Contributors to this thread:
Get it out, learn, and move forward
:-) the best of times!
:-) the best of times!
I took a break away from posting on Social media and forums and I’d like to explain as the following has been discussed/released with false misleading information. Many already know about this and many do not. I’ll state facts to keep things real, honest and TRUTHFUL. As most of you know I love the outdoors and sharing it with people especially the next generation including my own daughter. Over those years, I’ve had the pleasure of taking several friends family and kids out hunting and fishing resulting in many successful trips and adventures. Over that time some locals became jealous and elected to spread rumors. Jealousy truly is an ugly disease. Last year a local resident made up lies to wardens that I had trespassed on his property with zero evidence. This subject is not liked by many in the county and is known for lying to stir the pot for attention and has no credibility. That didn’t matter to the warden as he took his lies as an opportunity to investigate me and joe, which I knew of as it was happening. Also joe and I didn’t hunt together last year but fish and game lumped us together in their machination. CONTINUE TO THE COMMENTS FOR THE REST...
The allegations led to a multiple month investigation where there was suspicion I was also guiding without a license along with other suspected violations. As many of you know I share and enjoy taking people and kids hunting for the experience and not any gain other then friendships and memories. This resulted into a search warrant of my residence being executed three months later. You’d think they’d show some respect and professional courtesy to me on how they handled it but they did not. They took property, gear and several mounts (20+) that I’d harvested during my lifetime as far back as 20+ years ago that far exceeded the statue of limitations. Fast forward eight months, a lot spent on attorney fees and time to prove what I did and didn’t do. The state Attorney General took this case with numerous charges thrown at me backed by fabricated written lies with no evidence or facts and the state squashed the case as it should have been minus one minor violation of a technicality to deal with that wasn’t even part of the original false accusations against me. There are still a few good people in this state’s office thankfully, even here in California. A few of the many allegations they tried to charge me with was not legally taking several deer because they said I didn’t legally tag the animal, because in my photos I don’t show or have the tag visible on the racks, which to them was that I didn’t tag them right away. They tried this without even being there to view or know I tag all my animals right away then temporarily cover, hide, or remove the ugly tag for (natural) photos then secure it right back on the animal or immediately take pictures then tag it. Another one was not listing my exact kill location with an exact address or location as they said locations I listed which were within 1-2 miles of a known landmark or road (per regs requirements) was not close enough; however, their own regulations shows as a good example, 10 miles from lake berryessa is sufficient. These and many more were thrown out obviously. The Attorney General was actually very upset that they would spend so much time, money (yours), and resources to investigate me when it was started over a lie from a non credible source. The AG gave me the one minor violation to fight or except a plea to. Considering my family and the additional steep legal cost, I elected to take the one violation to learn from my minor unintentional mistake and move forward. Regarding the initial allegations there was never any evidence that I was ever on or near that guys property as it was all proved to be a %100 lie on his part. I challenged the search warrant/property confiscation and ultimately got my hunting gear back including my bows, arrows, binoculars, gear, daughters gear and mounts they took, even after a warden attempted to disobey/ignore the Attorney Generals official property release order by trying to keep several items he was not legally authorized to keep.
Regarding the violation, in August before season opened I placed a camera with attractants in front of it. Two months later in October, I returned to this location to check the camera and I was legally armed with a rifle. This location I won’t go to unarmed as I’ve encountered predators (coyotes, bears, lions) and illegals growing marijuana the year prior. I hiked in, checked the camera, and immediately left. I never had any intention of hunting as I was in and out. The AG stated since this was observed during the season and I was armed it could be looked at as if I was hunting a baited area even if it was two months later. This was the violation he offered me to fight or take and as mentioned before I elected to take it and learn from my mistake even though I never had intentions of hunting as I was armed for protection. Regarding losing my privileges for three years that is false information as per the law the maximum period for a minor violation is one year, which this is in the process of being corrected. This is the TRUTH! Many of you have hunted with me and know I’m a hard working experienced hunter who enjoys the outdoors for the right reasons. I’m not a poacher and I hunt and harvest game with persistence, knowledge and time in the field. I’ll continue to take kids and friends into the outdoors as passing it on doing it the right legal way is what I’ve always enjoyed doing and worked for. If anyone has a problem feel free to contact me directly and or unfollow me as (unlike what was stated) I don’t hunt/fish for followers and likes. Additionally, I had also recently learned directly from a warden’s mouth that this investigation was forced by his boss(es) over spite due to jealousy from my social media posts and magazine articles I had written regarding California’s downward spiraling game management related to the protection of (over populated) predator issues and game regulations. Can’t make this stuff up. As I already stated the only gain I’ve ever wanted is the friendships created and shared in the field resulting in memories and good times. During this time I have gained a ton of support from my employers, friends and family who have stayed (in contact) with me knowing the truth and my character. I will keep doing what I do for the right reasons and live my life to the fullest with a smile, which I’m continuing to do in the outdoors.
Been wondering where you guys were. Hope everything is resolved and sorry you had to go through that mess!
Glad to see you back Chris.
Glad to see you back. The fact that someone can weaponize laws and regulations with absolutely no basis of foundation or fact against a citizen is one of the reasons why there is such mistrust of others/govt.
Terrible shame the resources that were wasted on this when there are actual crimes happening that need to be dealt with. Kudos to you for airing it out and moving on!! There will always be haters and most are miserable with themselves and want to tear someone else down to make them feel better!!
I was just thinking of guys that used to post some really cool hunt recaps throughout the year. You and Joe were a couple of the guys I wondering what happened too.
I always got a sense you guys enjoyed helping others as much as filling your own tags, the kind of guys that make places like this great.
That sucks that you had to deal with that. We hear far too often about people being prosecuted by the word of hearsay from false accusations and no evidence.
Another reason I never post hunting pictures on the internet, or promote myself. All it does is create jealousy and scrutiny, and I have nothing to gain.
For those who depend on hunting promotions, like in any business be prepared for some adversity and even legal issues, that is simply part of doing business. Successful business people commonly face issues and take them in stride, may have been the case here.
Yeah, I heard a little about that from around the way through the grape vine via a little bird or two. Defiantly sucks. Glad you are moving on from it.
As others said I’ve missed you on here too. With all the good people you know and have hunted with acknowledging your character over the years, I really doubt that most on here would give your charges a second thought. It’s sad what people will do. Welcome back.
Sorry that happened to you Chris. Missed your and Joe's contributions here as well as the genuine joy you each seemed to have helping others. That it happened in CA is not surprising in the least.
Is there any possibility to file suit against the perpetrator of the false accusations?
Wow Chris, I had no idea all that was going down! I had wondered what happened to you and Joe, not seeing anything from you in a long time.
Glad to hear it got resolved, but I'm sorry you had to go through all that!
Glad to see you back on the Bowsite Chris! This whole situation still boggles the mind. Glad you are able to put it behind you and move forward doing what you do.
As others, I’ve been wandering where you were. As for the bs charges, I’ve been there too. I’ll tell you what an attorney told me concerning game wardens. “None of them are your friends. And only a few care enough to exercise their authority with common sense in mind.”.
Chris, hang tight. Don’t let it get you down or eat away at you. Railroading by Barney fifes has been a ongoing problem. And, always will be for guys that have to be charged with a technicality versus a real crime.
