Hunting & Fishing Pennsylvania Game Commission Opinions wanted

anonymous

Private
Minuteman
Dec 2, 2013
4
0
All,
Before I start this thread, I would like to fully acknowledge that I was in willful violation
of PA's hunting laws. However, there are constitutional protections that apply to all of us.
That being said, I'm interested in hearing about ways to defend myself using my rights as
a basis for defense. If you are not interested in helping feel free to click on another link and
not waste either of our time. Here's the scoop:

I was hunting on posted, private land. I am the land owner and I've given permission to no one
to hunt on my land. I was hunting on a baited site that had "residue" so I was cited for hunting
in a baited area. The game warden had me dead to rights. I'm not refuting that. Here's the interesting
part. Approximately 4 weeks before the open of Archery season (Late Aug, early Sept time frame).
Someone stole my trail camera from near my hunting location. I did some quick detective work and figured
there was no way a bear took the camera as there was no damage to the tree it was attached nor broken
pieces of camera in the vicinity. I put up a new camera and locked it. Lesson learned. On the first day of
rifle season, the game warden parked directly behind my vehicle, followed my 4 wheeler trail directly to my
stand, cited me then walked directly back to their vehicle. For the game warden to know I was on my
land violating the law, I can only come up with 2 scenarios.
1) Someone trespassed on private property, stole my camera and reported my actions to the game commission.
2) The game commissioner in question profiled my vehicle from a separate albeit recent encounter, and just
followed my trail.

As I understand it, PA Game Wardens have the right to come onto private land in the performance of their duties,
but is there not a need for probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a LEO to enter private property? What about
"fruit of the forbidden tree" (ie. someone trespassed in order to obtain evidence to report a violation). It was obvious
that the game warden was not on any type of "patrol" nor would they have a reason to patrol land that was posted.

Any information relevant to this particular incident is greatly appreciated.
 

diverdon

Constitutionalist, by choice
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,912
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    WNY
    Have you had amy arguments with any one ?have you bragged about your hunting to anyone. A wise man once said tour other rights hinge.on your right to keep your mouth shut.
     

    Bubb

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2007
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    Pa, York co. Dover
    This is the SAME thing that happened to my friend, and he got off! You are allowed to feed animals all you want. You can walk on your property with a gun all you want sit, target shoot all you want. If there isn't a dead deer you where not poaching. If you where not in a vechicale with a loaded gun you where not poaching. You ACE is you where on your own land, you have the right to do that armed at anytime day or night 365. Unless he took a dead deer your walking on your land. You had property stolen, (the last neighbor who asked for permission Id bet) and you where putting up more cameras. He got off with not even a wrist slap. You where on your land walking, sitting, floating in mid air?! You can do that, unless you shot a deer your not poaching anything. Plus having property stolen you can sit in a tree armed all you want. Even if there is a corn pile 20 ft high. He got prove you where hunting! Say you came home from work wanted to check to see if you had any more property stolen, or tresspassers. You grabbed your gun and out you went. That does not mean you set out to poach. NO shots fired, they got nothing!
     

    Bubb

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2007
    867
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    Pa, York co. Dover
    If you need more info let me know. I will say Pa game laws have changed. IM not going to scare you but you need a lawyer. You can win this and the fact my buddy won is proof. You can or your lawyer can use h is case # as president to farther you did nothing wrong and another court agreed. Good luck.
     

    anonymous

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2013
    4
    0
    If you need more info let me know. I will say Pa game laws have changed. IM not going to scare you but you need a lawyer. You can win this and the fact my buddy won is proof. You can or your lawyer can use h is case # as president to farther you did nothing wrong and another court agreed. Good luck.

    Bubb,
    I would greatly appreciate the case number from your friends similar situation. I
    like to think that I have a good case here and that maybe some good could come
    from this. I appreciate all the advice and encouragement. Thanks
     

    anonymous

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2013
    4
    0
    No that wasn't me. This is my first encounter with PGC... no wonder no one ever has
    anything good to say about them... LOL
     

    Seuss

    Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Dec 22, 2001
    388
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    York, PA USA mostly
    My experience w the PAGC, and the subsequent research I did, taught me that the CO's can pretty much do anything they want, anywhere they want.
    My LEO friends have not exactly given a ringing endorsement of the quality of the individuals wearing the PAGC badges.

    I spent last night at our farm in a ground blind on the edge of a cornfield, but that's not "bait", it only becomes bait when you dump it out of a bucket.
     

