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U.S. Supreme Court move backs game warden power

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by damonkus, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. damonkus

    damonkus Member


    By Denny Walsh
    [email protected]

    Published: Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B

    Last Modified: Tuesday, Mar. 6, 2012 - 9:29 am

    The claim of an unconstitutional search by a San Diego fisherman who got caught with an out-of-season lobster was rebuffed Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    In denying review, the high court let stand a California Supreme Court opinion in June that people who hunt and fish have fewer of the privacy rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

    The state high court granted game wardens the authority to stop, question and search citizens without a warrant or even without probable cause to believe a law has been broken.

    All the warden needs, the California court ruled, is knowledge that a person is or has been fishing or hunting.

    The need to protect wildlife for future generations outweighs the comparatively minor intrusion on a citizen's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, wrote state Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

    The opinion overturned rulings by two lower courts.

    On a mid-August night in 2007, Warden Erik Fleet, using a telescope from 200 yards away, was watching people, including Bouhn Maikhio, fishing off the Ocean Beach pier in San Diego. When Maikhio left, Fleet stopped his vehicle about three blocks from the pier.

    Maikhio denied having a catch, but Fleet found a California spiny lobster in a bag in the back seat.

    Fleet later testified he had no reason to suspect a violation of the law when he made the stop.

    Maikhio was charged with possessing the lobster out of season and failing to exhibit it upon demand, both misdemeanors.

    Represented by public defenders, he moved to suppress evidence. The National Rifle Association joined his lawyers in seeking review at the highest court in the land.

    The revived prosecution will now return to San Diego Superior Court for further proceedings.

    Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/03/06/4314322/high-court-move-backs-game-warden.html#storylink=cpy
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    "Comparatively minor intrusions on fourth amendment rights" Whew...kind of leaves things wide open doesn't it! Just accuse a man of hunting and law enforcment can do what they want. I bet the ATF might even use that!!

    Scary part for California hunters is I don't think their G&F is that hunter friendly anyway. Prostrate yourselves boys the next time you see a Game warden! ::)

  3. JustinNH

    JustinNH New Member

    While I don't think they should have searched him in the first place, he was still poaching.

    "Represented by public defenders, he moved to suppress evidence. The National Rifle Association joined his lawyers in seeking review at the highest court in the land."

    Not a big fan of that, knowing he was poaching, no matter how we came to that conclusion... the NRA should not support someone like that.
  4. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    So what if they had found nothing? Would it still be okay to violate his 4th amendment rights?
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    It is no more of a "minor violation" of our fourth amendment rights, and no more of a minor inconvenience to be stopped and searched for drugs, illegal weapons, illegal aliens, stolen merchandise, etc, than it is to be stopped and searched for illegal game.

    Yes...he was poaching and deserves what he gets, but same applies to drugs. If you are searched with no probable cause for having committed a crime and are found to have drugs...that evidence must be thrown out. Are poachers worse that dealers?
  6. damonkus

    damonkus Member

    You don't get it........

    Guilty until proven innocent.

    All the warden needs, (to search your vehicle) the California court ruled, is knowledge that a person is or has been fishing or hunting.

    What will prevent law enforcement from using this excuse to stop and search you for anything...

    It's ironic that the Federal Government doesn't want law enforcement to stop a person that looks like a hispanic (Arizona) but if you look like you are a hunter or fisherman it's OK..
    (sticker on your window, a pole sticking out of your truck bed, orange hat .........a slippery slope
  7. damonkus

    damonkus Member


    How does this affect us as Taxidermist?

    Can Wardens now search our business without a Warrant because a hunting or fishing activity has occurred...?
  8. smittysinc

    smittysinc New Member

    The Right to Bear arms isnt about deer hunting!! Its about defending the CONSTITUTION!!!!Remember WE THE PEOPLE,FOR THE PEOPLE!!!
  9. This judge should be removed for VIOLATION of the US Constitution/ That proabable cause crap dont cut it.
  10. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    It wasn't just ONE judge John---the Supreme Court is a PANEL of judges and its been upheld before in several districts. Hunting is regarded as a "highly regulated" activity---thus their decision--like it or not.
  11. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    My friend was up scouting for deer the day before season with no rifle and was stopped and searched
  12. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    I posted this on a hunting website and people came back with just obey the law and you have nothing to worry about.
  13. JustinNH

    JustinNH New Member

    Sorry its a bit late but...

    I said I did not agree with the search to begin with and yes, I agree the evidence should be tossed out....

    I was pointing out that I did not like that the NRA was defending him after the fact, knowing he indeed was a poacher. I am sure there are other groups that support the 4th that can help him in that department. One that supports out 2nd amendment would be better suited to avoid representing someone like this.
  14. PWS

    PWS Active Member

    I'm guessing that you said that you don't "think" they are hunter friendly because you've never hunted here or interacted with CA DFG and ASSUME all of the rhetoric/rumor/etc. about "Kalifornia."

    Be about as fair as me assuming everyone down in your neck of the woods is straight out of Deliverance... Explains your preference for "prostrate"... 8)
  15. trappersteph

    trappersteph now you can have it...