Good luck and God Bless
Have been missing your posts. Glad to see you are back on line with Bowsite. Sorry to hear about your misfortunes in life. Sometimes, life isn't fair, but often times the table is turned and leveled. Appreciate you taking the high road.
Yes, the high road, as opposed to law enforcement which often tries to make a mountain out of a molehill, then needs to have you plead to something, anything, to save face. Sucky deal. Glad you're keeping a positive attitude about it.
Wondered what happened. Been missing out on the best turkey thread and success photos on Bowsite. Glad you were able to put the majority of it to bed. The remaining charge sounds like they needed something to stick in order to save face. What a crock! Sorry for your troubles...glad to see you back!
Sorry you had to go through this and thanks for providing an explanation. Keep up the good work mentoring to our next generation!
You should post the officer's name(s) and their location. One should be on the lookout for such criminals and possibly even avoid hunting in their jurisdiction all together as we could find ourselves being falsely accused of crimes we did not commit.
Never heard of it, but by the sounds of your mentality you'll come through all right. Super super sucky deal. Can't imagine. Sorry dude. people in power with an axe to grind. Always nice.
Good to see you back on here, Chris! Jealousy can certainly be an ugly, hurtful thing.
I am glad that you got through it as well as you did. That is a horrible thing to have to go through. My wife had a criminal case filed against her that was a lie from someone that did not get their way on something. At first the prosecuting attorney believed the liar and was determined to convict my wife of a felony, They would not reduce it to misdemeanor and a fine. We ended up hiring an attorney who did an investigation and revealed a number of lies in the original statement. Over the course of months, a lot of sleepless nights, a number of hearings, pretrials and some sort of dismissal hearing the complainant kept getting caught in lie after lie. Finally the prosecuting attorney knew that they could not win but they still wanted us to pay court costs to totally dismiss the case knowing that our legal fees would be higher than the court cost if we went to trial. We refused and they finally let it go. Unfortunately I have a little first hand experience on what you went through. It is truly amazing how you can be totally innocent and have so much inflicted on you. The legal costs, personnel time lost and suffering are significant.
good on you for having the guts to post all that personal information. You didn't have to do that. I, for what it's worth, think you're a stand-up guy and missed your absence on Bowsite.
Great to see you back on here. Have a great one!
Wow! I have missed your awesome pictures and stories. That is truly terrible and I hope that there is some punishment for those that did this to you. Keep your head high.
Glad you’re back, Chris. Get this past you and move forward. You got a lot of stuff to kill.
1st post on Bowsite, DowngoesFrtr? Sounds like you got an axe to grind.
Not getting enough hits on the hit piece Ryan? Try doing some positive hunting stories.
Also, to the guy who posted this using the Sacbee reporter’s name instead of his own, get a sack.
Have to say I also missed your stories and pictures. You are a slayer of turkeys for sure. Glad things are working out for you.
Regarding the CO, hate to see us start dumping on LE right now in our country. They sure need our support and I truly believe while there are those that abuse their power (personal experience documented here before), the vast majority are doing a tough job with next to no support. Sure, this LE should have told his boss to stick it, but if he is young with kids and a mortgage I can see how it would have been really tough to do the right thing.
Unreal. All that because a local lied to the game warden. At one time I would have said "pay back is a med evac" but I know your not that way. I would still go tell him to his face he is a lying sack of ____.
Setting aside both sides of the story here, I can’t help but marvel at the lengths the State of California went to to prosecute these guys; Tracking them with aircraft? Putting gps devices on their cars? Surveillance cameras and finally a raid on their residences? WTF?
And all this while CA releases murderers, rapists, and turns a blind eye to drug dealing, prostitution and no longer prosecute property thefts?
Am I the only one that thinks this country is FUBAR?
The USA is really messed up right now! Glad to see your post Chris & sorry shit like this can happen in the "Land of the Free"!
I have no dog in this fight. But there’s two sides to every story. We’ve heard one of them.
Is it just me, or does "DowngoesFrtr" strike anyone else as an interesting name and one that suggests he takes pleasure in someone's downfall? Of course he's just "the messenger"!
I have hunted with Chris and Joe and I can tell you that nothing happened on that hunt that was the least bit nefarious. Everything, absolutely everything, was on the up and up. Not only was I treated great, but my son was treated like a prince. Chris was super in every way. I know one never knows what a person will do when nobody is looking, but I can say unequivocally that I believe Chris's report above 100%.
Chris, what a complete load of shit this deal is. I knew nothing of it and I'm sorry you had to deal with it-- I feel really badly for you. Karma can be a real bitch and I have no doubt that idiot who reported the BS claim will get his come-up-ins. You always have a place to hunt at my place and I'm as much a supporter of you today as I was when we left Cali after hunting with you. I hope we can hear from you here on bowsite more often again, but after this mess, I would totally understand why you would not frequent forums and social media in the future.
I tend to align with Pat on this one....setting aside both sides of the story.....this suggests to me the game wardens started something (ie...expending resources) and didn't want drop it without something to show for it. To me...some accusations maybe have legal merit...some look like a "gotcha" attempt.
Bottom line IMO......Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are not your friends. I suspect wardens also monitor hunting sites like Bowsite, Archery Talk and others fishing for wrongdoing. That is why I'm very careful about what I share with folks publicly on here and other sites. Pics and vids can be misinterpreted or taken out of context and false legal "assumptions" can be generated that are harmful. What you think is a harmless, generic hero shot or vid can be fodder for someone else with an agenda.
A very similar investigation was done on 3 people thought to be baiting bears in Oregon. Huge amount of resources used to investigate them.
One got $3700 in fines
One got $750 in fines
One got $460 in fines
Not unusual for LE to get so far down a rabbit hole on an investigation that they feel they have to come up with something. With all the effort, I'm guessing they spent well over $100K and hundreds of man hours. Add in the prosecution and that number starts get pretty big.
I guess CA must have money to burn. In a couple days surfing the web they could write hundreds of tickets for critters with a hero shot where the tag isn't visible.
I couldn’t imagine the mental anguish of that situation. I feel for you and yours, and I’m glad to hear it’s behind you and you plan to continue sharing with others I’m sure the gut punch still lingers.
I used to live in N CA and my guide friend always said LE there will criminalize anyone, especially hunters. This is a gleaming example. Pat is right, FUBAR... I don’t know if we will see any recovery from the downward spiral in our lifetime. “It’s a damn shame” is an understatement.
Let's not forget, this is the state that had two game wardens charge a guy with illegally hunting mountain lions when he shot a mountain lion with a bow IN THE CHEST WITH A FRONTAL SHOT while hunting deer with a deer tag in his pocket during deer season.
Glad you posted Chris. If I was in your shoes I would cut my losses and move to a hunter friendlier state.
Thanks everyone for your support it truly means a lot to me as this is the one site where real genuine like minded bow hunters are found. I’ve gained several friendships from this site and enjoyed sharing post especially regarding the junior hunts and turkey adventures. It’s unfortunate it came to this as my daughter has been having a blast in the woods. Thanks again!
Colorado CPW folks monitor Bowsite regularly. A new warden recognized me from BS when he came in my camp, as did the regional biologist when we checked in a moose. One told me a few people in HQ pop up the Bowsite every morning.
