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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been absent from the board for awhile. Not that I was that much of an active participant, but I read most of the posts on here. Well it's been a dark time for me for the last five months or so. I had a run-in with our hard working Game and Fish Commission Enforcement Officers (actually 12-15 of them) during the second week of deer season and they levied some serious charges against me and a fellow hunter. I'm not going into details here...if you'd like to know details send me a PM. I can tell you for sure that for the last five months I couldn't even think about going hunting without getting sick to my stomach. Hunting has always been my number one pastime and I have always followed the rules to the best of my abilities. I learned on 17 November that following the rules doesn't always ensure that you won't find yourself fighting for your right to hunt and fish....

But on to the good news! A court of law found myself and my hunting partner Not Guilty as I knew should have been the case. As a public service announcement I'd like to let everyone here know that, it is in fact, LEGAL to hunt hogs at night on private property with a light. I strongly recommend that you contact the local enforcement officer prior to hog hunting at night, but that is only a recommendation and a courtesy to the officer. I have now heard from an enforcement officer on the stand under oath that you don't even have to have a hunting license to hunt hogs on private property.

I'm sure that plenty of folks on this board will say that if the enforcement officers wrote me a citation then I must have been guilty. In that case, I hope that all of your encounters with enforcement officers are of the friendly and rosy variety that you imagine in your mind. To all of the rest of the realistic folks out there I might add that having documentation of all of your conversations with the AGFC will certainly help in court of law. KNOW THE RULES!! KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!! HAVE DOCUMENTATION!! AND TAKE GOOD NOTES ON YOUR ENCOUNTERS WITH ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS!!!

If this message helps one person on this board then it will certainly be worth all of the hate and discontent that will be directed my way by all of the people that think the AGFC Enforcement Officers can do no wrong. For the most part I think they are hard working honest folks doing a fine job, but sometimes they make bad decisions and get wrapped up in the moment...just my 2 cents worth.
 

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Since you were found not guilty, how about a little info on here. You never know when that info may help a fellow hunter out.

Another question... Did you incur legal expenses for being found not guilty or was it just you, the WO's and a judge?
 

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I would dare to say most if not all on this board try and make every effort to obey all the rules but if there are gray areas out there please by all means share them with us. I am certianly not going to judge you seems like you all ready went through that. DW
 

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Very interesting, I would also like to know more. Glad everything worked out for the best :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It cost a thousand dollars for the lawyer. But the fine (Night Hunting) was 1,100 dollars, the loss of your hunting and fishing privileges for 3 years, and the confiscation of my partners truck, my rifle and his rifle. It was worth the thousand dollars. I STRONGLY recommend that anyone going into court to answer charges brought against them should get a lawyer.

As far as details, we were out looking for dogs that we had out from the afternoons race. We had lights and loaded weapons with us in case we saw any hogs (the only hogs I'd seen all week were at night). The officers had a MAJOR operation going on. They had a plane flying overhead looking for spotlights. They saw our handheld flashlight from the plane, followed us back to our camp, and the spotter in the plane directed officers back to our camp. Next thing we know there are 6 AGFC trucks in our camp and 12-15 officers. We told them that we were out looking for dogs and had weapons for any hogs that we saw. They said that since we were shining a light into game cover with loaded weapons that we were "night hunting" and, after an hour and a half of questioning, wrote myself and my hunting partner a citation for night hunting.

We shined the light EVERYWHERE. We were on private property and knew this was legal because we had sent an e-mail to the AGFC (nine months prior to this incident) asking specifically if it was legal to hunt hogs at night with a light on private property. The reply was that it WAS LEGAL. We had it in writing. The enforcement officers wrote in thier report and testified under oath that we both admitted that we knew it was wrong to have a light and loaded weapons....THAT WAS A BOLD FACE LIE AND I WILL GO TO MY GRAVE SCREAMING THAT AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!!! Don't count on the appointed enforcement officers doing what is right on the stand or in thier written reports. Once again, KNOW THE RULES AND HAVE DOCUMENTATION OF ALL CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE AGFC!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not sure. But I'm sure that the procedure would require me going back to court and costing me more time and money. I have no ill will torwards the AGFC...I'm not out to screw with them, just wanted to put this information out there for everybody else so that they could make informed decisions. But it would be nice to get my money back....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You bet it is! Luckily I spent most of the month of December in Iraq and Afghanistan and made some extra money...it went to the lawyer. If it hadn't been for this fiasco i could have finished an AR-15 lower that I've had ready for an upper for the last year! Oh well...it's always something.
 

