we don't have an in plain sight exception "except" incident to an arrest the officer is in arms reach of a weapon that is in plain view and Obviously if there is a weapon within reach that would be an exigent circumstance and the officer can secure it.
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#2542474 - 09/10/13 06:38 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: bigsky_songdogs]
fw707 Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Well, y'all can go ahead and beat on this one as long as you want to, but Rocky already summed up the entire situation.

Originally Posted By: Rocky1
Otherwise, by your statement above the warden asked to check licenses, game, and guns, and you had already consented to 2 out of 3 in offering your licenses and showing the game. Since all three were requested in the same stroke, it could be construed legally, that you consented to all of the above, in providing any one.


Raspack made no mention of refusing the officer permission to check the guns.
The officer simply reached into the truck and only removed guns he had been given consent to inspect. If he made any further "search" of the vehicle it wasn't mentioned in the original post, and I think Raspack would certainly have mentioned it.
I'm not certain that the term "search" even applies to this situation. If it does, it it was definitely a consent search going by the info in the original post.

If Raspack feels that his feelings were hurt to the point that he needs some sort of restitution or apology, he should file a written complaint with the officer's supervisor.
In my old agency, written complaints were always investigated and a reply was always sent to the complainant.
I'm sure all agencies have similar policies.
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#2542483 - 09/10/13 06:43 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: fw707]
bigsky_songdogs Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/28/10
Posts: 5295
Loc: Big Sky Country
Originally Posted By: fw707
Well, y'all can go ahead and beat on this one as long as you want to, but Rocky already summed up the entire situation.

Originally Posted By: Rocky1
Otherwise, by your statement above the warden asked to check licenses, game, and guns, and you had already consented to 2 out of 3 in offering your licenses and showing the game. Since all three were requested in the same stroke, it could be construed legally, that you consented to all of the above, in providing any one.


Raspack made no mention of refusing the officer permission to check the guns.
The officer simply reached into the truck and only removed guns he had been given consent to inspect. If he made any further "search" of the vehicle it wasn't mentioned in the original post, and I think Raspack would certainly have mentioned it.
I'm not certain that the term "search" even applies to this situation. If it does, it it was definitely a consent search going by the info in the original post.

If Raspack feels that his feelings were hurt to the point that he needs some sort of restitution or apology, he should file a written complaint with the officer's supervisor.
In my old agency, written complaints were always investigated and a reply was always sent to the complainant.
I'm sure all agencies have similar policies.


I think you are probably right, depending on exactly what was said or asked etc, consent was probably implied when the Warden asked to check all of the above and Raspack not refusing the request or actually consenting by saying he can check the guns
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#2542506 - 09/10/13 07:34 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Mr Benelli Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/22/10
Posts: 867
Loc: Parris Island
I think once the game warden discovered (or you told him) you were hunting and checked your license, or saw game that give them plenty of authority...I think all they need is reasonable suspicion that your hunting/fishing to check your vehicle and stop and check your hunting license.

Most game wardens have more authority than state/local police.


I also believe they can check the vehicle for bullets too...so thats almost anywhere in the vehicle.




Edited by Mr Benelli (09/10/13 07:35 PM)
Edit Reason: add s
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#2542670 - 09/11/13 02:01 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Rocky1 Offline
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Registered: 11/24/10
Posts: 11518
Loc: ND/FL - USA
Originally Posted By: fw707
Raspack made no mention of refusing the officer permission to check the guns.


One can logically assume from the fact that he simply opened the truck up and inspected them, that no refusal was implied.

Originally Posted By: fw707
The officer simply reached into the truck and only removed guns he had been given consent to inspect. If he made any further "search" of the vehicle it wasn't mentioned in the original post, and I think Raspack would certainly have mentioned it.

I'm not certain that the term "search" even applies to this situation. If it does, it it was definitely a consent search going by the info in the original post.



A very good point made there as well Jeff. If in fact consent was granted on 2 of the 3 items in his request, no explicit refusal to inspect the guns was implied, and if the guns were in plain sight through the truck window, then he had every right to reach in, remove them, and inspect them. If he looked no further, there truly wasn't a "search" of the vehicle, by any means or definition. All he did was inspect the guns he had been granted premission to check.

Again, he may not have approached this situation in the most courteous and professional manner. That point, I will not dispute! He could have/should have asked permission to remove the guns from the vehicle.

And, while you could write them a letter down at headquarters, that probably wouldn't be a good idea. Then they have your name and address to mail you the ticket for the shotgun that holds too many shells, if he didn't write it down, or call anything in.

Were I going to complain, I'd find one of his bosses at a county fair, public meeting, country store, or something, strike up a conversation and casually mention that it kinda rubbed you the wrong way, that you would have appreciated being asked if he could remove the guns. That your dog could have been laying in the floorboard unbeknownst to the officer and it could have created seriously ugly problems for all. That you think it might be worth mentioning to his officers, as a safety precaution more than anything, and a matter of common courtesy, that they might ask in the future.

His boss is going to be more into handling PR, and think the safety issue through. A casual mention of it, OFF THE RECORD, is much easier to swallow than a letter, which is formal. Furthermore, as we are all aware hanging out on these boards, the written word can often be taken out of context, and things can be read into what you wrote, that you truly didn't mean to say. And, any calls to that office might be monitored for customer assurance, covering their @ss, or by the NSA, FBI, or other government agencies. Off the record, 1 on 1, and politely is usually best.
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#2542780 - 09/11/13 10:03 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Rocky1]
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16605
Loc: Huntington, Texas
In Texas it states:

Inspection Authority: A game warden who observes a person engaged in an activity governed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code or resonably believes the person is or has been engaged in such an activity may insprect:

(1) any license, permit, tag, or other document issued by the department and required by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code of a person hunting or catching wildlife resources;

(2) any device that may be used to hunt or catch a wildlife resource;

(3) Any wildlife resource in the persons possession; and
(4)the contents of any container or receptacle that is commonly used to store or conceal a wildlife resource.