Chris my apologies I hadn’t read this thread until you brought it to my attention.
Here’s what’s behind things like this.
Chris as an avid fellow turkey hunter (12 more days season opens) I have greatly missed you and Joe's contributions thru stories and great pics on Bowsite and to all you do with the kids. I'm sorry you and yours went thru this and it takes great character to tell us what happened. I hope that soon we get to hear more from you in the woods.
I'm sorry you guys had to go through this. Stuff like this is just more reasons why I would never live in that God forsaken state. The same people who eventually move away from the madness go and try their best to recreate it in the mountain west.
Don't post pics on social media. Big antlers should not be a badge of honor to humans, only to those who wear them. They can be repulsive to the non-hunting public, who will decide the future of hunting.
Sorry to hear about this Chris ( and Joe). I've always enjoyed seeing your posts and the successes of you guys and your guests - especially the youth hunters!
That article was absurd. Those clowns for wardens were clearly on a personal quest to tarnish your names. It seems pretty obvious they dug so deep that they just couldn't stand to end the investigation without "something" to pat each others backs over.... bravo.
I really got a kick out of this statement by Moskat... “I have known many archery and rifle hunters who would be satisfied to harvest even one of this caliber of buck in a lifetime of legal hunting in California.” ...... Are ya eff'n kidding me?! Sooo guys who enjoy successes of their above average efforts beyond your definition of typical (bordering on pitiful) lifetime success, are automatically presumed to be poachers? Got it.
Best of luck moving forward guys!
SaddleReaper, that same quote stuck out to me too and I thought the exact same thing. So if elk harvest in unit X runs about 10% yet I kill one every other year for 50%, then I'm probably a poacher. And if, God forbid, Fred is such a good hunter he can kill one every year he's CERTAINLY a poacher. Right...
Sucky deal. Good luck going forward Chris, and God Bless!
"Am I the only one that thinks this country is FUBAR?" NO! And it's only going to get worse.
The country only gets 'worse' if ya let it.
It's easy to b!tch online about something but how many Cali residents here wrote letters to your representative, how many wrote letters of concern to officials, elected or otherwise? Hold those in power accountable. But it is fun to complain online, I will give ya that
This is why I no longer post hunting pictures on social media.
I don’t have a dog in this hunt because I know next to nothing about it, but to answer Pat’s question, no....you are not the only one. I believe I have said on here many times that this country will end up a third world country. If you don’t believe that, just hang around and watch.
There is some truth to to the idea that average-below average hunters often suspect good hunters are up to something funny. I've experienced it with wardens and from other hunters. Once two CO wardens tore our camp apart and took us all away for individual grilling when we had three elk, a nice muley, a bear and a pronghorn hanging in an archery camp with six guys. My hunting partner had a short temper and finally got in their faces and said "We're all legal, so take your f-ing meat samples and either write tickets or get the hell out our camp!"
After the shakedowns, one admitted to me, "We figured you must be doing something because nobody else at this end of the unit has killed anything, and here you guys are. And you have an elk and a big buck, and a cast on your right hand. How do you guys do it?" I told the guy we know how to hunt and didn't appreciate being suspected of some crap just because we were successful. They left and never came back.
Another time a contractor was driving down our road and the garage door was open, and he saw a bunch of elk racks in the rafters. He stopped and said to my wife, with a conspiratorial grin, "So your husband must poach too, eh?" She laid into the guy and he jumped back into his truck and took off.
Guessing our first time friend (Adam Shiff? Is that you?) was good with a 2 year and $32,000,000 investigation into a hoax started by a dossier from a bitter old crone, er, opposition. Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence..... all we need is allegations. By the way, when did you stop beating your wife? Used to be the government had to prove YOUR guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Now for many.... you have to prove to THEM you're innocent.
If one is known by his enemies..... I'd guess you're in good company.....
Good to hear from you, hoping for some smother sailing in the future. Missed your stories and adventures. Was always fun. Thanks again.
Total BS Chris...still good to go in my book! Sorry that happened man. I have dealt with overzealous prosecutors before so I know it happens to good people and bad. Chin up buttercup!
Well said TD. AlthoughI do hope in the future things go "smoother" for Chris rather than "smother" (sp) LOL
I guess that all depends on if the bait was placed before season to get pictures which I do in my state legally before season not during or if it is done during season which would be caught red handed.
Mine I'd a weak post,but I got a post on the leatherwall from the moderator that was for all the wall to see,and it totally ruined any credibility and totally disrespect I ever had.accused me of using the leather wall as a face book page.I'm not posting there any more,in short of getting banned.
Is it illegal to place bait or attractants near trail cameras in CA?
Yeah I read that absolute hack job called an article. As did everyone else here... It was a crappy hack job that my high school students would be ashamed to have written.
At no point in any of the article did anyone present any evidence. No real facts that proved anything illegal. Just a bunch of BS gaslighting types of arguments. Thankfully most of my 15 year old students can write better.
Also just curious, despite all the wasted money, all the wasted effort and all the excessive surveillance, what was the legal outcome? How come the article fails to mention the results of all this? Why would the person writing the article exclude that information? Again high school students could write a better article...
WYOelker by posting this I am not taking sides with CA or the guy that wrote article but to your point the "article fails to mention the results of all this" that is in it:
From article "That same month, Stone, 41, pleaded no contest to one count of hunting over bait. He was fined $780 and placed on three-years probation along with a suspension of his hunting privileges during the probationary period.
Frater, the 38-year-old prison guard, pleaded no contest in January to two counts of hunting deer over bait. He was fined $5,000, placed on one year of informal probation and agreed to forfeit his hunting privileges for a year."
Ryan Sabalow....Why would you use DowngoesFrtr as your Bowsite name? You couldn't use your own name or something else? I have a few suggestions but they would probably get me into trouble with Pat!
So is it illegal to feed big game during the off season or at all in California? Or just during or within a time period prior to seasons open?
To the person who manages this forum, please permanently ban the person behind "DowngoesFrtr." He is posting under a profile using my name. Feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to verify my identity.
Thank you, Ryan Sabalow Sacramento Bee
Just as I thought, just a hater, with an axe to grind, and doesn't have the balls to register under his own name. Maybe associated with the "Property Owner" that Chris mentioned?
Who's the liar now?
Jeff, they are who we thought they were! :)
Yeah, I'm shocked.
I was speculating a little more nefarious....one of the wardens who was involved in the case. I would hope not......but.:-(
Pry bone of my business but, did Joe get his name cleared like you did? Are you guys still friends as I know situations like this can stress relationships.hope to see you posting again.
Chris, I had no idea this was going on. Glad to see you back.
Love the picture of you and your daughter! Keep doing what you do!!
I believe this case was overblown and the victims probably didn't deserve the investigation or prosecution they got.
One thing I do find odd from the OP's post. If you do not feel comfortable going to that location without a weapon, ie the gun, because of the predators and pot growers how would you feel comfortable going there to hunt with a bow and arrow when the season opened?
I don’t mean to derail the thread, but WTH??
“‘In other words, if there are apples on the ground from a nearby tree, a hunter who otherwise legally hunts a deer within 400 yards of those apples (that’s four football fields) violates the regulation’, she said in an email. ‘That’s what happened here.’”
Wait just a damn minute....
