Sunday, November 3, 2013

Game Warden Files--Word Gets Around Fast

Before the days of facebook, blogs, cell phones and texts, word still could spread far and fast under the right circumstances.

Bob Gosson, from Hamilton County, had a piece of back country he really wanted to get into and spend a day during the deer season.  It was remote enough that most hunters went in for several days at a time, some of them hiring the services of a float plane operator from nearby Blue Mountain Lake.  When they were that far back, they really didn't worry about any Game Wardens sneaking in on them, and they were (unfortunately) right most of the time.  It was not uncommon for many minor game violations and at least a few more serious ones to occur without anyone ever taking notice, so the tendency is for some hunters to stretch the law a bit.

It took some doing to have a couple officers clear their calendars so they could really spend a full day that far away from busy and demanding sectors.  We were able to clear some time so I met Bob early one Saturday morning and we began the long hike into the back country.  The  hike in was about seven miles, but we took several side trips to check camps for any deer hanging, or anything else we might find.  We ran into a one group of hunters that had no licenses on them; they were "back at camp."  We followed them back and found an untagged buck hanging.  We also found that one didn't have a license at all.  This one group accounted for the majority of our cases, though we found a few more that day also.  Failing to carry licenses and untagged deer were the majority of the cases.

We hit the trail out just at dark and began the trek back to the car.  It was about a 16 hour day with over 20 miles walked when we finally hit our respective homes that night--but a it had been productive.  We didn't realize how effective we had been until we started hearing the (somewhat exaggerated) reports of our exploits.  To hear the stories, there must have been ten of us and we must have written at least a hundred tickets!  Most interesting was that the majority of the violators had been from one part of the state and the stories started reaching us from the other side.  The word had spread from the Canadian border to the Pennsylvania border--in about a week's time and all by either phone or person to person communication.  I just can't imagine how it would have gone in this day of modern communications.


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