Contributors to this thread:
Hunter road side check stations
I'm curious what the legal obligations are to stopping at these roadside checkpoints on major interstates. Does anyone who posseses a hunting license have to stop at these? Or is there a "been hunting in the last 24 hours rule?" Or?? And what about checkpoints in states you're just passing through and do not possess a tag for that state? I feel more information should be out about these as several states seem to be using them extensively.
Varies by state. Wyoming state law requires every hunter to stop at every check station they pass, whether they killed something or not.
Just stop, most times you can get info on your hunt and the game agencies will get needed info from your harvest. If you pass one in Wyoming and they suspect you have been hunting they will stop you. If you do not have an animal they may just wave you through or still check your license.
Do I have to stop in WY if I am driving, but not for hunting? I doubt it, but want to make sure. I haven't seen one yet in WY, but sure I will run into one
A few years back they had a big one on 70 in Colorado. I think every game warden in Colorado was there.
According to the WY law, you don't have to stop unless you have been hunting. I've also seen WY check stations for fishermen in the summer. At one where I stopped they busted some people in a motorhome in front of me for having waaay too many fish. They checked my camper fridge too.
some of the ones bordering Colorado are looking for marijuana-cant pull over to check for it without cause but Game Wardens dont have to show cause for a roadblock.
There are many good videos on the need to stop at any roadblock. The people on these roadblock videos are agitators trying to prove their constitutional rights of being detained for no reason.
Montana required all hunters to stop.
So if a man posseses a MT hunting license and he jumps in the car on Saturday afternoon to take the Ms's to eat dinner and since he posseses a MT hunting license that year (whether or not he actually posseses it at the time) he has to stop? Or say they were riding in the truck that yesterday he was hunting in with his atv in the back? Seems like a super grey area to me although I'm not an attorney.
It's only if you're leaving the state after hunting.
I don't believe that's the case Idyllwild as I have witnessed two different stops in two different states only 40 or so miles into those states on "entering" routes not "exiting." (Unless states do this in conjunction with each other and feel they have the right to stop anyone who is a hunter period whether a hunter of their state or not which I can't imagine holding up.)
Sometimes I loop back through WY from a hunting area in N. CO to home in N. CO. I don't stop at the WY check station on the way. But I think according to the law, I'm supposed to stop even though I was hunting in CO and not WY. It says "all hunters".
I be dang. That would be my position Jaq and was curious if it was right. I can't see another state having any jurisdiction. Now in your and my case they may as we do possess a WY hunting license too.
At the check point we went through in WY, the sign was for all hunters to stop but just one way for those coming out of the back country. We didn't have to stop going back in.
Some guys that ran an I-80 checkpoint gave a talk at a dinner I attended. Had some crazy stories.
I have nothing to hide but with that said I can’t see any legal obligation to stop. Even a warrant specifies what LEO are searching for. If they search you unlawfully and find for example some pot they could arrest you. So for the people who are against the videos on YouTube showing people babbling against their rights they are most likely correct.
The last one I stopped at on the west side of Laramie the guys were cool.
But... they had a chase car ready to go after any suspected hunters that blew by. And they did.
You want Wildlife Officers crawling thru your shit.... just drive on by.
I don't hunt while I'm driving. So while I'm driving I wouldn't consider myself a hunter. I'd only consider myself a hunter if I was out in the field with a weapon actively hunting. When I'm back at the camper cooking or relaxing I'm not hunting either.
I've never seen one of these hunter check stops. What do the signs actually say? How would I know whether I was legally required to stop?
They say ALL HUNTERS MUST STOP. I guess it would be up to a judge to decide if you ran it and they chased you down.
"You want Wildlife Officers crawling thru your shit.... just drive on by."
And flip them off on the way by Im sure they would love that........
We stopped north of Laramie with 4 cow elk in coolers in a cargo trailer. Nice guys. They checked one cooler. Saw the tag, udder and meat. Told us all was good and we could keep the tags in the cab of the truck. They asked us if we saw many bulls. We said yes. They asked where. My smart ass buddy replies, "if we tell you, well you know the rest". They got a big laugh and told us to have a safe trip and come back for the bulls.
Why wouldn't you stop? Unless you're hiding something.
I guess they want everyone who has ever hunted to stop. Even if it's been 60 years since your last hunt. Or if you ever hunted mushrooms. Or treasure hunted. Or hunted for lost car keys. Or maybe they mean everyone with the first name Hunter?