I think in most cases, a boat or vehicle would be considered a "container or receptacle that is commonly used to store or conceal a wildlife resource"
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#2543120 - 09/11/13 11:20 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
erict Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 420
Loc: near Albany, NY
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.

I believe the search was lawful, but the officers did a poor job in how they handled their hunter contact in the field.

In AZ for example, there is actually a state statute that enables wildlife officers to search without a warrant. This statute only applies to wildlife officers, not for all AZ state peace officers.

ARS 17-211(E3) states in part,
E. Game rangers and wildlife managers may, in addition to other duties:

1. Execute all warrants issued for a violation of this title.

2. Execute subpoenas issued in any matter arising under this title.

3. Search without warrant any aircraft, boat, vehicle, box, game bag or other package where there is sufficient cause to believe that wildlife or parts of wildlife are possessed in violation of law.



Assuming there was no consent/implied consent:

I respectfully disagree with several of your assertions. The officer cannot justify checking firearms NOT VISIBLE FROM THE OUTSIDE, IN A GUN SOCK, IN A CLOSED VEHICLE to determine if the birds were taken by lawful methods. He first has to have "sufficient cause" that the birds were NOT lawfully possessed (see your text in bold above). Maybe he hears 4 shots, rounds the bend and sees one hunter - now there is sufficent cause to believe violations may have been committed. THEN he is one step closer to getting in a vehicle to inspect a firearm. Based on the description, it doesn't sound like he had any sufficient cause at all.

Let's suppose the warden wrote the ticket - unless he observed the guns being used, he merely has stowed, unloaded, under-plugged gun in a vehicle and likely no violation of anything. If the hunters told him to go pound salt he would be hard pressed to prove that the specific gun was used during the hunt, who used it, and an even harder time proving that it was used to illegally take birds.

Outside of the vehicle it's another story. Hunting is recognized as a "pervasively regulated activity" that carries with it certain changes to the search rules. Hunters AFIELD whose guns are checked for compliance will have little luck arguing that the gun check was an illegal search.

There appear to be no exigent circumstances in this case. If the officer had PROBABLE CAUSE, meaning he some evidence to suggest a violation, then he would be within his authority to secure the vehicle until a search warrant was obtained. He could possibly claim exigency if he was out of cell or radio contact and leaving the scene could lead to alteration of evidence - but he still needs PROBABLE CAUSE to get in the vehicle.

Consent is always best even though nonconsenual searches probably happen thousands of times a year without being questioned. I suspect this is mainly because most people have nothing to hide. Crafty wardens have ways to get consent without having to violate rights, build a case if they can't get consent, or walk away if they don't have enough for a good case.

I will agree that from the sounds of it the officer could have handled the situation much better.

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#2543127 - 09/11/13 11:38 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Yellowhammer]
erict Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 420
Loc: near Albany, NY
Originally Posted By: Yellowhammer
In Texas it states:

Inspection Authority: A game warden who observes a person engaged in an activity governed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code or resonably believes the person is or has been engaged in such an activity may insprect:

(1) any license, permit, tag, or other document issued by the department and required by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code of a person hunting or catching wildlife resources;

(2) any device that may be used to hunt or tacth a wildlife resource;

(3) Any wildlife resource in hte persons possession; and

(4)the contents of any container or receptacle that is commonly used to store or conceal a wildlife resource.


I think in most cases, a boat or vehicle would be considered a "container or receptacle that is commonly used to store or conceal a wildlife resource"


It says "inspect", not "search without warrant". I do not believe a vehicle is considered a "container or receptacle" in this case. Coolers and fish creels are more like it. Quoted below in the codes it refers to vehicle searches, but again the officer must have "a reasonable, articulable suspicion" - and it's clear that he can't search for firearms using this section.

"Sec. 12.104. RIGHT TO SEARCH AND INSPECT. (a) A game warden or other peace officer commissioned by the department may search a game bag, vehicle, vessel, or other receptacle if the game warden or peace officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the game bag, vehicle, vessel, or receptacle contains a wildlife resource that has been unlawfully killed or taken."

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#2543290 - 09/12/13 02:12 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Cookie125 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 04/30/13
Posts: 130
Loc: KS
In high school we had a question answer day with an officer and searching of a vehicle that was asked and he told us that they have to ask for consent but if their is reason to suspect illegal activity that they can search your car after being refused due to it being a mobile crime scene.

sounds like he asked to see everything and you showed him the first 2 of 3 giving him reason to search for the guns even if you had refused them, or at least in Kansas I believe that's how it would have worked. Yeah he should have asked for the guns but I think he would have been safe.

Sucks when an officer comes across as rude, you could write a complaint but not sure what good it will do but maybe his superior would bring up the lack of people skills, but who really knows.

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#2543307 - 09/12/13 03:21 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Cookie125]
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16605
Loc: Huntington, Texas
Well, most people if they are over their limit or have killed something not in season or illegal, they are going to hide it in their vehicle or boat.