    BearGuide

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    Jan 19, 2007
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    Situk River, Alaska
    There is a whole lot of fail in the OP. You were admittedly committing a crime. Now you are asking for excuses to get out of said crime?

    It is a sad state of affairs when someone is caught "dead to rights", willfully committing a known crime, and is now asking for a way to get out of it.

    Saddest thing is that there are members here that are giving you advise to lie. Some of you need to integrity check yourself. Shameful.

    Sounds to me like the game warden did his job.
     

    anonymous

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 2, 2013
    4
    0
    Yeah I guess it is a sad state of affairs when the gov't just tosses out the constitution and has to hammer a little guy who can't afford to spend thousands to "legally bait"
    through "game management" practices. I'm not some douche bag who likes to cover himself in deer piss and sit in the cold all day and call myself a hunter. Maybe you need
    to reevaluate your methods. If you kill an animal for any reason other than to eat the meat and use the hide then you need to integrity check yourself. I'm looking for legal
    justification to defend myself. Save you judging and don't waste anymore of my time.
     

    ArmyJerry

    fukallyall
    Banned !
    Nov 22, 2012
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    I wouldn't think a baited technique is needed anywhere in the North East. Personally I have never hunted a baited site, don't consider it hunting myself. Sucks they can just come on the property like that, surprised there are not more confrontations with game wardens and property owners, not a job I would take. To the OP, get a lawyer.

    There is a whole lot of fail in the OP. You were admittedly committing a crime. Now you are asking for excuses to get out of said crime?

    It is a sad state of affairs when someone is caught "dead to rights", willfully committing a known crime, and is now asking for a way to get out of it.

    Saddest thing is that there are members here that are giving you advise to lie. Some of you need to integrity check yourself. Shameful.

    Sounds to me like the game warden did his job.
     
    Last edited:

    redneckbmxer24

    Merica!
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    Section 3503 - Title 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES

    Generally no probable cause = illegal search. A truck parked on the side of the road regardless of prior offenses and ATV tracks are not probable cause for anything. I also see nothing in that code giving game commission a special permit to trespass.

    Did you admit you were hunting? I would have told him I was waiting for the asshole that stole the game camera and ask if he was that asshole.

    Would you mind sharing your previous encounter?
     

    NateB

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    Minuteman
    Aug 10, 2013
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    Milford, PA
    Pa holds their cos above damn near all law enforcement. They believe they are not enforcing your property rights but ensuring thst the animals they are given the authority over. Since they are on your land they declare it ok to trespass to ensure no violations are being committed in the harvesting of wildlife.
    Basicslly screw your rightd as a property owner and the fact that.im trespassing its ok because its for the animals
     

    MB650

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    Jun 4, 2012
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    I would suggest moving to the great state of Texas and you can bait deer until your heart is content with a 20 foot mound of corn.
     

    FNARSHOOTER

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    Mar 13, 2010
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    Pa. Game Wardens do not play around! They will do anything to bust your ass! They also get a percentage of all fines and keep all the seized game for them selves. With work being hard to find in Pa. in the winter they are out to profit by your loss. We all know that "Baiting" is a very subjective issue. I really do not like poachers. I also hate corrupt government. Deer hunting is a sport of Kings in this country .It brings money to areas that otherwise would have none. That said it is no surprise that there are Dirty cops involved. It makes the good Cops look bad. You will not win .Pay the fine .Only the lawyers win in this game.
     

    TOP PREDATOR

    Gunny Sergeant
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    Jul 19, 2008
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    SCRANTON AREA PENNSYLVANIA
    Pa. Game Wardens do not play around! They will do anything to bust your ass! They also get a percentage of all fines and keep all the seized game for them selves. With work being hard to find in Pa. in the winter they are out to profit by your loss. Deer hunting is a sport of Kings in this country .It brings money to areas that otherwise would have none. That said it is no surprise that there are Dirty cops involved. It makes the good Cops look bad. You will not win .Pay the fine .

    soooo much wrong there


    the rest can be found in title 34 / 58 The Law

    section 8 article 1 of the Pa constitution Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

    4th amendment U.S. Constitution - Amendment 4 - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net

    Probable Cause Law & Legal Definition

    Reasonable Suspicion Law & Legal Definition

    Section 3503 - Title 18 - CRIMES AND OFFENSES

    (b) Defiant trespasser.--
    (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
    not licensed or privileged to do so*