So according to the letter of the law here... If you’re hunting a property 750 yards X 750 yards (which is 116 acres and change), and there is an apple tree in the exact center of it.... there is basically nowhere on that 116 acres where you can legally take a deer without committing a technical violation....
Unless all of the apples are still on the tree, I guess.
So if an oak is dropping acorns, do you have to run the other way?
One thing I have figured out: behind every ridiculous sounding law is an egregious violation that was dismissed on a technicality.
And that’s why game laws are written to the Strict Liability standard: so that LE actually DOESN’T bear the burden of proof.
That’s why we have legal hunting hours; that’s why some states prohibit you from shooting a deer when it’s feet are wet, and why COs are given a lot of discretion, I guess....
The salient portion of CA's baiting regulation is as follows. I do not believe that an apple tree dropping apples fits within the definition (feed directly or indirectly placed):
§257.5. Prohibition Against Taking Resident Game Birds and Mammals by the Aid of Bait. Except as otherwise provided in these regulations or in the Fish and Game Code, resident game birds and mammals may not be taken within 400 yards of any baited area.
(a) Definition of Baited Area. As used in this regulation, "baited area" shall mean any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, and such area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal.
What's funny is that, a 401 yard shot is not too big of a deal for modern rifles if someone knows what they're doing. It essentially makes baiting in CA legal if you can shoot really far.
I’d like to address the situation with my case with fish and game that just recently surfaced. As most of you reading this already know, I am a passionate bow hunter who has been seeking new and challenging hunts across the globe. I’ve always taken pride in being an upstanding citizen and honest sportsman. My achievements brought negative rumors caused by jealousy to be circulated through my community. In 2018 I became aware of an individual who was the instigator of some of these false rumors. This person has a reputation for lying and stirring the pot just for his own entertainment and is not well liked in my community. He has accused me of things such as trespassing on his property and much more. He reported to fish and game I was trespassing on his land, which resulted in a game warden coming out to my house and us having a long discussion. I was in Australia on a hunting trip for a month during the time he accused me of trespassing, which proved he was lying to the warden. Fast forward a year, fish and game wardens were hiding outside my house on opening day of deer season. I confronted one of the wardens and he lied to me about who he was then left the area. The same instigator continued to make false accusations against me Chris who I was not even hunting with that year.
Fish and Game continued to investigate throughout the year tracking my whereabouts using aircraft surveillance, drones, and infrared. It is appalling the amount of resources and sizable budget used in this investigation based without any credible evidence. Throughout this investigation, the wardens attempted to “catch” me trespassing on this instigator’s land, there is no evidence of trespassing as I have never stepped foot on his property. I continued to hunt that season and killed a forked horn buck at the end of the season on a ranch far from that instigator’s property.
Two months later wardens executed a search warrant of my home resulting in them taking over $17,000 worth of hunting gear and over 15 animal mounts out of my home. During the search of my home, they took deer mounts as far back as 2010 as well as deer I’ve killed out of state which they had no probable cause to confiscate. I had killed a spike elk earlier that year on an out of state hunt and had the skull outside to dry out. On the property list they called the skull a spike “1x1 deer skull” and took that as well. I share this to show you an example of the education level of people enforcing our game laws.
After a 4-month investigation fish and game submitted a report comprised of many assumptions and unsubstantiated accusations with numerous charges requested against me. Fortunately, and rightfully so, this desperation was recognized by the prosecuting authority. After the Attorney General was given the case, I was made aware he thought this was a total misuse of resources by fish and game and immediately dropped majority of the charges and left two minor violations on the table.
Fighting these would cost me much more in lawyer fees bringing me to the decision to accept them, as I made an unknowingly mistake. The violations that I accepted involved me hunting a ranch with permission that had a small apple orchard next to the owner’s home. The ranch owner routinely removed the piles of apples from under the trees to keep critters and bugs from infesting his nearby home and dumps them further away on his property. I chose to hunt closer to the dumped apples along a noticeable game trail versus his orchard, so fish game stated I was hunting over bait because the owner had moved the dropped apples. I made a mistake in doing so where I would have been legal to sit/hunt near or on the orchard closer to his residence. Yes odd. I will not make that mistake again. Seems such a small infraction to spend such a great amount of time and resources on. I was ultimately given ALL my gear and mounts back minus a few items including the forked horn I had harvested that year.
Those of you who know me, work with me, or have spent any time around me know my character and the type of person I am. I could go on and on listing the false accusations and the fabricated lies fish and game used to attempt to tarnish my reputation, but the outcome explains itself. If anyone has questions, feel free to contact me. This is the TRUTH of this story.
Besides the mistakes I had made that I owned and am sorry for, I am still baffled as to how California fish and game conducts investigations with significant overreach and disregard to the impact on individuals lives over false accusations, made of me and many others I had learned of while researching past investigations. I am grateful for my lawyer who helped me through this, an Attorney General who proved good people still exist, and all my true friends and family who showed continued support through this.
As a closing statement I offered to donate $5,000 to the wildlife conservation fund as doing my part in helping wildlife conservation in California. It was a way to help me extend my hunting as I drew a very good late season tag and wanted to be able to do the hunt. It has been said I was “fined” $5,000 which is false. Thank you everyone for the support you have no idea what it means to me.
As for the guy who used my name as downgoes, I’m kind of enlightened you went as far as using my name to create a handle and come on here and bash me. Basically shows how much you have going for you in life. I’ll pray you find happiness soon. This whole mess is out of control and the internet proves you are guilty until proven innocent. Unfortunate.
Thanks for that Joe. Appreciated.
And the asshat liar posting as Downgoes shows his colors.... again, these people have no sense of shame.... self-justified in their lies. It's a sad state this world is in. Sad people.
Perhaps those California Barney Fife, Columbo, wannabes. Could help out in DC using their (Alice’s Restaurant) investigation tools. And help get to the bottom of how a drug infested loser earns millions from corrupt Ukraine oil companies and China.
Also The Big Guys involvement with Ukraine and China.
Or maybe why it’s ok to call the virus the UK or South African variant but not the China virus.
Perhaps the Big guy and therefore the media cut a deal to not blame China.
I’m guessing they wouldn’t even need the plane or drone to prove it. It’s shocking how the justice system works. Throwing apples on the ground gets you time in jail. But selling out your country. Meh!
What a saga. I look forward to following your adventures in the future (if you choose to share them).
I had a buddy who almost got cited for hunting over bait on public ground. He was unknowingly hunting about 100y from a bait pile someone started. He asked the warden how he was supposed to know it was there and the warden said it was his responsibility to make sure there was no bait around. He then asked how he was supposed to do that when he went in in the dark and it was the first time hunting this spot?(Rut stand) The warden said he should have checked this spot before hunted it. : (
I don;t know Chris and Joe personally but have followed alot of their turkey threads. Seem like real stand up guys! Really sorry to hear all the @#$% they have been thru! It's sad that we have people with nothing better to do than to go out of their way to try to ruin someone's life like this! If I was a California tax payer I would be irate that all this time and money was spent trying to convict someone of a minor game violation! : (
Hopefully this horrific experience does not curb their enthusiasm for mentoring young hunters in the future. I wish them the best and hopefully they can put all this @#$% behind them and move forward!
I'm glad to see they offered their side of the story for all to read- shows their character.