In a boat there is not much difference in a live well and a rod locker. Both can hide fish, ducks or whatever. There has been a lot of deer and other game packed into the trunk of a car, tool box of a truck or behind the seat of a truck. I would go so far as to say these are "commonly used to store or conceal a wildlife resource"

Probably cause it not that hard to arrive at in most cases.
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#2543873 - 09/13/13 11:08 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
TripleDeuce660 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 2918
Loc: Las Vegas Nevada
Doesn't seem like a big deal. Cut a new plug 1/2" longer and make certain you can't force the third shell in there.

Now if he tore your truck apart looking for cystal meth without a search warrant you might have something to cry about.

Every time you get stopped with a shotgun and you are huntings its capacity is going to be checked. I think he was nice not to give you a ticket.

Those wardens on wild justice annoy me because they always say there is no night hunting in CA. That is not true. You can hunt at night in almost the entire state. You can't hunt GAME at night or in any area that a big game season is open. You can hunt predators, coons, and so on. This leads people to call the police when they see lights from the highway at night.
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#2567710 - 11/06/13 06:27 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
bolski Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 06/29/12
Posts: 257
Loc: Glen Rock PA
Prove to him that it was the gun you shot the doves with. Its not illegal to have a shotgun without a plug is it? I would have had disagreed with him on checking it. I could see him checking it in the field. What if your gun had broke and you had to take the plug out and spring? For example it got dirty and needed cleaning and you were taking it home. He s got no grounds to site you thats why he didn't.

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#2567730 - 11/06/13 07:26 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: bigsky_songdogs]
bignasty Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 493
Loc: Tucson Arizona
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: Radio
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: Raspack
My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And here is the reason he did:

Originally Posted By: Raspack
As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


Your paperwork and doves were evidence you and your friend were hunting, so he had a legal right to check the guns used to take the doves.

In my opinion, he should have shown a little common courtesy and requested your consent first.


Agree with the above. Also the weapons were in plain sight if looking in the vehicle from outside, so it was not an illegal search by any stretch of the imagination. Pretty rude of him, but he was within his powers. You sure he wasn't one of the "Full of myself" agents on the TV show? whistle


This is a state by state issue. That crap might fly in the communist republic of CA but not in MT. Checking licenses , animals, etc is fine but here atleast a Warden has no authority to check a vehicle without permission, a search warrant, or exigent circumstances that would have to be articulated well to constitute a lawful search.



look up terry v. ohio

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#2568496 - 11/08/13 12:34 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
steve154 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 601
Loc: Western NY
There are several exceptions to the general requirement for a search warrant, one being the vehicle exception, which is also known as the Carroll doctrine. Carroll was a Supreme Court case from the 20's. In a nut shell Carroll states that a vehicle can be searched without a warrant when probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime exists with in the vehicle. The scope of the search is the same as what a judge would authorize if a warrant were issued. It includes all containers, locked, or not, that could contain the object of the search. It includes the trunk and locked glove box.

Lacking probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is contained in the vehicle, any search is unlawful. Consent is never implied for searches. This is not a state by state issue. The states can restrict searches further, but they can never go the other way.

Game wardens have no more authority than any other law enforcement officer. The constitution is not suspended for them. Because they act like they can search whatever they want does not make it so.

The opening of the car and inspecting the guns was a blatantly bad search. What crime was suspected? The answer is none. Licenses were produced and there was no problem with the birds possessed. Can I see your guns? No? Have a nice day.

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#2568762 - 11/08/13 06:27 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
6724 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 01/19/11
Posts: 3072
Loc: colorado
i agree with the previous post.

all too often it seems that law enforcement tries to bully people into believing they have a right to search. i personally am very tired of constitutional rights being abuse in the name of "public safety".

i got stopped at a game check the other day, first time ever. i had my rifle (ar15 with a 20 round mag) in the passenger seat with the ejection port down toward the seat. i was asked for my hunting license, i was asked if they could look in the back of the car. i laughed at the request as they were peeking in the windows anyway. i said ok, but didnt unlock the doors. the fiddled around trying to open the door but did not say anything. they entered my name in a little book and gave my license back. they never asked to check my gun, never asked for id to prove i was actually the same person as the license said. it bothers me that my name is now listed in someones little book.

these roadblocks to find violators really dont sit well with me. where is the probably cause to stop EVERY car on the highway? i have heard that the roadblocks have been declared constitutional, but i do not agree.

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#2573988 - 11/19/13 04:11 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
yotyfox Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 11/12/13
Posts: 127
Loc: Utah
To answer your question, no he did not have a right to open your door and check your weapons. You have a reasonable expectation of privacy which includes your vehicle. He probably informed you "I could cite if I wanted" to make you feel like he was doing you a favor, when in fact he knew or should have known that what he done was not legal. If he was concerned about your weapons, he could of kindly asked to look at them. If you told him no and he was still concerned, he should have made an attempt to get a search warrant. It also does not appear from your story that there was any exigent circumstance which would have allowed him to enter the vehicle without a warrant.

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#2584062 - 12/07/13 10:23 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
liliysdad Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 1204
Loc: Oklahoma
Quote:
Game wardens have no more authority than any other law enforcement officer. The constitution is not suspended for them. Because they act like they can search whatever they want does not make it so.



As a peace officer, this is fact. A cop is a cop is a cop. Search and Seizure laws and case law extend to every peace officer in the same manner, notwithstanding local and state laws differing. Even at such, State and Local law cannot be less restrictive than Constitutional standards, i.e, State law cannot strip ones rights as assured by the 4th Ammendment.

One has the Constitutionally assured right to be secure in their person, property, and papers, and unless there is an exigency as outlined in various Case Law, it makes no difference if they are a local cop, Trooper, Deputy, Game Warden, or FBI Agent. We are all bound by the same laws, in the same manner.

