Hypothetical question

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
You're stopped my the DFW (water or land) and comply with requests to produce I.D., your fishing/hunting license, stamps, any safety check stuff but refuse to answer any questions about "what you're doing" citing your right to remain silent" because you suspect the Warden is fishing for any reason to cite you. Your position is this: I have the right to remain silent, if you have just cause to cite me, do it. If you have just cause to arrest me, do it. Beyond that I have nothing further to say to you except..."Am I being cited, detained or arrested?" Granted...it's usually easier to just be polite and answer everything knowing you're legal BUT if there are activist officers (as some have alleged here recently) or you are dealing with a Warden that (through previous experience) you know is less informed than you are and/or attempts to get you to incriminate yourself so he can issue a citation...what happens if you simply refuse to speak? I've always gotten along with the GWs but have heard some very interesting stories from reliable (completely legal) hunters who have had contentious and unnecessarily difficult encounters.
 

Marty

Moderator
Moderator
Nothing should happen. If you have complied with all requests, then there is no legal need to converse.
 

Bubblehide

Well-known member
Actually there could be a legal need to converse since the Law presumes guilt. Our fishing regulations are but one example where you can fish with two rods for some species, but only one for others. I was stopped for the previous after being watched for some time through a spotting scope. The Warden even seen me measure a Cabazon. Our F&W regulations presume guilt, unlike most of the other laws we're governed by. So without conversing to clarify what your fishing for, the Warden can presume guilt and write a citation. A simple statement of what your fishing for can save a person a citation.
 

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
You can be cited and beat it in court...I have. The regs are convoluted and Judges are obliged to find in favor of the layman when confusing regulations and laws are not easily discernable by the average person. The GW would have to say he saw you keeping illegal fish...you cannot control what bites, just what you keep. Absent illegal fish-a citation would be dismissed.
 

OPAH

Well-known member
You most watch what you say and how you answer the questions, I have always answered short and truthful.
example DFW road block on a dirt road heading back to camp, stopping all vehicles, ask if we were Hunting, Answered That we were returning from hunting, he asked were our riffles were stored? answered in the back locked in the cases, he collected all our Licenses and tags and ordered us to remove our riffles for inspection, so we did. he then asked if there were any other weapons we were using? we answered on we had side arms which were also stored but the word using inferred Hunting with to us.
Behind us a Kid in a Jeep, same questions except the kid said he had a 357 with him. The GW cited him for carrying a loaded firearm on an improved road and seized the kids gun. Seems they changed the definition of improved road to any road that had been scrapped once in five years. That GW sat there all day doing this over and over again to hunters.
You did have a right to carry a concealed loaded weapon while in route or From Hunting and fishing on Non-improved roads,
not one of all the got stopped or had the side arms ceased ever heard to this new definition of a improved road.
it was a Anti hunting GW screwing with the Hunters.
 

Bigolwiggler

Well-known member
OPAH , Unless the law has changed , this has always been my understanding of the law concerning firearms in "unincorporated" areas ( most hunting areas )
If that kid had a round in the chamber of the .357 , the L.E. guy was justified in issuing a citation etc.

The DFG law states "that it is unlawful to possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in any vehicle or its attachments which is standing on or along or is being driven on or along any public highway or other way open to the public. A rifle or shotgun shall be deemed to be loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine."

The law also states that when in an incorporated city or on a public street no shells can be attached to the firearm in any manner and that includes the magazine.

I often carry a weapon on the back roads with rounds in the magazine and NOT in chamber.

BUT , upon some more research .....it sounds to completely up to the officer ! So an activist type GW could bust me/you ?
Read this;

Under the Fish and Game Code, a rifle or shotgun is deemed loaded when there is an unexpended cartridge or shell in the firing chamber, but not when the only cartridges or shells are in the magazine. It is “unlawful to possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in any vehicle or conveyance or its attachments which is standing on or along or is being driven on or along any public highway or other way open to the public (FGC Section 2006).”
The California Penal Code is more restrictive, however, and defines “loaded” as being when ammunition is attached to the weapon (even if all shells or cartridges are only in the magazine portion of the weapon and not in the chamber).
According to Assistant Chief Mike McBride, the consequences may be dependent on circumstances such as location and type of roadway. In other words, a loaded weapon in a vehicle on a dirt road in the boondocks might be viewed differently than one in a vehicle on a paved road that has a lot of traffic. Also, a county sheriff may tend to enforce the Penal Code rather than the Fish and Game Code. A warden could do the same if the circumstances seem to justify that course of action (if this occurs on a major paved road, etc.).
So, it is up to the law enforcement officer to make that call.

Gotta love California. Leaving things way too open to interpretation.