Wow! So sorry to hear about all this mess you guys had to deal with. Glad to hear you’re keeping your heads up and moving past this!
Thanks for posting your side of this on here, Joe. Glad to see you back on here, as well!
Slightly off topic but hopefully close enough. I was talking to an outfitter who managed some whitetail land. The guy said that he had a problem with hunters hunting the property line. Maybe not attractive but not illegal either. The guy approached the GW in the area that he knew well. The GW told him to place corn piles on the property line near the neighbor's tree stands and then he would enforce the baiting laws against the neighbor. Sounds like entrapment to me.
Imagine... if this was all over a couple dink bucks nobody would have cared. Not the jealous neighbor, and not even the wardens, would have gone to such lengths.
JoeBH....I don't know you guys of course and don't have a dog in the hunt. That was a very good, detailed explanation of the events from your perspective...thanks for posting that. It reads as though you were not familiar with or chose to bend/break the Cali baiting laws and that is what you got pinched with?? The Sac Bee article reports it in a different context and also that bait/blocks were found at your home. At the end of the day....you own that one as you admit to.
I'm a little confused by your $5000 "donation" offer. It sounds/reads like you (or your lawyer) made a deal or were trying to soften the sentence by entering a tag raffle/auction put on by a wildlife conservation fund???? One of your lawyers in the Sac Bee article stated it was a "fine". That's actually not a bad idea if the judge or AG let you do it.....kill two birds with one stone. You showed good intent towards wildlife conservation and won(??) a late season tag. At least that is how I read what you wrote. If I read it wrong....sorry about that. Please correct me.
If there was a sound case/evidence for all the charges that would have held up in court....the AG would not have dismissed most of them. The AG may have done the wardens a favor by dismissing most of the charges before they went before a court of law and the judge turns the tables on the Wardens. The quotes in the Sac Bee article makes Warden Moskat look young and inexperienced?? I don't fault the wardens for trying to do their job....they just might have been too aggressive and used bad judgement in this case to get convictions on the social media "trophy hunters". This may be a teachable moment for them too.
Is there any recourse against the property owner who claims or made official charges you were trespassing?
Did Ryan at the Sac Bee make any attempt to speak with you guys directly before publishing his article? His article doesn't seem to be balanced. Warden Moskat made quite a few allegations and speculations yet they were not refuted well in the article other than the AG dropped most of them. IMO Ryan could have done a better job in the "fair and balanced" department if he had spoken with you guys. Maybe your lawyers didn't want you to??
To the guy that falsely used Ryan's name and claimed the article as his own......not cool at all. You were lying and plagiarizing to push your agenda.
You don't have to answer any of the above....I was just making some casual observations. Good luck to you guys going forward and we can all use this as a teachable moment.
When I was a new Park Ranger one of the first things I was taught was to never, ever bring a half-assed case to the judge, or try to overcharge a minor violation, because that judge will always be suspect in the future. Hopefully Moskat learned a valuable lesson from this.
casting stones on the internet. Imagine that.
Don't know what happened, not throwing out any condemnation today for anybody. Grace to all and may you be blessed with tags this year
“ or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered”
So is planting an apple tree “or other feed whatsoever” a case of “indirectly plac[ing], expos[ing], deposit[ing], distribut[ing], or scatter[ing]”?
So the long and short is that under strict liability, The regs appear to be written in such a way that gives the authorities some pretty extraordinary prosecutorial leeway such that they are permitted to make a case out of just about anything if they choose to do so. And maybe that’s only fair, because dedicated Poachers tend to be willing to do just about anything in order to get away with their activities, and they apparently have been pretty successful over the years at finding lawyers who can get them off on the smallest of technicalities.
“ The GW told him to place corn piles on the property line near the neighbor's tree stands and then he would enforce the baiting laws against the neighbor. Sounds like entrapment to me.”
Well.... YEAH. If you can be prosecuted for unwittingly hunting near an illegal bait pile on someone else’s property, The Experiment is over.
“ What's funny is that, a 401 yard shot is not too big of a deal for modern rifles if someone knows what they're doing. It essentially makes baiting in CA legal if you can shoot really far.”
That’s hilarious, actually. And tragic, really, because I used to print MOA groups at 300 yards (sitting, with a bi-pod) very consistently out on the windy plains of Wyoming... Back before I decided that I didn’t really need a 7 mag.....
With a rangefinder, a decent rifle, and a half-quiet morning, that’s hardly a “long” shot for anyone without a noticeable flinch.
So the question is… Do you set up sitting on top of the bait pile and use your laser to make sure that the deer is at least 400 yards away when you shoot it, or are you required to sit 405 yards from the feeder, and then you are allowed to shoot a deer that is standing right under it?
I don't know either of you guys personally. You claim to be such upstanding and law abiding citizens that would never do anything wrong. Yet you guys had deer attractants and bait. And were using them in CA which is illegal. You definitely broke the law there. You can't claim ignorance and you didn't know it was illegal. You are required to know the rules in the state you hunt (and even live in). There are statements all over the CA fish and game website directly related to feeding wild game, deer specifically and how it is illegal.
Yeah the wardens were over zealous. And you have a crappy neighbor. But you can't claim how righteous you are when you were blatantly breaking the law with respect to using bait and attractants to feed wild game in CA.
So it had been a couple months you claim since you put out to attract animals before hunting season. Well guess what, those animals still know where they had some good eats in the past and will be cruising through there again. I don't care if you weren't "actively" baiting and area. You were creating an situation where those animals wouldn't necessarily have been there if you didn't set out the bait a couple months ago.
The way I look at it, play stupid games - win stupid prizes!
Pretty sure hunter and animal would have to be 400 yards away as I read the rules. I’m guessing that’s how the wardens would interpret the law also. Lots of the laws are up to the warden interpretation when they decide to write you up it sounds like.
Well, i can say after seeing all the last pics documenting the baiting, it makes it pretty damn hard to believe ol Joe and Chris are just innocent victims wrongly accused. If all of the above evidence was presented to a jury i was a part of, they would get a GUILTY verdict from me. Hopefully all of you supporting these two guys are sure they are telling the truth , and all of the above is just fake news and accusations.
I hate a poacher, but I hate a damn liar even more.
That’s not the ‘whole report’, just the search warrant affidavit...Big difference!
All we can do is speculate. I wonder if OJ killed Nicole.
DowngoesFrtr, Are you Ryan Sabalow? It's a pretty simple question that should be answered!
Two questions - One, if this was such an airtight case, why were almost all of the charges dropped? Of course, no LEOs EVER fabricate or embellish evidence to try to get a conviction. Right? Especially after convincing their superiors to invest so much time and money (airplanes? Really?).
Two: "DowngoesFrtr", what sort of lying, chickenshit, cowardly piece of garbage registers with a fake name, pretending to be the Sac Bee writer instead of using his own name? You obviously have something personal against these guys to go to all the trouble. Why don't YOU come clean and identify yourself. Maybe we can poke around a bit and find something out about you too.
To the person who manages this forum, please permanently ban the person behind "DowngoesFrtr." He is posting under a profile using my name. Feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to verify my identity.