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#2638187 - 02/15/14 08:08 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: fw707]
oregonhunt Offline
New Member

Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 10
Loc: Oregon
In my home State of Oregon the officer must request permission to enter or search your vehicle unless he has probable cause to think that you are breaking the law. That is to prevent this sort of thing. You may want to check your regs and rules about this. You can turn in an officer for going over the line. I have done this once and was told it was the right thing to do by fish and game . Likewise you can also put in a positive report when those happen too. Which I have also done. I have found that now days with email and the internet there are ways to bring pressure to bear on wardens and police officers. Asking for badge numbers after everything has been settled and the officer is about to leave can really be a reality check for these guys.

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#2638484 - 02/16/14 11:16 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: liliysdad]
jumprightinit Offline
PM senior

Registered: 12/29/07
Posts: 7031
Loc: Ione, Washistan
Originally Posted By: liliysdad
Quote:
Game wardens have no more authority than any other law enforcement officer. The constitution is not suspended for them. Because they act like they can search whatever they want does not make it so.



As a peace officer, this is fact. A cop is a cop is a cop. Search and Seizure laws and case law extend to every peace officer in the same manner, notwithstanding local and state laws differing. Even at such, State and Local law cannot be less restrictive than Constitutional standards, i.e, State law cannot strip ones rights as assured by the 4th Ammendment.

One has the Constitutionally assured right to be secure in their person, property, and papers, and unless there is an exigency as outlined in various Case Law, it makes no difference if they are a local cop, Trooper, Deputy, Game Warden, or FBI Agent. We are all bound by the same laws, in the same manner.


In most cases I agree with that, but for instance a Customs Officer can search any vehicle coming into the State from offshore, that being a boat coming into port from 3 miles offshore. I would expect the same for aircraft. Also a vehicle can be searched incident to an arrest here in WA. That's up to a point for officer safety. That wouldn't include the trunk of a car without a search warrant.
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#2638627 - 02/16/14 03:33 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
Most of what I've read here about all officers being bound by the Constitution is correct, however, when it comes to game laws, since the evidence of illegal activity is so easy to quickly dispose or disperse, there have been some states that statutorily give more latitude after probability of cause is established...

The ability of the Game Warden is not relieved of the responsibility, any more than any other officer, to be able to articulate that probably cause to the court, if challenged in that arena..They, in some cases, are just not required to obtain a warrant in all cases...A plain view or consent search still holds true in almost all cases, but non curtilage areas can be open season..
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#2638811 - 02/16/14 08:13 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Orneryolfart357 Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/06/07
Posts: 9053
Loc: Nevada
So if a person were to keep their firearms in a locked container as the warden approached, then without a search warrant he would have no power? But if in the Wardens own mind he felt that he had probable cause, then he could search "said" vehicle? How would this work? Couldn't any Warden say that they had probable cause and get around the issue? What is probable cause? Wouldn't this have to be proven prior to a search?
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#2638838 - 02/16/14 08:38 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Orneryolfart357]
bignasty Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/17/12
Posts: 493
Loc: Tucson Arizona
Originally Posted By: Orneryolfart357
So if a person were to keep their firearms in a locked container as the warden approached, then without a search warrant he would have no power?


correct


But if in the Wardens own mind he felt that he had probable cause, then he could search "said" vehicle? How would this work? Couldn't any Warden say that they had probable cause and get around the issue? What is probable cause? Wouldn't this have to be proven prior to a search?

he could search a vehicle for weapons only called a "Terry Frisk " as per Terry v. Ohio but if there's a locked container in the vehicle he must have a search warrant to open the container.

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#2638861 - 02/16/14 08:58 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Orneryolfart357 Offline
PM senior

Registered: 10/06/07
Posts: 9053
Loc: Nevada
Thanks for the info bignasty... Not that I have any worries, it's nice to know the legalities. If nore have info, please chime in.
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#2639049 - 02/17/14 04:41 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
Any locked container requires a proper judicial search warrant...The owner has the specific right to feel that whatever is in a container is totally private...That has been upheld in several Federal level courts numerous times...Normally, the same applies to the locked trunk of a vehicle, unless the driver/owner is being the subject of a custodial arrest and the vehicle is about to be towed to an impound facility. Then the officer has the right to do an "Inventory" search for his own protection, as well as the protection of the subject's property...If contraband is found incidental to that search, normally it is admissible in court for additional charges...
_________________________
Nature shares her secrets not to those that hurry by, but to those that walk with a happy heart and a seeing eye...


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#2639058 - 02/17/14 06:23 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: OldTurtle]
4949shooter Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 1605
Loc: New Jersey Republik
Originally Posted By: OldTurtle
Quote:
a CA state run hunt for dove, rabbit and pig on one of the ecological preserves in the central valley. It was a special hunt that you had to apply for and be drawn to participate.

When you applied for permission take part in the said hunt, did you sign any paperwork as part of the application???

Since it was a State sponsored event on what sounds like a potential State controlled area, I'm betting there was some fine print, as well as a liability release, involved in the application forms that gave full authority for necessary inspections as deemed necessary by the agent...Maybe not worded exactly that way but similar...

A lot of applicants to similar events are so involved in the application being totally correct that they gloss over the fine print as to personal rights...


I agree if this were the case the search would have been legal.

If not, the officer was probably under the impression consent was implied when the OP didn't refuse the request to check licenses and guns. A grey area for sure..