I know that to be in the clear it would best to takeout all ammunition, lock your gun in the trunk , lock up the ammo etc. when even out on a dirt road to keep some activist GW from ruining your day BUT, ...You know, my dad was a DFG biologist, we obey the law. When hunting , traveling from one spot to the next we ALWAYS had rounds in the magazine. He always told me to take the live round out of the chamber before entering the vehicle.

Maybe a DFW dude/dudette could chime in and clear the muddy waters here ?

BOW

 
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Bubblehide

Well-known member
You can be cited and beat it in court...I have. The regs are convoluted and Judges are obliged to find in favor of the layman when confusing regulations and laws are not easily discernable by the average person. The GW would have to say he saw you keeping illegal fish...you cannot control what bites, just what you keep. Absent illegal fish-a citation would be dismissed.

I would think that the whole idea would be to stay out of the courtroom, if you could. And if you have traveled, and would need to travel to the court for the court date, even moreso.
 

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
And people wonder why I drive to AZ to hunt. ;-) I can drive around with loaded guns on me all day long, walk into a diner wearing camo, facepaint and a sidearm and nobody even looks up.

Seems as though talking to a GW is a dual-edged sword.
 

Bubblehide

Well-known member
I was stopped in the Sierras this past deer season. One of the questions was, do you have any handguns. I"m kinda like Tom Selleck in Quigley Down Under, I prefer my rifle, so when hunting, I see no need for the extra weight of a handgun. I let the warden know where my rifle was, and the ammo was in a locked box inside a locked box; he didn't even look after that statement. Bruce, your right, they are revenue collectors; and I'm going to do everything I can to avoid paying them anymore than I need to.

I was also questioned about the amount of meat I had (packed out), this was one of several questions I laughed at, out loud, and then complied by showing him. My point here is that I kept it friendly, while the warden kept it professional, my reactions told him clearly that he had nothing on me; my I's were crossed and my T's were dotted.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the job they do, just not every part of the job they do. But like most any job where your employed, they have others to answer to, and although there may not be quotas, there certainly expectations on the number and type of citations they write within a given time frame.

Now in my other hunting spot, I had two wardens tell me you could not be in possession of a tag for zone Z while hunting zone Q. This was in conversation, and neither asked to see my tag(s), so I didn't push it. I have yet to see what they said in writing, so I tend to not believe it. Their point was that they have written citations to people for using the wrong tag on their animal. I get their point, and see how carrying only the tag or tags of the animals your currently hunting can save a person from a silly mistake. But are they actually correct, I don't know; I suppose I should find out or just carry the tag(s) I intend to fill.
 

#1Predator

Well-known member
Wow. Some of you must have had some really bad experiences with game wardens. I can see how a bad experience would influence the next encounter with a game warden. I've known and worked with a lot of game wardens over the last 40 years or so. Most were good people but there were a few, let's just say, better suited to a different vocation. Wardens have a difficult job. They must balance law enforcement and personal safety with a "friendly/casual" manner. Why "friendly/casual"? Because most people who are enjoying the outdoors don't want a "cop" hassling them. They left the city in order to get away from that environment. I agree

I've been contacted by several wardens while hunting or fishing. A few were a little "stiff" in their initial approach but gradually warmed up as we talked. No, I did not tell them what my former occupation was. Keep in mind, an approaching warden doesn't know who I am or what my intentions are. Sure, I'm probably just another fisherman trying to catch a few trout from a creek but I could just as easily be the lookout for the guys packing out their marijuana harvest or maybe I'm just a convicted felon in possession of a knife with a blade longer than I'm legally allowed to possess. These scenarios are not that far fetched. A survey done by the California Department of Corrections in the mid-70s asked inmates what activities they would like to engage in when they were released. Over 90% listed "camping/hunting/fishing" as their number one pick.

"Actually there could be a legal need to converse since the Law presumes guilt." Laws cannot and do not presume guilt. Laws are inanimate objects. It is how the laws are enforced and/or interpreted that may lead one to believe that a person is guilty. Under the law, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If any of you have served on a jury, you know that the judge will ask, "Does anyone believe that the defendant is guilty just because he/she was arrested?" The answer is "no". I must be proven guilty.

"The regs are convoluted......" Well, yes and no. F&G laws are difficult to research let alone decipher the "legalese". It's no wonder that fishermen and hunters throw up their hands in utter frustration when trying to find the answer to the simplest of questions. We're not alone in this frustration. Wardens have the same trouble when it comes to some of the more difficult F&G code sections. But this is what we have to work with and it's not getting any simpler.