Thank you, Ryan Sabalow Sacramento Bee"
Imagine what law enforcement can do or say to obtain a search warrant for two lowly California hunters? Law enforcement was able to create an entirely fake dossier to facilitate phone taps and surveillance on a presidential campaign through lies and obfuscation. You think anyone cares about some lies about a couple turkey hunters? Some of you have a lot higher opinion of the honesty of those in power than I do.
Until ya know why the AG refused to take the full case to court and/or did not have legal confidence in it, it's all speculation. There had to be something wrong with the warden's case or evidence. Maybe something was wrong with parts of the search warrant which may invalidate certain things procured under it...all speculation on my part.
The old saying comes into play here.....It's not what ya think you know...it's what ya can prove. The guys had their day in court or at least the legal system and it's over. They and the wardens have to live with it.
Looks like a plea bargain was agreed upon between the State & the the accused parties. Now it looks like someone from the investigation side is upset with the results & want to make things tough for Chris & Joe. Or maybe the original snitch or some other person that was involved with the investigation ain't happy with the out come?
It’s obvious DowngoesFrtr has an ax to grind for some reason! To impersonate the journalist that wrote that article.......................and post the search warrant evidence. Actually, I’m wondering how he got his hands on that info?
I'm shocked a person can post on Bowsite with a name that is so terrible. Doesn't seem right to me! I see DowngoesFrtr changed his name to Ryan Landerstein now!
Perry, you definitely needed to know where to look to find it based upon his link.
Name: Ryan Landerstein from California Bowsite Handle: "MrInnapropriate"
So DoengoesFrtr just PMed me and claimed to actually be the Sac Bee reporter. He said he doesn't know who the other guy is who claims to be Ryan Sabalow. I told him he violated every standard of journalistic integrity and should be ashamed of himself.
Then he replied back under a new handle, "Mrinnapropriate", registered to Ryan Landerstein, and made more allegations against Chris and Joe, which I will forward to Chris in a PM in case they want to pursue it. If, in fact, Landerstein is his real name. He is a messed up individual.
I do find it a bit interesting the OP start this thread just after the article in the Sacramento Bee was published. I guess he was attempting to get out in front of it. If the guys did or did not do all or part of what they were accused, the whole thing gives hunters a black eye.
An online search shows no one named Ryan Landerstein in California.....
There are people associated with this site who have IT knowledge that goes beyond what many people think makes them anonymous on the internet.
One or more of those involved in this are not who they say they are. One has to wonder why they feel the need to post under fake names if they are telling the truth. Chris and Joe are known to us, and have a history, The fake reporter, who changes his name and registration, sure seems to have an ax to grind.
Mrinnapropriate kind of fits Ryan Whoever!!!!
Ace x2. We have confirmed the reporter above calling out the imposter is legit, the guy posting as him, and then changed to another fake name is not.
I've had enough of this guy. He's gone.
Thank God, I didn't want anyone encroaching on my title of Mr. Inappropriate.
This has been a pretty strange story.
From the news paper article, and court documents it seems like they were mostly hunting a few really small properties(1-2 acres) surrounded by larger ones. Bait, cameras, and tree stands were found at the properties.
The cops have photos and witnessed them driving around glassing and pointing guns from the car towards deer. In one instance the cop witnessed the truck drive around the corner after seeing a gun hanging out the window, then heard a gunshot.
Multiple gut piles found by the cops on the small properties near bait piles.
This whole thing doesn't make a lot of sense. If the cops have all this evidence, why would Chris only get a $780 ticket, and Joe made a $5000.00 donation to a wildlife organization. The newspaper article really leads you to believe the officer had these guys dead to right on being a major poaching ring. Cops on the ground, others watching from airplanes, and Chris gets a $780 ticket?
Reading through the amount of resources used to target these guys and the tiny fines/ infractions they got to stick, it makes you kind of wonder who even put out the bait in the photos used to get the search warrants.
If I lived in that county I think I would be at city hall today demanding an investigation of the investigators, and asking for a refund on myt taxes paid. This sounds like a multi year investigation that cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars that resulted in a $780 ticket.
I've never met either Chris or Joe, just read their stories on Bowsite. Still baffled on this.
If the evidence is accurate, it sounds like they did commit some baiting infractions, but it also sounds like some cops were given unlimited resources to investigate a personal vendetta.
Does a murder investigation even get this much resources allocated to it?
For the record I am not picking sides. With that said here is the documents so both sides are on the table.
I have no idea what’s going on. I have to ask how it’s possible that a warden supposedly personally witnessed a pick up on a road with a youth in the bed with a rifle and did not intervene and make an immediate arrest?
Fake reporter? Real reporter. First time posters with an axe to grind?
Did Guy Ritchie direct this thread?
That third paragraph on page 76 of the documents John posted really bring clarity to the situation.
Just read through the entire report John posted and sorry guilty as charged stop BSing and just come clean geez.
I have baited cams in MA before season with those pellets and in a week or two time they are mush. Good job wardens and no if you Google baiting in CA this is not this wardens first rodeo in fact he’s pretty damn successful. Was this a little overkill maybe but at least he’s doing his job.
Rick x 10. Something called common sense has to prevail. If a cop witnessed a rifle barrel out the window, then heard them shoot, without pulling them over to at least see if they had shot one or another, should no longer be a police officer.
That’s the way I see.
“ That third paragraph on page 76 of the documents John posted really bring clarity to the situation.”
You’re talking about the exhaustive list of records to be seized/searched, or....???
No that was paragraph 5 on page 69
You should really look at the 2nd paragraph on page 76 also, Bou’. By the way... there was no “page 76”. It ended at 75.
You guys forget that to make someone guilty you need beyond a reasonable doubt and this report is what made them plead no contest. This warden has a great record of no contest.
"No doubt the truth lies between the states prosecution and the defenses response."
^...X2. As far as the case itself and what I speculated to earlier....I'll lean towards the AG detected something within the state's/warden's case that would not hold up in the courts. I'd be curious what it might be if anything.
I was pleasantly surprised to see the article's author is also a hunter. I still think he could have written a more balanced article. The headline over-sold the actual results.
I think he did write a balanced article as he included that the wardens went over board in the investigation.
Wow the real shame is the game wardens have to accumulate snd document this much damning evidence and still can’t get a conviction. If your a hunter in California and this doesn’t offend you to the core than your part of the problem. It’s much cheaper and easier to brake the law and get busted than it would Be to buy the land pay taxes on the land or pay an outfitter for like kind opportunities. That’s the real shame of it. Even when poachers get flat busted caught they rarely face justice. Noel feather was born at the wrong time as he would be celebrated today as a true hero based on how poachers are treated in 2021. Spook Spann appreciates it.
I would like to know what you guys were doing with salt blocks and feed if you were not baiting?
cases like this sure put the lady that posted the giraffe heart in perspective...i guess thats a good thing.
No Ricky, it is the summation of negative events that sours the voters on hunting. Many non hunting voters would like to support us, as they have in the past. We simply make it difficult for them.
“This is the TRUTH! Many of you have hunted with me and know I’m a hard working experienced hunter who enjoys the outdoors for the right reasons. I’m not a poacher and I hunt and harvest game with persistence, knowledge and time in the field. I’ll continue to take kids and friends into the outdoors as passing it on doing it the right legal way is what I’ve always enjoyed doing and worked for. If anyone has a problem feel free to contact me directly and or unfollow me as (unlike what was stated) I don’t hunt/fish for followers and likes.”