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#2640148 - 02/18/14 03:12 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: 4949shooter]
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16605
Loc: Huntington, Texas
This is from the Wyoming regulations

Quote:
RIGHT TO SEARCH. Any person authorized to enforce the Game
and Fish Act may seize and take into custody any wildlife that has
been unlawfully taken or that is unlawfully in possession. Any
person authorized to enforce the provisions of the Game and Fish
Act may search, without warrant, any camp, camp outfit, pack, pack
outfit, pack animal, motor vehicle, boat, wagon or trailer
for any
wildlife that the officer has probable cause to believe was taken or
is possessed unlawfully. Any person authorized to enforce the
provisions of the Game and Fish Act may search with a search
warrant any place or property for any wildlife that the officer may
have probable cause to believe was taken or is possessed
unlawfully.
_________________________
"The recreational value of a head of game is inverse to the artificiality of its origin"

"No prize is greater than the effort taken to acheive it"

- Aldo Leopold, The Father of Wildlife Management



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#2640174 - 02/18/14 03:42 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Yellowhammer]
4949shooter Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 1605
Loc: New Jersey Republik
You might have bolded this portion as well, because it is extremely important:

"...for any wildlife that the officer has probable cause to believe was taken or is possessed unlawfully."

The key words being "probable cause."

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#2640283 - 02/18/14 06:35 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: 4949shooter]
Coyotejunki Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/03/04
Posts: 5196
Loc: MO
Quote:
The key words being "probable cause."


So what would constitute probable cause, other than seeing someone shooting an animal or seeing part of an animal in a vehicle?
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futuaris nisi irrisus ridebis



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#2640313 - 02/18/14 07:19 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
OldTurtle Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/20/05
Posts: 19624
Loc: East Central FL
Coyotejunki,,,Just as an example, since if you change a word, you can change the law, stick with just what I write...

You are in an area where poaching is normal, there are shots heard in the area, you are driving down a back road and are stopped, upon approaching your vehicle, the Game Warden observes what appears to be unknown blood in the bed of your truck, or bumper of your car...That is probable cause to investigate farther..

At that point, you can choose to cooperate and allow a search of the vehicle, or deny a search and the Game Warden can 1) Force the issue on shaky grounds, or 2) Call for a back up area LEO to stand by to prevent movement of the vehicle or destruction of possible evidence and go to the nearest judge and apply for a search warrant, or 3) in some states, arrest/detain you physically for Investigation and tow the vehicle, as which time he will legally search for the purposes if Inventory to prevent loss of your personal property and protection of his own integrity...

Some states may also give statutory authority for a forced search, holding the officer non-liable based on probably cause that turns up nothing, but that is an area that you would need to research for yourself..

An arrest/detention for the purposes of Investigation usually applies to Felony crimes and you can be held for 24-48 hours, depending on the state statutes and local case law..If the Warden is unsuccessful in obtaining a warrant, he has to let you go about your business...I have no doubt that there are officers that will push with #1, betting that the subject will not get an attorney and file a law suit...There is a Federal Statute that applies to Violation of Civil Rights Under Color of Law, but it is seldom used in minor cases...
_________________________
Nature shares her secrets not to those that hurry by, but to those that walk with a happy heart and a seeing eye...


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#2640564 - 02/19/14 07:03 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: OldTurtle]
Yellowhammer Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 02/07/02
Posts: 16605
Loc: Huntington, Texas
Quote:
So what would constitute probable cause, other than seeing someone shooting an animal or seeing part of an animal in a vehicle?


Game warden is sitting on the side of the road, and hears a shot. A few minutes later you come driving by. Probable cause to check and see it you just shot something from the road.

Another: Game warden hears duck hunters roosting ducks after shooting hours. He gets to the hunters at their truck. He is going to search them, their truck, and anything else they have like a boat, trailer or other wise. He heard you shooting after hours and has probable cause to believe you have illegally taken game.

You are dove hunting. Game warden hears enough shooting in your direction to constitute several limits (you suck and shoot 5 boxes of shells to kill your limit of 12 birds). So he searches your game bag, truck and whatever else to see if you stashed more than your limit. He figures nobody shoots that bad.
_________________________
"The recreational value of a head of game is inverse to the artificiality of its origin"

"No prize is greater than the effort taken to acheive it"

- Aldo Leopold, The Father of Wildlife Management



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#2640850 - 02/19/14 03:40 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
bonecollector777 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 136
Loc: AZ
Originally Posted By: Fursniper


I believe the search was lawful, but the officers did a poor job in how they handled their hunter contact in the field.

In AZ for example, there is actually a state statute that enables wildlife officers to search without a warrant. This statute only applies to wildlife officers, not for all AZ state peace officers.

ARS 17-211(E3) states in part,
E. Game rangers and wildlife managers may, in addition to other duties:

3. Search without warrant any aircraft, boat, vehicle, box, game bag or other package where there is sufficient cause to believe that wildlife or parts of wildlife are possessed in violation of law.

4. Inspect all wildlife taken or transported and seize all wildlife taken or possessed in violation of law, or showing evidence of illegal taking..


I never knew this law but it still doesn't give a warden any right to search your truck because he feels like it. In the original post according to the story the warden had absolutely no evidence that anything was illegally taken. The law states he has to have reasonable evidence that game was taken illegally. Which he did not. Just because you are hunting doesn't give them the right to search your stuff unless they have some evidence of something illegal taking place.

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#2640853 - 02/19/14 03:56 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
bonecollector777 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 10/09/12
Posts: 136
Loc: AZ
All you people that keep Bolding these laws about wardens being able to search without a warrant kill me. It doesn't say they can search you just for the heck of it! Even if you are hunting! They have to of seen or had some sort of evidence that something illegal happened. PROBABLY CAUSE OF SOMETHING ILLEGAL HAPPENING IN ORDER TO SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE.

