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MN hunter charged late tagging elk
Does anyone know what ever happened to the MN man that was charged in MT for not immediately tagging his elk? Was a TV episode of "Wardens" (never did air that one).
If I remember correctly the hunter was with his brother who lives in MT, and after he shot his elk they took some pics and didn't tag his elk immediately. The MT warden was watching from a distance and took his elk - I think the judge threw the case out.
Last I heard he was still in a legal battle. I believe the law was changed due to this incident.
I tried the search function but couldn't find it - anyone know what finally happened with this incident?
I can't remember how the case itself actually turned out, but the law was charged the following year after a huge public outcry when what happened went out on the net.
How does the law read now?
The word "immediately " was taken out after that happened in 2015 such that now as long as the animal is tagged before it's moved from the kill site the hunter is legal:
When Minnesota resident Jim Latvala took a six point bull elk last year during opening day rifle season in Montana, he had no idea that the repercussions of the kill would reverberate enough to change big game tagging law for the state. Latvala was cited for his failure to immediately tag the elk, which resulted in a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden confiscating his bull elk, leaving him with nothing to show for the $2,000 spent but an elk head. The meat was donated to a food bank.
Now, after one hunter has been punished for being slow to tag the elk by 20 to 25 minutes that he was already field dressing, the law has been changed after lots of media outlets covered this controversial story. In order to clarify any discrepancies in Montana’s big game tagging law, House Bill 279 (which was signed by Governor Steve Bullock on March 31) removed the word “immediately” from the language for tagging big game animals during hunting, which will hopefully prevent future incidents from happening to well meaning hunters. “We think it’s a reasonable adjustment,” says Ron Aasheim, Fish, Wildlife and Parks communications and education bureau chief. “And it’s easier to enforce.”
I think "overzealous" can be applied to this story.
Hopefully they made some form of compensation for his damages.
Overzealous is not really the word that describes the jackass GW that did that and it's the few like that who give all LE Officers a bad name! I don't believe there was any compensation given to the hunter and the Department backed up the GW since technically at the time the law was violated. IMHO what they should have done is dismiss the case and give the guy a tag for 2016 for free since he lost the meat that went to a Food Bank.
I sure wish I could find the Bowsite thread.
If I remember right there was considerable discussion as to whether or not the meat was actually donated or it spoiled in the back of the wardens pickup.
That was part of the case in that various hunters in that area said the bull was in the back of the GW truck all day and spoiled, rather than actually going to a Food Bank the way it was supposed to have been handled.
If I remember right the charges were dismissed as well.
Link to the original thread...
The charges were dropped and the antlers returned, but the meat was already gone.
From: IdyllwildArcher 15-Mar-18 The charges were dropped and the antlers returned, but the meat was already gone.
And that's exactly why I said earlier that he should have been given another tag for free for the following season to make up for all that lost meat since the GW violated the law by not properly handling and holding the meat until the case was adjudicated.
Midwest - thanks for the link.
Man... what a ridiculous thing to have happen. I guess a reminder to be all the way by the book. Sheesh!
I believe the law now is as stated, "before it's moved" or before you leave the site.
Technically the warden was correct, just not very sharp.
In was in LE in some form or fashion for like 21 years and I HATE people like that...and was around some petty mo-fo's who reflected on me and others trying to be fair. So what kind of repercussion does the warden face? He is servant of the peoples will and laws support him in using wise judgement. But such poor judgement makes me question his ability to enforce the law and represent the will of the people. He should be dinged in some form or fashion at least on his evaluation. If I was his supervisor he would be on my sh*t list. But in reality some jerks rise to the top...you know most tickets...arrests...etc... grrrrrrrrrrr
I'll bet the hunter was compensated but not allowed to talk about it. It's such a ridiculous situation to not give him something more than just the antlers back.
I have a friend who at the time was a Commander in a County Sheriff's office in Minnesota (he's now retired) and he was in Montana elk hunting. He shot an elk on public property and then drove down the driveway of a rancher to ask permission to cross the rancher's private property to retrieve the elk because it was much closer that way. I don't remember all of the details but the rancher's hired hand and the ranch owner himself were involved and one of them called the Game Warden. My friend got a ticket with a big fine for trespassing just for driving down the rancher's driveway. He kind of got railroaded and had to pay the fine or go out to Montana to fight it. My friend being a cop himself was very pissed off at how over zealous the warden was and I believe he went through channels and talked to the head warden. I wonder if it was the same warden that ticketed the guy for not tagging the elk immediately...?