    (b.1) Simple trespasser.--
    (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
    not licensed or privileged to do so*


    *guess who's licensed or privileged to do so.


    seems bearguide is the only objective one that actually has a clue.

    you can always plead not guilty, take off work, hire representation at your option, and take up the time of the local magistrate and the taxpayers $ to what you have already said you were caught dead to rights. in your scenarios, i guess you didn't consider: "seperate but recent encounter" - depending on what THAT encounter was about, you may have given rise to suspicion, reasonably.

    or how many "friends" you told what you were doing and they turned you in, how many folks saw you from afar placing an attractant, how many PETA folks are in the woods today that will jump at an opportunity, how many surveillance from air details done, how much violation history you have leading to reasonable suspicion you may be a person of interest, how many folks did you show your pictures to with bait in it, etc. etc.

    surely it's more than walking through the neighborhood with a hoodie on.

    i don't think your beef is with the PGC, but because you got caught not knowing who squealed on you.
     

    BearGuide

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    Jan 19, 2007
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    Situk River, Alaska
    Yeah I guess it is a sad state of affairs when the gov't just tosses out the constitution and has to hammer a little guy who can't afford to spend thousands to "legally bait"
    through "game management" practices. I'm not some douche bag who likes to cover himself in deer piss and sit in the cold all day and call myself a hunter. Maybe you need
    to reevaluate your methods. If you kill an animal for any reason other than to eat the meat and use the hide then you need to integrity check yourself. I'm looking for legal
    justification to defend myself. Save you judging and don't waste anymore of my time.

    I don't see where the Government threw out the Constitution to catch you. I see someone that cheated, got caught, and is now looking for some sort of Constitutional protection or clause that allows you to continue cheating and breaking the law. Basically, I view it no different than stealing. You are trying to cheat and steal from the law abiding hunters in Pennsylvania. No different than someone pulling the plug out of their shotgun to give themselves a couple more rounds duck hunting, someone that spotlights deer, shoots from a moving boat at deer, bear, moose, caribou, spots game from an airplane and hunts it the same day.

    Sitting in the cold all day and covering yourself in deer piss to legally harvest a deer doesn't make you a douche bag. Illegally baiting them does.

    Am I judging you? Absolutely. Sometimes having integrity is tough.
     

    VTSEAL

    Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Feb 3, 2012
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    Southeastern PA
    I agree with the posters that say you should pay the fine. You acknowledged that you violated the game laws, so take the next step and recognize WHY it was a violation. Because hunting over bait has been declared illegal in PA, for whatever reasons right/wrong that is the current law; and if you don't follow the rule then you're essentially attempting to steal from the rest of us that hunt legally.

    Buying a piece of land you can hunt on is a great thing. Scouting the property, posting the property, leasing it, sharing it with friends, keeping it all for your private preserve are your right, and totally up to you. But breaking the game laws to get an unfair advantage is not OK, even if it is your land. Sorry.
     

    SgtKope

    Back from a long vacation
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    Minuteman
    Sep 11, 2008
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    Maryland/DC/Pennsylvania
    All,
    Before I start this thread, I would like to fully acknowledge that I was in willful violation
    of PA's hunting laws.

    I agree you should pay the fine. Care to expand on this???

    2) The game commissioner in question profiled my vehicle from a separate albeit recent encounter, and just
    followed my trail.
     

    BPaulk

    Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Oct 8, 2013
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    Hot Springs,Arkansas
    You are in the wrong I hope they don't find this thread and through the book at you.

    Illegally baiting them does.

    Am I judging you? Absolutely. Sometimes having integrity is tough.