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#2641225 - 02/19/14 11:43 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Fursniper Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 1967
Loc: AZ
Originally Posted By: bonecollector777
Originally Posted By: Fursniper


I believe the search was lawful, but the officers did a poor job in how they handled their hunter contact in the field.

In AZ for example, there is actually a state statute that enables wildlife officers to search without a warrant. This statute only applies to wildlife officers, not for all AZ state peace officers.

ARS 17-211(E3) states in part,
E. Game rangers and wildlife managers may, in addition to other duties:

3. Search without warrant any aircraft, boat, vehicle, box, game bag or other package where there is sufficient cause to believe that wildlife or parts of wildlife are possessed in violation of law.

4. Inspect all wildlife taken or transported and seize all wildlife taken or possessed in violation of law, or showing evidence of illegal taking..


I never knew this law but it still doesn't give a warden any right to search your truck because he feels like it. In the original post according to the story the warden had absolutely no evidence that anything was illegally taken. The law states he has to have reasonable evidence that game was taken illegally. Which he did not. Just because you are hunting doesn't give them the right to search your stuff unless they have some evidence of something illegal taking place.


Originally Posted By: bonecollector777
All you people that keep Bolding these laws about wardens being able to search without a warrant kill me. It doesn't say they can search you just for the heck of it! Even if you are hunting! They have to of seen or had some sort of evidence that something illegal happened. PROBABLY CAUSE OF SOMETHING ILLEGAL HAPPENING IN ORDER TO SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE.


If an officer knows a person is hunting, the officer can inspect their hunting license and all wildlife taken or transported. Wildlife in a hunters possession can be inspected whether there is a suspected violation or not. Read #4 above, "Inspect all wildlife taken or transported....."

Inspecting the firearms after they were done hunting and put away in the vehicle was explained very well by "erict" which I agree changed the situation and would not have been a justified search.
_________________________
Introducing a new person to hunting and watching them be successful is more rewarding than being successful yourself.

Make time to create a conservationist.

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#2678301 - 04/29/14 06:38 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Theshedhunter Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/22/14
Posts: 1180
Loc: MT
Montana Law..

"87-1-506. Enforcement powers of wardens. (1) A warden may:

(a) serve a subpoena issued by a court for the trial of a violator of the fish and game laws;

(b) search, without a warrant, any tent not used as a residence, any boat, vehicle, box, locker, basket, creel, crate, game bag, or package, or their contents upon probable cause to believe that any fish and game law or department rule for the protection, conservation, or propagation of game, fish, birds, or fur-bearing animals has been violated;

(c) search, only with a search warrant and only when accompanied by a county sheriff or deputy sheriff, any dwelling house or other building;

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#2727213 - 10/05/14 04:17 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: 6724]
woodguru Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 3361
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: 6724
Originally Posted By: bigsky_songdogs
Originally Posted By: Radio
Originally Posted By: fw707
Originally Posted By: Raspack
My question is, does he have the authority to open a closed vehicle and start pulling weapons out, that were NOT visible from the outside, and inspecting them?


In my opinion, the answer is yes.
And here is the reason he did:

Originally Posted By: Raspack
As the warden drove up and got out of his vehicle he said he would like to check licenses, any game we had taken and wanted to check guns. We both showed the requested paperwork and pulled the few dove from the ice chest. He then proceeded to open the back door of the truck and start pulling guns from the vehicle.


Your paperwork and doves were evidence you and your friend were hunting, so he had a legal right to check the guns used to take the doves.

In my opinion, he should have shown a little common courtesy and requested your consent first.


Agree with the above. Also the weapons were in plain sight if looking in the vehicle from outside, so it was not an illegal search by any stretch of the imagination. Pretty rude of him, but he was within his powers. You sure he wasn't one of the "Full of myself" agents on the TV show? whistle


This is a state by state issue. That crap might fly in the communist republic of CA but not in MT. Checking licenses , animals, etc is fine but here atleast a Warden has no authority to check a vehicle without permission, a search warrant, or exigent circumstances that would have to be articulated well to constitute a lawful search.


i would have to agree, in colorado your vehicle is considered an extension of your home. just because i have a fresh elk head in front of the house or in the garage, does not mean that the warden can walk freely into my house to check guns. like i said before, i am no attorney, BUT, i think any information/ evidence found in the truck without a warrant or consent would be thrown out by any objective judge.

but, i have seen personally law enforcement violate rights, mine. i was checking a rifle in at the airport once and there were some county cops hanging out, they came over to "inspect" my case, they wrote down the serial numbers off my rifles. pretty sure they have NO business in checking serial numbers without probable cause or consent. this was back many years before 9-11.

most of the law enforcement people that i have dealt with, both good and bad, know very little about the law and hope their "victim" does not either. when called on their behavior many have backed down.


If an elk or head is in sight at someone's home, yes the warden does have a right to ask for tags proving it was legally taken. If it was he would have no reason or desire to check guns. A vehicle has laws pertaining to driving around with loaded weapons, and establishing you are hunters with guns visible from outside the vehicle would give cause and the right to check to make sure those guns were unloaded.

As far as a citation for improper magazine plug? He didn't write it because he didn't have any way to prove you had or were using that shotgun in the field, a judge would have thrown it. He was just trying to give you a heads up for what could happen if you were checked while out shooting.