You obviously place some value on the “likes” or attention that comes from your social media participation or you wouldn’t do it and you wouldn’t have posted this thread, trying to mitigate the impact of this case. There’s nothing wrong with that. I was surprised that the casual entertainment of Bowsite has paid dividends of real friends.
I’m not much of a follower. No Snap-Insta-Tweet. My opinion is only that of a faceless guy on the internet. Your sponsors aren’t reaching me. They won’t miss me. I have no delusions of grandeur.
This post, like my others, is more about me assessing my own values and adherence to my own principles and reason. For myself.
I am flawed. I don’t expect to hold others to a higher standard. I am not part of the internet mob who believes in permanently “cancelling” people with no opportunity for redemption. For what it’s worth, though, I am not a fan of serious and hazardous activities that set a precedence for kids and thus encourage an illegal disregard for safety and a failure to own faults after the fact.
I recognize that no one owes me anything... even an explanation.
But... you did post this thread and opened the conversation. Were these charges in fact accurate in any way? Did you have a youth with a rifle in the bed of your truck on a road? Is that the type of hunting that you defacto endorse and encourage?
Respond or not. I recognize that my personal opinions do not entitle me to make demands. Choose for yourself. Choose if the opinions of anonymous guys on the internet matter. Choose who you want to be and how you wish to conduct yourself.
Search warrant, probable cause, and evidence report. All public record.
You be the judge.
The jails are full of people crying they've been set up. They are also full of people crying they are innocent.
Buddy of mine I hunt with in Kansas took a look at this case, he is a guide/outfitter there. He said their setup baiting on a small parcel surrounded by larger properties was exactly what they do in his State to pull in deer onto a smaller place, under an acre here. Of course its very legal to bait deer in Kansas. No so much in California.
'Ike' (Phone)'s Link
There is a big difference between posting to ask for forgiveness and posting excuses with claims of being set up. Asking forgiveness requires a repentant heart.
A so called SWAT Team, really...?!?
Ike....I thought the SWAT thing was a bit too much also. That said....I watch a lot of the Police Activity vids on Youtube. These are a collection current body and dash cams that gets update very frequently with current police vids. If ya watch those...you can see why the SWAT team approach is used. Some of the vids are scary and it gives ya a new found respect for what the LE folks have to deal with that won't be shown on CNN or MSNBC unless it makes the police look bad. These are unedited vids so they are not for the tender types. I encourage folks to regularly watch them.
Posting this to clear things up worked out pretty well. Best of luck.
I've seen good people do surprising things for love, money, fame, revenge, etc.
I've also seen law enforcement act terrible. They are just people as well.
As a young man, I was taught by an incredible man to be very careful judging folks by their best or worst moments. In time we will all have some of both and they likely paint a very incomplete picture of who a person is.
Almost like shooting a mountain lion in the wrong game management zone
“ As a young man, I was taught by an incredible man to be very careful judging folks by their best or worst moments. In time we will all have some of both and they likely paint a very incomplete picture of who a person is.”
I’m thinkin’ we need more people like that.
And I’ve gotta agree with Shawn; we’d be better off with a total ban on baiting for herbivores.
So just one thought on the question of the resources consumed here.... On a Baiting violation, I guess I would prefer that the COs would have to have some pretty substantial evidence that the hunter in question was directly involved with or deliberately making use of any bait placed in the area. Because it would really SUCK if you were to be prosecuted when you were just out there doing your thing and you happened to wander too close to someone else’s illegal pile.
Which is not all that unlikely if you were to set up on a heavily used trail, for example...
Swat team? with guns drawn? over a suspected deer baiting violation?
So what happens if you shoot a deer out of season; do they call in Seal Team 6?
This just keeps getting better.
I agree the SWAT optics are not good, but I can understand it. They also could have done it for the practice??
I'd be curious to know what the total bill was for this investigation? Aircraft flt hours are not cheap. A FOIA request might find out. That would be a good one for Ryan to find out and do a follow-up story.
Exactly... They used airplanes and deployed a SWAT team. For a suspected baiting violation. I don't care if Chris and Joe are guilty of everything they've been accused of, this is way over the top, especially considering all the crime that goes unpunished or unprosecuted in CA.
I only have one last post to make on this topic. I know and am friends with a lot of people on Bowsite, the accused here included. We all make mistakes, no one here is without sin. I will just say I stand firmly with Sir Walter Scott who said “I like a highland friend who will stand by me not only when I am right but also when I am a little in the wrong”. Must be my highland heritage and my loyalty and respect to my friends. We learn and we move on. Nothing left to say here unless you are trying to make yourself feel better or superior. You do you.
"Google baiting in CA this is not this wardens first rodeo in fact he’s pretty damn successful."
Yeah.... guessing an FBI agent named Strzok had a heck of a stellar record too..... Who's that Comey guy again? A national hero some say. Good grief..... these guys had risen to the TOP of their field..... search warrants, probable cause and "evidence" indeed.....
LEOs used every resource they could muster on this and more. They can write up all the reports they like. Means nothing. Obtaining warrants means nothing (see: Comey above)
Unless they have hard evidence of this, (which much of it was proven false like the claims of trespass), evidence that holds up in court... then it is what it is. They pleaded to doing 75 in a 55. When in many states limit is 80..... dats da facts, SIR.
All I needed to hear on this was numb-nuts lying his azz off over and over above. Hey, just because he's a lying POS doesn't mean he's not telling the truth.... OK, yeah, kinda does.....
Sounds like they are guilty of baiting deer. And they may have gotten caught up in the hero worship of trophy hunting. Hopefully their internet, TV, “Hero” days are over.
I am a very conservative, pro LE and Military person.
BUT! The government abuse of power is getting out of hand. I think we have all run into the Barney Fifes of the world that have a gun and a badge and like to push their authority. People have asked for generations how the people in the German SS could all perform such atrocities. How that many people could be that evil. The type of cop that abuses his authority with minorities, the sanctuary cities, the activist judges. These are the same type of personalities that can condone being in such a group as the SS It’s happened in about every society. There are sometimes defective people in authority
Avoiding the specifics....more philosophically....
A thread like this seems odd. It’s like deciding to pick a scab off a wound thinking it will heal faster with less permanent scarring. It seldom works like that, and it re-opens the wound for further injury. And then comes the whole ‘self-inflicted or not’ discussion.
Forums are the most unkind juries, and likely to do a forensic dig which just makes the whole thing harder to move on from. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to open up a wound.
^....I was thinking last night this kinda reminds me of Archery Talk's infamous "Ohio Booners" thread.
I watched an interview with Chipman and he sounds like he’s got a just a few screws loose.
“ They pleaded to doing 75 in a 55. When in many states limit is 80.....”
Objection, if it please The Court....The fact that baiting is legal elsewhere has ZERO to do with baiting violations in a state with strict prohibitions against it.
It just doesn’t.
I’ve been picking up a vibe that people here are reluctant to condemn someone for doing something that they do themselves; I get that. Especially if the accused is someone you think well of.
But Baiting is Poaching in CA.
“ dats da facts, SIR.”
Laws either matter or they don’t. When you start carving out exceptions for people you like (OR if Enforcement is willing to bend the rules to go after somebody they seem to particularly DISLIKE....). Maybe we can agree that neither is preferable to the other?