Here is where most of this frustration lies - the Fish and Game Code is worded backwards from other law codes.
Section 2000(a) of the Fish and Game Code states, "It is unlawful to take a bird, mammal, fish, reptile, or amphibian except as provided in this code or in a regulation adopted pursuant to this code." "Take" is defined in section 86 as, " “Take” means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill." So what does this mean? It means I cannot hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill (or even attempt those things) any bird, mammal, fish, reptile or amphibian in the state of California EXCEPT as provided in the F&G Code or any other regulation pursuant to the code. This section says I can't do anything unless the F&G Code (or pursuant regulation) says I can. This is backwards. All of the other codes (Vehicle, Penal, Health and Safety, etc.) tell me what I CANNOT do (can't murder, can't run a red light, can't do illegal drugs, etc.). The F&G Code tells what I CAN DO and makes everything else illegal.

Okay, so back to WB's original question. Here's what I do. First, if I'm on foot hunting, I open the firearm's action and show "clear". The action remains open throughout the contact. Second, I show the warden anything he/she asks for regarding ID, licenses, equipment, fish and/or game etc. I address them as "sir" or "ma'am". I answer any questions regarding my activity. All stops by wardens are "detentions" to determine, by law, "if a crime has been committed or may be committed." I don't invoke my 5th Amendment right because, so far, I don't have that right. I am not being "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself" as stated in the 5th. Can I refuse to answer questions? Sure, but since I haven't been arrested, it's just a flat out refusal. Now, if I'm arrested and read my rights, okay, now I will invoke the 5th and remain silent.

A side story. I once contacted an old cowboy on a local ranch. I was new and young and wanted to ask a few questions about the ranch (is hunting allowed, ranch boundaries, etc.). It struck me as we talked that his man, several decades older than me, called me "sir". Almost at the end of every sentence he said "sir". I finally asked him, "Why do you call me 'sir'?" He said, "Well, sir, I expect that I was raised to respect other people unless they give me a reason not to." Quite a lesson for a young kid. I adopted that logic and never forgot it.

You can ask the warden questions. "What are you looking for?", "Why do you need to look there?", etc. You may not get an answer. Watch and listen to the officer(s). Yelling (unless called for), abusive language, "stomping about", etc. all indicate weakness or uncertainty about the situation. Or, it could be that the officer is having a bad day (husband/wife thing, kids, supervisor on his back, etc.) and is not separating his job from his other worries. Haven't we all been there?

Are there some "bad apples" in the DFW? Yes. It's no different than any other private company, government agency, etc. If you feel you have been mistreated, report it. Believe me, your complaint will be investigated. If there is a bad officer out there, he/she at least needs to be talked to and/or disciplined. Just make sure your report is legit (don't bitch if you got a ticket and you deserved it). Give specifics on your report and be ready to get follow up phone calls and questions.

Ee-gads this is a long reply. Sorry about that.
 

#1Predator

Well-known member
Carrying a concealed firearm per the Penal Code (note, section 25400 is very long so only the first few subsections are printed here):

25400.
(a) A person is guilty of carrying a concealed firearm when the person does any of the following:
(1) Carries concealed within any vehicle that is under the person’s control or direction any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(2) Carries concealed upon the person any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
(3) Causes to be carried concealed within any vehicle in which the person is an occupant any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.


Exception noted in the Penal Code:

25640.
Section 25400 does not apply to, or affect, licensed hunters or fishermen carrying pistols, revolvers, or other firearms capable of being concealed upon the person while engaged in hunting or fishing, or transporting those firearms unloaded when going to or returning from the hunting or fishing expedition.


Hunters and fishermen can carry concealed, without a CCW, under PC section 25640 provided that they are legally hunting or fishing ( current & proper license, season, tags, etc.). Illegal hunting or fishing wipes out the exception under 25640.
 

Where's Bruce?

Well-known member
Wow. Some of you must have had some really bad experiences with game wardens. I can see how a bad experience would influence the next encounter with a game warden. I've known and worked with a lot of game wardens over the last 40 years or so. Most were good people but there were a few, let's just say, better suited to a different vocation. Wardens have a difficult job. They must balance law enforcement and personal safety with a "friendly/casual" manner. Why "friendly/casual"? Because most people who are enjoying the outdoors don't want a "cop" hassling them. They left the city in order to get away from that environment. I agree

I've been contacted by several wardens while hunting or fishing. A few were a little "stiff" in their initial approach but gradually warmed up as we talked. No, I did not tell them what my former occupation was. Keep in mind, an approaching warden doesn't know who I am or what my intentions are. Sure, I'm probably just another fisherman trying to catch a few trout from a creek but I could just as easily be the lookout for the guys packing out their marijuana harvest or maybe I'm just a convicted felon in possession of a knife with a blade longer than I'm legally allowed to possess. These scenarios are not that far fetched. A survey done by the California Department of Corrections in the mid-70s asked inmates what activities they would like to engage in when they were released. Over 90% listed "camping/hunting/fishing" as their number one pick.