If a warden doesn't see a fisherman without a license actually using a pole in the water he can't write a citation for fishing without a license even if there is a pole sitting there not being used.
_________________________
A continual circulation of lies among those who are not much in the way of hearing them contradicted, will in time pass for their truth; the crime lies not in the believer but the inventor.
Thomas Paine

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#2865229 - 09/27/15 10:43 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: woodguru]
Airedale56 Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 569
Loc: Wapiti, WY
[/quote]
A vehicle has laws pertaining to driving around with loaded weapons,...
[/quote]

The sentence might have better been started "In California"

Wyoming has no statutes regarding transport of firearms in vehicles.
Loaded is legal. Even chamber loaded. One can't assume someone is hunting, just because there is a gun in the car. Not everyone who shoots, hunts, i.e., one of my daughters. But she does pack.

In our State, generally, if there is a Bucking Horse on the license plate, there is probably a gun in the car. Guns are an integral part of Wyoming culture, especially the rural parts.
_________________________
It ain't lion hunting unless you get stitches - John in WYO

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#2983860 - 08/09/16 05:29 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
Outlander Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/08/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Montana
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. In this case, the firearms in the vehicle could be searched for without a warrant. A motor vehicle is also mobile which creates an exigent circumstance to search without a warrant.

I believe the search was lawful, but the officers did a poor job in how they handled their hunter contact in the field.

In AZ for example, there is actually a state statute that enables wildlife officers to search without a warrant. This statute only applies to wildlife officers, not for all AZ state peace officers.

ARS 17-211(E3) states in part,
E. Game rangers and wildlife managers may, in addition to other duties:

1. Execute all warrants issued for a violation of this title.

2. Execute subpoenas issued in any matter arising under this title.

3. Search without warrant any aircraft, boat, vehicle, box, game bag or other package where there is sufficient cause to believe that wildlife or parts of wildlife are possessed in violation of law.

4. Inspect all wildlife taken or transported and seize all wildlife taken or possessed in violation of law, or showing evidence of illegal taking.

5. Seize as evidence devices used illegally in taking wildlife and hold them subject to the provisions of section 17-240.

6. Generally exercise the powers of peace officers with primary duties the enforcement of this title.

7. Seize devices that cannot be lawfully used for the taking of wildlife and are being so used and hold and dispose of them pursuant to section 17-240.



That looks like another illegal law.

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#2984969 - 08/13/16 11:54 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Fursniper Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 1967
Loc: AZ
Outlander..... Game Wardens need to be able to inspect wildlife that hunters/fishermen have in their possession in the field for compliance. That's their job. If you have nothing to hide, you should have no worries. No need to be so paranoid that you are feeling like a criminal (according to your other post).
_________________________
Introducing a new person to hunting and watching them be successful is more rewarding than being successful yourself.

Make time to create a conservationist.

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#2988710 - 08/27/16 01:16 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
Outlander Offline
New Member

Registered: 08/08/16
Posts: 12
Loc: Montana
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
Outlander..... Game Wardens need to be able to inspect wildlife that hunters/fishermen have in their possession in the field for compliance. That's their job. If you have nothing to hide, you should have no worries. No need to be so paranoid that you are feeling like a criminal (according to your other post).


I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the law. Just pointing out the government is contradicting its own law, the constitution. According to their rules, they need to make amendments to allow for these field compliances. No, I have nothing to hide but don't like being accused of crimes I never committed either.



Edited by Outlander (08/27/16 01:19 AM)

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#2991283 - 09/05/16 04:48 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
W. Chad Shultz Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 864
Loc: Winifred Montana
It would just be wonderful if wardens were taught to be courteous to hunters at least till a law is broken. I have worked close with some wardens in the past and they were good guys. I also have ran into several that treat everyone as criminals right off the bat and they just do it for kicks in my book. That is not acceptable behavior and should be eliminated.
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#2995548 - 09/25/16 10:38 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
ackleyman Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 8882
Loc: Hickville
at least they did not detain you for 2 hours running the serial numbers of all the guns in the truck, which we have had done. He ran all 4 guys in the truck for wants and warrants. This happened to me several times when I lived in Ca. going down the interstate, we were dressed in Cammo coming back from hunting. The Warden turned around and stopped us. We were nice, gave the warden permission to search, all was in order. He found out that we had been predator hunting, had 32 or more tails in our possession, and 2 hours later we were on our way. We showed our Mexican Hunting permits and Mexican gun Permits. We never had a cross word, and he kept asking leading questions trying to trap us into some kind of admission of a crime committed. We were all real nice people, and shocked was/is an understatement. This was 20 years ago. We were treated like sewer rats, just because we predator hunted.


Edited by ackleyman (09/25/16 04:11 PM)

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#2995587 - 09/25/16 12:54 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Fursniper]
Coyotejunki Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/03/04
Posts: 5196
Loc: MO
Quote:
If you have nothing to hide, you should have no worries.


I really hate that term when a search topic is brought up. I interpret it as You should be willing to forgo or give up all your rights if you didn't do anything illegal.
_________________________
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#2995644 - 09/25/16 06:26 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Coyotejunki]
Tex Adams Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 11/02/15
Posts: 65
Loc: Wyoming
Yup, it's usually said by people who have little understanding of the Bill of Rights and the premise behind true freedom.



Tex
_________________________
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#3001617 - 10/22/16 12:33 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Outlander]
littledawg Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 434
Loc: western
Originally Posted By: Outlander
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
Outlander..... Game Wardens need to be able to inspect wildlife that hunters/fishermen have in their possession in the field for compliance. That's their job. If you have nothing to hide, you should have no worries. No need to be so paranoid that you are feeling like a criminal (according to your other post).


