Deer decoy in Black Hills yields 31 violations in one day

spectr17

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BLACK HILLS DEER DECOY YIELDS 31 VIOLATIONS NOV. 3

Contact: Brian Olsen (307) 473-3400.

For Immediate Release

SUNDANCE – Business was brisk for game wardens monitoring a white-tailed deer decoy Nov. 3 in the Black Hills National Forest north of Sundance.

Scott Talbott, the Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Division supervisor in Casper, says the one-day decoy operation was conducted in the Black Hills because of complaints from both landowners and sportsmen of poor hunting behavior. “Reports of violations involving hunters shooting from the road had increased in recent years,” he said.

The replica of the buck deer was set up along a public road in deer area 2, which opened on Nov. 1. Over 76 vehicles drove by the decoy during the daylight hours with occupants of 40 of the vehicles observing the decoy. Eighteen vehicles stopped and attempted to take what they thought was a real white-tailed deer buck. Twenty-four people shot at the decoy resulting in 31 citations and 10 warnings.

Seventeen citations were written for shooting from a public road, six for failure to wear hunter orange and four each for shooting from a vehicle and accessory to shooting from a public road. Of the 20 individuals receiving tickets, 17 were residents and three were nonresidents.

“One of the most disturbing results was that four shooters were sixteen years of age or younger that were instructed by a parent to commit a violation,” said Casper game warden Rick King.

As urban detectives dress as prostitutes or pretend to be a stumbling, vulnerable drunk to apprehend criminals, many states will put a fake deer, pheasant or other animal under surveillance. Big game decoys have been used in Wyoming since 1992. In 1995, Wyoming statute 23-3-406 was passed making attempting to take a wildlife decoy the same as attempting to take a live animal. If the attempt is illegal, it is a violation.

Some individuals complain using wildlife decoys is entrapment. However, court rulings have upheld the fact that no one is being encouraged to shoot at the decoys, and the mere presence of an opportunity to take a wild animal does not constitute entrapment.

“Decoys are an efficient way to put the violator, officer and sought after game in the same spot at the same time,” said Jay Lawson, G&F chief game warden.

Aside from the inherent danger in shooting from a public road, shooting at simulated wildlife brings to question the ethical behavior of some hunters. The anti-hunting public has criticized the hunting community for unethical behavior and for the apparent lack of policing amongst themselves. Even though most law enforcement officials would agree that the vast majority of hunters conduct themselves ethically and abide by the laws, those that do not continue to perpetuate a negative image for hunters and hunting.

“Hunters should be outraged by the frequency with which wildlife laws are violated,” Lawson said. He believes that the public perception of hunting and hunters alike must be one of respect for the law, private property and wildlife.

“Hunting is part of our heritage, but it is not a right,” Lawson said. “Hunting is a privilege and a very important wildlife management tool. However, if we are to continue to use hunters in the management of our wildlife populations, all hunters must demonstrate to the people of Wyoming that they are responsible.”

Anyone with information about a wildlife violation is encouraged to call the toll-free, 24-hour, STOP Poaching hotline at (800) 442-4331. Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to a conviction.


-WGFD-
 



Haary

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About five years ago we were hunting in northern California on opening day.  We were driving back to camp and were flagged over by a game warden.  He was just routinely checking licensedsand tags.  While we were chatting with him he got a call on his radio from another warden.  The other warden was telling him how things had gone with "RoboBuck" the night before.  They had issued 12 citations.

We asked him what "RoboBuck" was.  He explained that it is a life size mule deer buck decoy and that the ears and tail twitch to make it look more realistic.  He also said that when they first started using it some people complained to the judge that it was entrapment because the 4 x 4 rack on was so big they could not resist.  So what they did was to start using forked horns and 3X3 racks.  They change it occasionaly so that word does not get out and it becomes too recognizable.

He also told us once while they were on a stakeout with RoboBuck and someone snuck up on it while they were watching the road and put a hunter orange hat on it's head.  When the warders finally noticed it they had a good laugh.  But they never caught the guy that put the hat on RoboBuck.  
 

Eric Mayer

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We were hunting the G1 season behind the Tehama WA a few years ago.  As we headed back to camp we came around a corner and there was a nice buck decoy set-up about 30 yards off the road.  The problem was, you could clearly see the game wardens standing off to the side about 60 yards from the decoy.  We slowed down and yelled to them to get their asses into the brush if they expected to snag anyone!  :)

They waved and we headed off.  I heard they ticketed about 20 hunters that evening/night.

Funny stuff...

Eric
 

spectr17

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The Mule Deer Foundation donated and brand new robo deer to the wardens down here in SoCal. First night it was swiss cheesed pretty bad.

One of the funnier tales of robo deer I've heard was from some hunting buddies in Missouri. The farmer who we hunted with was also a big gun shop owner and  had a long running feud with this one local warden he grew up with.

One night he's driving home and he sees the robo deer on the hill and gets an idea. He drives back to his gun shop and enlists all his buddies there to grab some of the military rifles he has in the racks. They then drive back to robo deer. They get out, fix bayonets and then lead a charge up the hill, rebel yells and all.

The wardens are not amused. One guy actually sticks the decoy. The wardens huddle up trying to figure out if they have a case, government property destruction or something. No one ended getting arrested but I hear the farmer and the warden are still going at each other.
 


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