Well said Kevin, im seeing a damaged ego, however dont misunderstand, no judgment on my part, nor would i want my name smeared.?ive been the subject to a ridiculous 2 day witch hunt ,totally false accusations. Easily cleared up by my having to lose hours and hours of a a grest trip. To prove i was indeed in the right....because i had an out of state license plate.,...
for those that think the resources used to investigate this case seem way out of proportion with the crime (including myself), I talked to a friend of mine who is a conservation officer and he told me that it might seem like a waste until you realize that high profile cases like this also serve as a general deterrent to others who are thinking about committing the same or more serious crimes. just knowing what lengths law enforcement is willing to go to catch poachers makes every potential poacher think twice about doing it. to that extent it is a bargain because it may only catch one crime but it might prevent hundreds or thousands of others.
After reading the articles in both threads, there seems to be a lot of evidence that these guys are baiting violators. I remember all the lies Rancid Crabtree tossed around after he was busted for baiting. I can't see how all the information in those reports could be dispelled as being false unless people just don't want to believe it because they like the guys. Plenty of people made excuses for RC too. Perhaps a bit of overkill by the LE for baiting violators but they sure seem to be violators nonetheless. Violators rarely ever get caught the first time.
Ricky, I can see that. What I can’t process is that a game department wants this type of optics. Let’s swat team the house, track the subjects 24/7, charge them with everything we can, and threaten with enough force to scare Cuba into formation. At that point, we will get a plea bargain even if there was no wrong doing.
That sounds to me like that’s probably what happened. Oh wait, the facts say that’s exactly what happened.
Ricky.....that sounds like a politician's statement from your CO friend....maybe the fox that didn't get the grapes. I've seen senior folks say things like that where I worked. Folks who want to break the law will break the law regardless. Capt Obvious might think......I have no doubt the LE folks want to get (stack) as many potential charges as possible, especially felony ones, to get as many as they can to stick in the end.....and that makes sense as long as they are legit charges. I believe they look at it like a business model and want to get a good Return On Investment. Someone(s) in the chain will have to answer for the results....good or bad. They do not have an unlimited annual budget to treat all their cases like this one. If I was involved in this case as a warden or a supervisor....on one hand I'd be majorly bummed at the results of all that hard work and resources expended. On the other hand....whether i liked it or not, I'd have to accept the judicial system....by all accounts, worked like it was supposed to. I'd hope the AG or one of his legal folks provide a case debrief to the wardens/supervisors/dept legal team on their case and what to learn from it. Actually, I'd be shocked if that debrief wasn't done in a case like this.
I’m not a fan of baiting. It’s illegal here in IL and it seems to cause an awful lot of problems in WI.
I’m surprised that despite all of the surveillance and the lengths that the wardens went to, there appears to never have been a time that anyone was caught red-handed hunting over bait or hauling bait in to stands. That makes me wonder.
The things that concern me are the supposed un-tagged deer and the photos of road hunting involving a youth. That seems damning to me.
But... I’m not on a jury. Any disappointment that I have relates to the impact on hunting with non-hunters.
I enjoyed the hunt recaps, especially when they were hunting with Bowsiters and their kids. I never followed them on the other forms of social media. I never had a Chris and Joe poster or tattoo. I wasn’t going to be purchasing something that they promoted for sponsors.
But I had a positive opinion of them.
It’s unfortunate that that opinion may be dimming.
"They do not have an unlimited annual budget to treat all their cases like this one."
which is the whole point. im not saying I agree but i can guarantee you that there are a whole lot of average hunters rethinking whether or not it might be worth it to throw some bait out or use some illegal attractants. the "what will they possibly do to me" and "dont they have more important things to worry about" questions have just been answered and the answers arent something that most people want to experience.
Actually I think the 'make an example'....'serious deterrent' arguments are often put up as justification....and maybe hard to argue against in theory. Whether they work is another thing. The way I tend to think these investigations are seen is akin to catching the bigger fish. Worth more planning...more investment ...more effort ...more of whatever it takes to net them. It becomes about determination and coming out on top for LE ...but hopefully because they have laws to uphold and not egos to massage.
Reading the investigative documents indicates a stunning amount of time and research put into this case. LE obviously wanted this one very much.
I would guess there are some trail cam pics of CO's that resulted in the investigation not being a surprise.
Was it overreach by the Department? Or maybe this is a case of crony justice for two guys that work for the State and the DA's office. Its on the DA for not pressing harder not the F&G. It happens for connected people all the time here in California. Not to mention, its not like they both got of with a slap on the wrist. The court documents show something different not to mentions Joe's continued distant relationship with the truth. I may not be the brightest guy in the world but a "court ordered restitution" is anything but a donation on any planet I have lived on. And as of today, Amador County shows that "Court Ordered Restitution" aka donation has not been satisfied. Way to give back to conservation, huh???
I find it ironic that some have questioned the motives and or criticized Joe and Chris for posting their side of the story here, while one prominent Bowsiter has yet to give his side of the story of what happened on his Mountain Lion hunt years ago, after posting extensively about it prior to the hunt................................................ and then has the audacity to make snide comments on these threads. At least Chris and Joe seem to be "manning up" and taking responsibility for their actions.
I'm not trying to defend them in any way...................................................just simply saying I respect them for at least having the balls to come clean here and not try to hide in the shadows, or ignore it and keep posting like nothing ever happened.
Rut Nut - The problem is that they haven't come clean. They are still trying to justify their actions and claim it's all a witch hunt. They were caught baiting deer in CA. Do you think for one second they would have come on here and said anything about baiting deer if they weren't caught doing it? I bet they would have continued to bait deer, kill big bucks and then come on here and talk about what great hunters they are. Leaving out the part about using illegal methods to attract and kill deer in CA no matter how big of antlers they have.
While the not reporting accurate locations of kills may not see like that big of a deal, to me it shows that they were trying to avoid having those kill sites be tied to any baited areas.
As for not having tags on the antlers in the photos, that is a stretch by the Wardens. Even though its a technical violation I guess that's what they used as probable cause to get warrants. This seems akin to pulling someone over for not using a turn signal and then searching a vehicle. Technical violation leads to potentially more violations.
They are not sorry for what they have done. They are just pissed they got caught.
Great find Yukon Paul. Interesting that he said he was not fined $5k but what you show sure contradicts that. Maybe he'll pay the $5k court restitution and then donate another $5k to wildlife conservation?
Man, so many new posters!!! LOL!
Mark, it’s all over the internet, so I’m not surprised...SMH
Most wardens are wannabe cops just looking for something to cite you for. I've hunted many states and one other country and hunters all voice the same thing: dont give the warden any info, and keep contact short. I'm just glad the county one of my properties is in finally has a friendly, fair warden who I'm glad to keep contact with.
I have only had pleasant experiences in the field or on the water when I have met a game warden. I hear the horror stories, but it has never happened to me, yet. Maybe it is just my honest face and magnetic, friendly personality.
You left out “humility”, PECO ;-)
All the DNR CO's, F&G CO's, F&W CO's, Marine Patrol Officers and CG bubbas I have encountered have been good to me...and I've been checked by many of them in the day and night over the years. Being a CG bubba myself helps with the professional courtesy side of things.