"Actually there could be a legal need to converse since the Law presumes guilt." Laws cannot and do not presume guilt. Laws are inanimate objects. It is how the laws are enforced and/or interpreted that may lead one to believe that a person is guilty. Under the law, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If any of you have served on a jury, you know that the judge will ask, "Does anyone believe that the defendant is guilty just because he/she was arrested?" The answer is "no". I must be proven guilty.

"The regs are convoluted......" Well, yes and no. F&G laws are difficult to research let alone decipher the "legalese". It's no wonder that fishermen and hunters throw up their hands in utter frustration when trying to find the answer to the simplest of questions. We're not alone in this frustration. Wardens have the same trouble when it comes to some of the more difficult F&G code sections. But this is what we have to work with and it's not getting any simpler.

Here is where most of this frustration lies - the Fish and Game Code is worded backwards from other law codes.
Section 2000(a) of the Fish and Game Code states, "It is unlawful to take a bird, mammal, fish, reptile, or amphibian except as provided in this code or in a regulation adopted pursuant to this code." "Take" is defined in section 86 as, " “Take” means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill." So what does this mean? It means I cannot hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill (or even attempt those things) any bird, mammal, fish, reptile or amphibian in the state of California EXCEPT as provided in the F&G Code or any other regulation pursuant to the code. This section says I can't do anything unless the F&G Code (or pursuant regulation) says I can. This is backwards. All of the other codes (Vehicle, Penal, Health and Safety, etc.) tell me what I CANNOT do (can't murder, can't run a red light, can't do illegal drugs, etc.). The F&G Code tells what I CAN DO and makes everything else illegal.

Okay, so back to WB's original question. Here's what I do. First, if I'm on foot hunting, I open the firearm's action and show "clear". The action remains open throughout the contact. Second, I show the warden anything he/she asks for regarding ID, licenses, equipment, fish and/or game etc. I address them as "sir" or "ma'am". I answer any questions regarding my activity. All stops by wardens are "detentions" to determine, by law, "if a crime has been committed or may be committed." I don't invoke my 5th Amendment right because, so far, I don't have that right. I am not being "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself" as stated in the 5th. Can I refuse to answer questions? Sure, but since I haven't been arrested, it's just a flat out refusal. Now, if I'm arrested and read my rights, okay, now I will invoke the 5th and remain silent.

A side story. I once contacted an old cowboy on a local ranch. I was new and young and wanted to ask a few questions about the ranch (is hunting allowed, ranch boundaries, etc.). It struck me as we talked that his man, several decades older than me, called me "sir". Almost at the end of every sentence he said "sir". I finally asked him, "Why do you call me 'sir'?" He said, "Well, sir, I expect that I was raised to respect other people unless they give me a reason not to." Quite a lesson for a young kid. I adopted that logic and never forgot it.

You can ask the warden questions. "What are you looking for?", "Why do you need to look there?", etc. You may not get an answer. Watch and listen to the officer(s). Yelling (unless called for), abusive language, "stomping about", etc. all indicate weakness or uncertainty about the situation. Or, it could be that the officer is having a bad day (husband/wife thing, kids, supervisor on his back, etc.) and is not separating his job from his other worries. Haven't we all been there?

Are there some "bad apples" in the DFW? Yes. It's no different than any other private company, government agency, etc. If you feel you have been mistreated, report it. Believe me, your complaint will be investigated. If there is a bad officer out there, he/she at least needs to be talked to and/or disciplined. Just make sure your report is legit (don't bitch if you got a ticket and you deserved it). Give specifics on your report and be ready to get follow up phone calls and questions.

Ee-gads this is a long reply. Sorry about that.
Ask Bubble about the rotten, worm-ridden, dirty bad apple that stopped him twice and got educated both times. <g> No soap-no lather.
 

OPAH

Well-known member
I Have only one out of five incounters and I think the one good one was wirh and forest ranger, every incounter has been with accusation, one time when rabbit hunting my Ammo ejected into the sand/dirt. I have not had any good experience OOOOPs please excuss me once hunting in Valture nonlead zone we had a very young game warden from San Diego check our rounds and thats all he was doing was checking for lead. nice enough but him self was not happy with the assignment. So yes D14 you are going to get harrassed one way or the other.
I have become use to GW's that do not know the seasons areas or laws, It is sad, I know there are good GW's out there but I have yet to meet one
 

TheGDog

Well-known member
Hunters and fishermen can carry concealed, without a CCW, under PC section 25640 provided that they are legally hunting or fishing ( current & proper license, season, tags, etc.). Illegal hunting or fishing wipes out the exception under 25640.
And you're absolutely sure about this? I need to know because I've been purposefully not using this certain satchel/bag thing to carry my sidearm while hunting because I was worried about getting popped for Concealed Carry.
 
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