This is exactly how ND’s laws are, including the word “Immediately.” I have not heard of anyone getting anything but a warning though.
Glad they changed it. Who hasn't done a happy dance or snapped a few pics before notching their tag and wrapping it? It was retarded that this happened. Too bad it took this incident to change the law, but good thing it is changed now. On the other hand I have had very good interactions with FWP wardens. Not all are cut from the same cloth as the one that issued this ticket.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" Surely the GW could himself be cited for 'wanton waste' if proven the meat did not reach the food bank?
Reminds me of the story a colleague of mine mentioned where a officer issued a ticket to a bike racer during a community sponsored bike race for exceeding the speed limit. And we really are supposed to trust folks like that with our lives in an emergency and giving up 2nd Amendment, God given right to defend ourselves??? Ridiculous law, glad it was changed just like others in the Midwest as you don't need to tag until placed in or on a vehicle. Anyone who has lost a tag while draggin game out knows what I mean.
Had an encounter with this same agent on an antelope hunt. He and his partner followed me for the better part of opening day and "talked with me" three different times. First was at sun up asking where I was going to hunt, returned about an hour later as I was glassing and asked for my tag and info. They parked their rig on the road and watched me for awhile and then returned after I was successful and we took a walk to the kill site for verification. As I loaded up my kill his partner snooped around my truck which had the doors open while he kept me occupied. Said there weren't many hunters out that day. Not a very relaxing hunt.
Agree with Adventurewriter. I'm retired 20 year LE as well - Police Officer, Deputy Game Warden and Probation Agent. I learned very early on you better understand the difference between letter of law and intent or you have no place in Law Enforcement.
I have had to stop watching these shows altogether. It seems that these guys grow a much larger pair when the camera's are running. I really hope the LE learned from this and puts common sense into his thinking. I have a lot of respect for these agencies because I do believe they, for the most part, serve the greater good but there are bad apples in every profession.
Got stopped halfway across Kansas several years ago at a rest area on I-70. All traffic had to exit the interstate and if you had been hunting, you had to pull into the parking area for inspection. Both Kansas and Colorado game wardens were present. We were on the way home after a successful elk hunt in Colorado. Pulling a trailer load of ATVs and a chest freezer full of processed elk meat. Once it had been established that we had been hunting in Colorado, the Colorado game wardens took over. They inspected the chest freezer and asked for the carcass tags and hunting licenses, which were all in a zip lock bag in the console of the truck. The game wardens said that we were in violation since the carcass tags were not inside the freezer with the processed meat or taped to the outside of the freezer. I stated that according to the hunting regulations, the carcass tags had to accompany the processed meat in transportation. I guess we had a different interpretation of the word accompany, since they said that we could either pay a $375.00 fine or they would confiscate the meat. What do you do? You pay the fine and get back on the road. Seems like they were trying to justify their game check 200 miles from their state border.
More than a few fish and game regs are poorly written by those who can't write well. Then you have the enforcers who often can't understand the regs, which leads to a lot of confusion--and fines that you often pay because you don't have the time and money to fight the citation. Kinda sad.
IMHO Colorado fish cops are the a$$ clowns of the industry. Im sure there are others in neighboring states as well.
I've been lucky I guess. the few dealings I've had with agents have been very positive. one even helped me load my deer into the trunk of my '71 mustang when I was in college.
Creditman: we stopped at a mandatory Wyoming check station with 5 cow elk in ice chests in cargo trailer. We had the tags in the ice chests with meat. Game warden told us that in the future we could just keep all the punched and signed tags in the cab of the truck. They checked one ice chest and gave us the thumbs up and we were back on the road.
In every profession there are people who know their job, the purpose of their job, and do it well. And others who are just dicks.
A burned out incompetent doctor, a dishonest mechanic or lawyer....... Few jobs have the power to seriously make a miserable, even disastrous day for honest folks like that entrusted to LE officers. Even the guys in the profession know who the problem folks are. Those that are will justify it to themselves as to why, just as criminals justify their crimes.
It goes both ways...... there are a fair number of Jerks in the general public that everyone has to deal with as well. There will always be jerks, and they will always have their reasons for being so. Only thing folks can do is identify them and do what they can to minimize their impact.... or even remove them. Easier said than done in most cases.....