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bgavin

When a LEO Wants to Search Your Vehicle

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I only had one interaction with a game warden. It went smooth, although it could have gone south. I was in our duck blind, while my CW0-3 hunting buddy motored his way to the opposite bank to drop off his son. His son had to go to work. We had close to our limit of ducks. Sure enough, here comes the game warden. We exchanged howdies, then he asked to see my hunting license and duck tag. I showed him those, plus I held up my 12 ga. shells for him to check with his magnet. Then he said that it looked like I was having a good hunt, but you are over your limit. I explained the situation, and I got a 'I've heard that one before' look. I told him to have a seat, and I'd pour him some coffee, plus I had some good deer jerky. I told him my buddy would be right back. He took a seat, some coffee, and a couple of pieces of jerky. About the time he finished, here came my buddy motoring up to the bank. The game warden stood up, and thanked me for the hospitality, and headed to his truck without even waiting to check out my buddy. Treat a person how you would like to be treated -- amazing how that works.

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Howdy,

I gotta ask, what kind of coffee??

Best

CR

 

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3 minutes ago, Chili Ron said:

Howdy,

I gotta ask, what kind of coffee??

Best

CR

 

I vote Irish

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20 minutes ago, Chili Ron said:

Howdy,

I gotta ask, what kind of coffee??

Best

CR

 

Okie would have had gourmet fresh beans, a grinder, and a French press. Just because you're hunting doesn’t mean you have to act like a barbarian. ;)

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We had two Game Wardens come into our blind, checked everything out, and found all good.  I had my waders down around my ankles so I could get to my license and show it to the officers.  About that time a bunch of ducks came towards our blind.  Since my feet were bound, I couldn't reach my shotgun.  One of the Game Wardens grabbed my shotgun and handed it to me. 

DANG! 

I missed.

They were right there!

:(

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by Birdgun Quail, SASS #63663
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By and large my interactions with police, sheriff deputies, and the like have been not unpleasant at all - in fact, most of 'em have been downright cordial, ending with smiles and handshakes.

 

There have, however, been a few notable exceptions:  one with a DFG warden lieutenant and his underling, and another with a combined warden/deputy team.  These did not end badly, but were decidedly unpleasant.  More later.  Maybe.  Oh... and one definitely unpleasant encounter in DC with three gentlemen of the Uniformed Secret Service.  That too was pretty unpleasant, but ultimately did not end badly.

 

But by and large, the two three worst encounters were with forest rangers - all in the Tahoe National Forest.  Sheesh.  Those all ended with the rangers somewhat meekly retreating... but stopping short of apologizing for being jerks.

 

First one, bow hunting. My teenaged cousin and I come hiking out of the woods, headed to my truck, where we find a ranger waiting.  Guy proceeds to grill me in front of the kid, demanding to know where we'd been hunting, where we were camping - other than his delivery, certainly valid topics - and then snarling about what slobs hunters were. 

 

I agreed.  "You're right.  Y'all need a better class of folks around these parts" and proceeded to open my day pack and dump out into the bed of my truck a weathered collection of trash... candy wrappers, bottles, cans, and so on.  "I'm kinda tired of having to pick after your locals every time I come here."  He glared at me for a moment, then turned and left.  

 

Second event - the Former Missus Hardpan, my dog, and I were camping at a little, five-acre lake called "Lake of the Woods."  Honest!  No facilities; just a few cleared spots around the lake suitable for rough camping.  Extreme fire danger; no open flames allowed.  I cooked on a Coleman stove in the back of my pickup.  Just about dusk, a pickup with three young men pulled into the next cleared spot, about 30 yards or so from us.  They built and kept feeding a huge fire, proceeded to get drunk, play loud, LOUD music most of the night, swear and yell, and fire off rockets and Roman candles and other explosive fireworks.  During the course of this, we could hear them discussing raiding our campsite - I holstered my .45 Blackhawk, just in case.  At one point they started to guffaw about how one of their dad's was some sort of ranking officer in the Forest Service.  

 

Finally, they crashed.  In the morning they pulled out, glaring and grunting and flipping us off as they passed our site while we were eating breakfast.  

     

A while later, the three of us were out in my little Coleman Scanoe, fishing, when the Former Missus Hardpan said with alarm "Look! There's someone in our camp!"  Sure 'nuff,  a forest ranger was pawing through ice chests, tent, bags and boxes.  I aimed the little craft toward shore and leaped out when the bow grounded in the mud.

     

"Something I can help you with?"  I asked.

 

"Is this YOUR camp?"  he demanded.

 

"It is," I replied.

 

"Well, this is a NO OPEN FLAMES AREA and I SMELL SMOKE!" he proclaimed with a glower.  "YOU have had an ILLEGAL CAMPFIRE!"

 

"No I haven't," I calmly declared - my demeanor belying my mood; I had a headache, was sleep deprived, and actually feeling kinda cranky.

 

"Yes you have, and I'm going to cite you!"

 

"Hey," I said.  "Did you even bother to check the fire ring?"  and with that, I walked to it and thrust my hand into the very old and quite cold ashes.

 

He was startled, then said "You could've put it out - and I still smell it!"

 

That did it.  

 

I guess the Former Missus Hardpan was somewhat impressed, as she later described to a friend how I first advised the ranger that the ashes were dry, which he was more than welcome to verify, and then very pointedly gave him an extremely detailed description of our night... including how the knotheads "next door" had boasted about a relationship with a ranger officer, and my preparations to defend us when they spoke of a raid.  Oh... and not only did THEY have a HUGE fire - which he was also welcome to check out - but had burned up a small fortune in fireworks, endangering not only us but the entire forest.

 

The man's face went through multiple color changes, then without another word he climbed into his truck and drove off.

 

Third was similar; in the interest of brevity I won't go into it now.  Suffice it to say that he acted like a jerk, and in the end seemed to realize such.  He left and more importantly left me alone.

 

But I will say that I've had exchanges with rangers in other national forests that were quite agreeable; must be something about the Tahoe forest.  

 

Oh!  And by the way... that teenage cousin who was bow hunting with me eventually became a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff~!!   ^_^   

 

I've always been proud of that boy.  ;)

 

 

 

Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
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On 9/25/2020 at 4:33 PM, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

They can ask, and you have the right to not answer. But what happens they then start tossing out obstruction, or impeding their investigation. They cuff you, detain you and arrest you. Later to find out that what they did is illegal.

 

 

Federal civil rights lawsuit.

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I have only been stopped once for look see.   The misses & I have a cabin in a USFS summer home tract in the Mendocino NF.  It is located 15 miles from the nearest power line.  The two roads in are each 15 miles of one lane dirt road.  Actually it is being threatened by the active part of the largest fire in CA history.  Pretty much the area is road accessible wilderness; so, the game wardens are primarily dealing with illegal weed growing operations on public land.   We were headed home after a week enjoying water sports & doing maintenance.  The year 2000 F250 4x4 I am still driving had a lumber rack on it that I had hauled lumber to the cabin.  I got stopped about 4 miles from the cabin.  They looked in the truck bed & the cab, asked where we came from & why the lumber rack.  I answered their questions & asked what was the probable cause for the stop.  Their answer was "The truck with the lumber rack made it a commercial vehicle.  This excuse is a wobler; since, it had been more than 20 years since the CA vehicle code was changed.  For years pick-ups required a commercial license.  Then PU's became popular for non commercial use.  Before they sent us on our way home they said they were looking for people involved in weed growing.  These illegal grows trash the environment, divert streams, dump fertilizer & pesticides in the environment & leaving pills of garbage.

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