They guys are just doing their job. And they do as indicated above catch some poachers. Just stop and let them do their job. 5 minutes of your time ....big deal.
some of you are ridiculous. Use common since. If you question whether or not you should stop you should probably stop. Why wouldn't you stop unless you have something to hide.
Some of you guys appear not to be aware that the rules that protect common criminals DO NOT APPLY to hunters & fishermen.
It’s called prima facie evidence.
If you are walking around in the woods with a bow or rifle and you get stopped without a license, you’re going to get a ticket for hunting without a license because - DUUH - it’s clear on the face of it that that is what you’re doing.
If you blow past a check station in a loaded up vehicle and you look like you’re probably on your way to or from a trip, then anyone who sees you go by has ample grounds for a reasonable belief that you’re legally obligated to stop, and probable cause to chase you down.
You may not think that’s fair or reasonable, but guaranteed it will be a judge who gets to decide. And only somebody with something to hide would argue otherwise.
Or so would be a reasonable enough belief for me if I were working one of those check stations....
Nebraska has a mandatory deer check/registration. I wonder if Aspen Ghost participates in those when successful?
In Montana, you HAVE TO stop coming and going from a hunt. So, if you're in a car or truck and you are NOT going hunting or NOT coming home from hunting… you do NOT have to stop. Read the most current regulations.
Sounds somewhat similar to truck weigh stations. It doesn't matter if you have a full load or are empty and heading somewhere to pick up the next load, you are supposed to stop when open and they will chase you down.
In Montana these stations are consistent and predictable. They are in the same location every year. They operate for the same hours and days every year. They are the main source for harvest data in the state. We do not have to call in or register any game taken, just shoot it take it home and eat it. The only time most species have any data collected about them is in these check stations. It also provides hunter numbers for the district and for the year.
You do not have to drive out of your way and seek out a check station, but you are required to stop if you have been actively hunting. For the area I hunt there is no check station where I access the highway. I can drive 10 miles north and enter the highway up there and then I have to pass through a check station. Which I do sometimes after a harvest they give you good age data etc about your game. These check stations are more for data collection and information then they are for law enforcement.
Once in a great while there will be a random stop in a non-traditional spot, This is more aimed at enforcement of regulations, in fact I do not think they collect data because it would skew the statistics compared to other years. These are usually off the beaten path, and not on a major highway, and any attempt to avoid them would be obvious.
I have never been searched for illegal items, infact we are close to the border and I do not even recall being asked if we had crossed the border. They ask polite but pointed questions, what were you hunting? did you have any success? did you see or hear any wolves, how many days have you hunted this year?
Heck when Leonard worked at the local station, he would give me amazing reports on deer movement, very helpful.
The Supreme Court ruled on road block check stations. It’s a very convoluted subject. Check stations need to provide a safe legal way to avoid pulling in. Law enforcement used to place them in a place that it’s unlawful to do a U turn. Then that is the reason you get pulled. Some are law full, many are not. But as we all know it’s far easier just to get along if you have nothing to hide. Most of us don’t have enough to bank role a long legal fight just to prove your constitutional rights. Having a hunting license does not supersede your constitutional rights. This year in Colorado we got checked by the an officer the day before season. Our bows were in their cases in a cabin. He checked the sights and the let off mods. The other 3 guys had 85% mods. He stated he could write them up. I told him I was using a longbow. He still wanted to see it. For a second I almost asked by what right can he ask to see a legal to own 85% let off bow. We were not hunting. So now it’s illegal to possess that bow? But, it was much easier for the other 3 to listen to the scolding for 85% than for them to remind him. No one was hunting with them.
But who wants the man following them the rest of the week because you piss him off.
In court those facts do matter. But in the field he could have ruined the hunt.
I was wondering when WCOs would start checking letoff mods. I suspect most compound hunters in CO are breaking thr 80% law, either out of ignorance or because they don't think they'll get caught.
I know years ago Pa had them. To my understanding one caused a accident and the state got sued. I have not seen one or heard of one in years. So i dont think they do them anymore. Also years ago if a wco saw you driving and u looked like u where hunting they would pull u over and more than once, I myself got pull over. But now i have seen many of wco's on the road and have never been pulled over in 10 or 15 years. My take is if your on a road driving u cant be hunting as thats not legal. If anyone knows more on Pa law speak up, id like to know more on this. Ed
Once the guns come the orange cap on the dashboard is a dead giveaway. I think some guys toss an orange cap up there so folks think they are hunting.
Lou, he checked the broadheads and for any electronics on the bow also. Then asked if any of us were guiding the others or were being guided. Of course we joked “someone would be fired if they were being paid”. Of course he didn’t laugh. We thanked him for his service anyway.