I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the law. Just pointing out the government is contradicting its own law, the constitution. According to their rules, they need to make amendments to allow for these field compliances. No, I have nothing to hide but don't like being accused of crimes I never committed either.



It is not a contradiction. Probably outdated language, but it says "sufficient" cause which means probable cause. The same standard as any other Leo. It doesn't matter what the Leo's assignment is or where it is. Unlike Hillary they ALL have to operate under the same constitutional amendments.

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#3001646 - 10/22/16 03:33 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: littledawg]
Coyotejunki Offline
PM senior

Registered: 04/03/04
Posts: 5196
Loc: MO
Originally Posted By: littledawg
Originally Posted By: Outlander
Originally Posted By: Fursniper
Outlander..... Game Wardens need to be able to inspect wildlife that hunters/fishermen have in their possession in the field for compliance. That's their job. If you have nothing to hide, you should have no worries. No need to be so paranoid that you are feeling like a criminal (according to your other post).


I am not agreeing or disagreeing with the law. Just pointing out the government is contradicting its own law, the constitution. According to their rules, they need to make amendments to allow for these field compliances. No, I have nothing to hide but don't like being accused of crimes I never committed either.



It is not a contradiction. Probably outdated language, but it says "sufficient" cause which means probable cause. The same standard as any other Leo. It doesn't matter what the Leo's assignment is or where it is. Unlike Hillary they ALL have to operate under the same constitutional amendments.


4th amendment
Quote:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


OK, I am not a lawyer, but I see this as needing an issued warrant for reasonable searches. So now I am even more confused. How is a "Terry stop" and search really constitutional? I suppose the courts say it is, but lots of people think they got lots of rulings wrong. Obamacare for instance.


Edited by Coyotejunki (10/22/16 03:38 PM)
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#3001668 - 10/22/16 05:46 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: littledawg]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Originally Posted By: littledawg

It is not a contradiction. Probably outdated language, but it says "sufficient" cause which means probable cause. The same standard as any other Leo. It doesn't matter what the Leo's assignment is or where it is. Unlike Hillary they ALL have to operate under the same constitutional amendments.


That is 100% correct.
thumbup1
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Carl Sagan

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#3007114 - 11/10/16 09:43 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
zerowolf Offline
Predator Master

Registered: 02/10/16
Posts: 72
Loc: Michigan
I believe game wardens are given more authority than police because it would be nearly impossible to enforce game laws if they didn't.

There are limits but they are going to be slightly different depending on the state. If you live in a state where loaded weapons in a vehicle are legal then they have no reason to check them. If a game warden tells you that you did something illegal and doesn't cite you for it I would take that as a warning to go fix the issue.

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#3007638 - 11/12/16 06:46 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Smokin250 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/18/08
Posts: 2676
Loc: South West, OH
I have a question I have always been curious on, which touches on this.

Several years ago a buddy of mine in Indiana had a picture of a game warden on his trail camera on their families property. He was unaware of why the GW was there, and was never approached by them. Years before that, here in ohio, several GW showed up a buddies farm. The "barn" where they stay is a ways off the road, and not readily accessible with out 4 wheel drive or a key to the gate. Several GW walked up the hill off main road. Come to find out some one had heard shooting and told the GW the land owner was poaching deer if I remember correctly. All because they did a lot of shooting. There was no illegal hunting going on or parts to illegally taken game.

Now, while I could understand the second situation, I am a little unclear on the first situation. Do GW have the right on to property with nothing more than a "tip", no warrant? Both of these situations were second hand information, and years ago. I am sure there were more details to it than that. However I am just curious what is "allowed"?

I personally have never had an issue with a GW. We used to get check every opening day of dove season, as we were hunting public land. Same thing every time, license, bag limit, and check gun for plug. As a rule of thumb, I like to stay legal in my hunting so I don't worry much about it. While I KNOW there can always be a bad apple in the bunch, as with any profession, I have had decent experiences so far.

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#3007652 - 11/12/16 08:47 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Smokin250]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
Brian, this is just one sentence I copy/pasted that pertains to your question. You can read the entire section for the details.

"OHIO REVISED CODE 1531.13

Any regularly employed salaried wildlife officer may enter any private lands or waters if the wildlife officer has good cause to believe and does believe that a law is being violated."


You can read the entire section regarding officer authority here:


http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1531.13






Edited by fw707 (11/12/16 08:48 AM)
_________________________
“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#3007659 - 11/12/16 09:12 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Raspack]
Smokin250 Offline
Die Hard Member III

Registered: 06/18/08
Posts: 2676
Loc: South West, OH
Answers my question. Thanks Jeff.

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#3007675 - 11/12/16 10:30 AM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Smokin250]
fw707 Offline
Retired Moderator

Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 9466
Loc: Roadside watermelon stand
You're welcome.
If you want to take a while and read Supreme Court decisions on "curtilage" and "open fields doctrine" you'll see the reason so many people mistakenly believe that wildlife officers are exempt from the 4th Amemdment.
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“better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy.”

Carl Sagan

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#3009298 - 11/17/16 06:59 PM Re: Warden search authority? [Re: Outlander]
Coyotehunter_ Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 06/04/08
Posts: 735
Loc: Southern IN
I agree. The US constitution would Trump this State Law. If I were a judge on the US Supreme Court I'd rule that this State Law was Unconstitutional. You can't search people, their homes or possessions without probable cause and a search warrant from a judge. So I would vote to strike down this state law.

I read the US constitution strictly as it's written.

Originally Posted By: Outlander
[quote=Fursniper]The officers had justification to inspect the firearms to make sure the birds they were shown were taken by lawful methods. That looks like another illegal law.
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Coyotehunter_

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