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    Ashlee0628

    Private
    Minuteman
    Dec 28, 2013
    1
    0
    Hello,
    I am also seeking advice as my husband had a visit from the PA game commission yesterday. I couldnt figure out how to post my own thread question. Please forgive me. Let me just first say I know nothing about hunting or the laws regarding. I dont necessarily*agree and refuse to eat the meat myself. But it does help feed our children. I searched the internet and still came up empty handed. Back in Sept my husband was archery doe hunting, and somehow he shot a buck out of season that was also considered a "protected buck" because of its atlers. Correct me if Im wrong about any of this Im just going by what I heard the game officer say. My husband swears it was an accident (how I dont know). He had forgotten his own cell in his truck but he asked another hunter that was in the woods at the time it happened, to call the game commission to come out. They showed up had him clean the deer, drag it to their truck and took it. Said they would be in touch. We didnt hear anything from them until yesterday. They asked him to take them back to the spot it happened asked him to explain. They stated that they did not believe his story, had witnesses.Also stated it did not matter that he was the one that had them come to the scene because he did not use his own cellphone to call. They said they are going to ask for the maximum punishment of a $1500 fine, up to 90 days in jail and a 3yr suspension of his hunting license. Althrough they did give him back his hunting license for now and told him it was ok for him to continue to hunt. My husband wont really talk to me about it. And Im scared to death of the jailtime part. We do have 4 young children together to support and a 5th he pays childsupport for that lives with us on the weekends. I'm already well aware that we need an attorney and we've in the process of that now. So I guess what I'm asking has anyone had any experience with similar situations? What happens next? What are the chances he'll actually go to jail?
    Thankyou so much for reading and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     

    Bubb

    Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2007
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    There isn't a separate buck doe archery season. You get a buck tag with your license and can take a legal 3 points on a side buck in archery season. Some times a buck can have a big rack but only 2 points per side. This is why antler restrictions are stupid. Most guys shoot and if its questionable let it lay.. It not worth all your going threw, plus he did the right thing and called it in. I HATE pa game commission. They don't care, no matter what! The only reason they have a call in for " mistake kills" is to make there job fining people esasier. It almost doesn't make hunting fun.
     

    Bubb

    Sergeant
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    Minuteman
    Dec 18, 2007
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    Sorry highly unlikely of any jail time, but highly likely they'll go after max fine. I have heard of guys how shot multiple deer out of season and didn't do jail time..... Just scare tactics. That's why he said their going to "ask" for maximum. If he did right thing and called it in, and it was a mistake, he won't get jail.
     

    diverdon

    Constitutionalist, by choice
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Dec 21, 2011
    5,912
    7,056
    WNY
    Hello,
    I am also seeking advice as my husband had a visit from the PA game commission yesterday. I couldnt figure out how to post my own thread question. Please forgive me. Let me just first say I know nothing about hunting or the laws regarding. I dont necessarily*agree and refuse to eat the meat myself. But it does help feed our children. I searched the internet and still came up empty handed. Back in Sept my husband was archery doe hunting, and somehow he shot a buck out of season that was also considered a "protected buck" because of its atlers. Correct me if Im wrong about any of this Im just going by what I heard the game officer say. My husband swears it was an accident (how I dont know). He had forgotten his own cell in his truck but he asked another hunter that was in the woods at the time it happened, to call the game commission to come out. They showed up had him clean the deer, drag it to their truck and took it. Said they would be in touch. We didnt hear anything from them until yesterday. They asked him to take them back to the spot it happened asked him to explain. They stated that they did not believe his story, had witnesses.Also stated it did not matter that he was the one that had them come to the scene because he did not use his own cellphone to call. They said they are going to ask for the maximum punishment of a $1500 fine, up to 90 days in jail and a 3yr suspension of his hunting license. Althrough they did give him back his hunting license for now and told him it was ok for him to continue to hunt. My husband wont really talk to me about it. And Im scared to death of the jailtime part. We do have 4 young children together to support and a 5th he pays childsupport for that lives with us on the weekends. I'm already well aware that we need an attorney and we've in the process of that now. So I guess what I'm asking has anyone had any experience with similar situations? What happens next? What are the chances he'll actually go to jail?
    Thankyou so much for reading and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Well Ashley that was a very nice Christmas present the PA Game commission gave you. I can see how this worries you. Your husband is going to have two choices. He will be able to plead it down to a lesser violation that does not require jail time, and probably does not cause him to loose his hunting privileges. This most likely is the outcome that the officers are seeking, that's why they spent so much time explaining the max penalty's, too frighten him (and you) into pleading out. The other choice is to get an attorney and plead not guilty. The Attorney will make the officers prove all the elements of the infraction. Unless you are going to plead out you need an Attorney. Neither you nor your husband should have any further discussions with the officers.

    If you want to plead to a lessor offense your husband should talk to the DA and ask how he can settle this. It will cost you more money to fight this but a good attorney should advise you that they have a strong enough case that you need to plead out.

    Two more very important points. You should eat the meat the rest of the family eats. I do not believe your husband either. At the very least he had no intention of breaking the law until he saw the buck, then unable to resist temptation he shot it.