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There

will always be a very small.....and I mean small percentage of Cops, Game Wardens, etc. that are snakes in the grass.... I know a guy of authority that is the biggest dealer around....but money talks and B.S. walks..
 

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I agree with the above posts. It's a heck of a note that you were 100% legal and it still cost you $1K to prove your innocence. If judges would state making the loser pay the winners legal fees, a lot of this type of BS would come to a halt. These guys didn't lose anything out of their pocket, it looks like it's pure and simple harassment. They probably figure that most people will just pay it and suffer the consequences. I'm glad you stood your ground and won. I wish those guys would get busted back a few stripes. It would make them think twice about harassment the next time!! Typical AGFC jack booted thug mentality.
 

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Glad it all worked out for ya, and that you're back on the boards!!! It is a shame that this type of things happen and then the others involved will'strecth the truth, if only to cover their behinds, but the Good Guys won this one!!!!
 

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You bet it is! Luckily I spent most of the month of December in Iraq and Afghanistan and made some extra money...it went to the lawyer. If it hadn't been for this fiasco i could have finished an AR-15 lower that I've had ready for an upper for the last year! Oh well...it's always something.
Thanks for your service, QuarterBore....this country owes you a great debt....way more than a thousand dollars...it's a shame those hotdogs were allowed to tarnish a patriot such as yourself! I am ashamed of them, and proud of you for standing up like a man!!:usa:
 

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In light of your victory I will say it sounds as if these wardens needed some supervision!
And some training on perjury!

Being a former Police Officer yeah I have known some crappy people that would do this but most would use discretion and thought process to build a case that is right and fair.

It's hard to believe that with that many on a MAJOR operation that there was no person that looked at all the evidence and stepped up and said something.

But when you are in law enforcement you tend to forget what it's like to be a normal person.
Sad but true.

I had a similar incident happen to me when a Ark Highway police wrote me a ticket for speeding. The method He used was a crude unapproved method and the judge felt the same as me.
I defended myself but I have had a little court experience:cool:

The officer started off lying by useing a generic on the stand statement. I called him on it and then He changed his story..creditability SHOT!

I won but I definitely lost respect for my former brothers in blue.
But then I thought the only POS was that AHP lying POS!!

Glad you were found not guilty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Glad to hear it all worked out for you. Did they take the truck and guns right there on the spot?
No they didn't take them on the spot. They wrote all of the serial numbers and the VIN number down and entered them as evidence and associated equipment incident to the "crime". It would have been the judges decision to confiscate the guns and truck.

I must say that I am very surprised at the response that I have gotten on here. Reading this board in the past I thought everyone to be blind followers of the Enforcement Officers. How wrong I was! I want to make clear to everyone that I respect the officers and certainly realize that they have a very tough job to do. I have no ill will towards the two officers that took the stand against me. I think they were pressured to provide results for such a major and costly operation by the Captain that was present with them. I got the serious impression that if the local enforcement officer had been out on his own and came upon us that there would have been no citation issued. I think that his supervisors were looking for citations to be issued to justify the costly operation and gross misuse of manpower.

Thanks again to everyone for thier kind words. I'm just glad to be looking forward to hunting season again without getting a sick feeling in my stomach.:biggrin:
 

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I must say that I am very surprised at the response that I have gotten on here. Reading this board in the past I thought everyone to be blind followers of the Enforcement Officers. How wrong I was!
You won't find much love on this board for people that abuse their power.
 
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