    Just obey the law, nothing to worry about huh? I had 3 DNR officers stop me on my water trapline claiming I hadn't checked my traps for 2 days a full week prior to them stopping me ( why the delay???). The claim was false. They were just being a-holes, but they were able to get away with being a-holes and issue me a warning. Meanwhile none of these officers seem to do anything about the REAL deer poaching that goes on, including the numerous dead bucks found around 3 properties this year. They wouldn't even come out to take a report. We even have possible suspects for them to talk to, but nope, they must be too busy harrassing people who haven't done anything.

    So, obeying the law means NOTHING to some of these officers, they can just make up stuff and do whatever they want. Some will take the easy, like they did with me. Much easier to harrass the single woman with a mink in her otter set, than to have to walk around and then go contact a yahoo farm family over 11 dead bucks killed and left to rot whole. Hmm yeah I'm less dangerous I guess. The trapping thing was 3 years ago, so maybe the officers involved all retired since then LOL. The new gang is probably harrassing some guy fishing for crawdads with his young son. Deer poaching? Pffftttttt!

    BTW I have watched that CA game officers show and seen some stuff that ticked me off about them, but overall it looked like they were actually doing something about poaching. Heck I watch plenty of these reality cop shows and get ticked off by 4 and 5A being trampled over. It was on Alaska State Troopers I was watching last night concerning possible DUI. The trooper was trying to get the guy to admit and gave him crap when he cited his rights ( 5A). It was an icy road accident and the guy in question didn't seem like he was overly high or intoxicated. Anyone can spin and have an accident on ice. Result was the guy citing his rights and standing up for himself was not arrested for anything, only given a traffic citation.

    LOL on the other hand, Navajo cops were trying to track down a Skinwalker- talk about waste of time and resources! They were all tacticooled up too as if the Skinwalker was a bunch of Mexican drug smugglers. Probably just a Mexican grey wolf!

    Cripes I am really afraid at the way this country has been going.
  16. elkevo

    elkevo Tailgate Bucks

    There are a lot of "What Ifs" here in California concerning illegal take of Fish & Game, then throw in illegal drugs upon those same lands all about here. We have Asians, illegals from the south of the border and even those legal here that do not respect ours laws at all. I have had enough run in with Fish & Game wardens and most of them were to aggressive yes, but as soon as I am checked clear, it is all smiles and I am on my way. California has been for years raped of it's wildlife by those people who will not obey the game laws here and it has been getting worse with the illegal drug growers and runners all about us here. The drug growers are shooting the deer because the deer eat the buds off the pot plants. I don't like hunting or fishing on my national forest or public lands if I have to run into Pot fields and those illegals all about us, out there, so I am glad we do have the laws anyway and those trying to stop any illegal take of fish or game. Once in an Area that was so bad for drug growers, which a Game warden will not even enter that area was found 100 deer hides and about 60 bear hides with feet and gall bladders removed. This is almost War here in California on those law breakers and most have been illegal drug runners and growers and those Asians with no respect on how many fish or other wildlife they remove for themselves to sell at markets etc. Once in 1984 there were about 15 Vietnamese taking Mule deer they killed in Northern California and selling that meat in San Francisco at farmers markets etc. Those deer herds back then were highly diminished during those years. They did catch all them poachers then, but out of jail with fines was all. Think about a state with like 37 million people in it and most are all over San Diego, San francisco, Los Angeles, but they will do harm to the whole state here. The act of aggression from the law does seem harsh at times, but I know the lands and wildlife here are being raped.This state is in a big mess and this Governor Brown is another reason as well.
  17. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    Well said. We have Russians here to go along with the others. They really hammer the fish here.
  18. Ron B

    Ron B Life Sucks.....Then comes the death roll!!!!

    Hey PMS, my statement is based partly on how one of your leading G&F guys was just treated in "Kalifonica" for Mountain lion hunting in another state....LEGALLY!! Don't tell me that State is hunter friendly!
    It was also based on comments on the show "Wild Justice" by a game warden saying hunters hunting hogs with dogs and knives are "getting their fix".... like hunters are hopped up on killing or something. WTF! Aren't you then just one step away from saying that about bow hunters.....then next gun hunters. Don't we all get a "fix" from hunting? Dog hunting is perfectly legal for hogs most everywhere else and how you kill them is up to you. Either this guy is disgusted by hunters or he is one of those; "only MY way is right" types.
  19. DL

    DL Well-Known Member

    This state is so screwed up a collared wolf came in from Oregon and only lasted a few days. It headed right back to Oregon or face starvation.
  20. PWS

    PWS Active Member

    So you HAVEN'T hunted here or interacted with CA DFG wardens??

    And did our F&G commissioner get treated poorly by CA DFG employees or POLITICIANS??

    So, all of your B.S. is based on a "reality" show and politicians wrangling to get daddy in another guy's political slot? Wow, that's some intelligence the Nobel committee needs to be informed of. ::)

    You get good & bad LEO's in EVERY state. Hell, I've hunted in one of the MOST anti-hunting places in the entire world for at least 15 years, bordering a NATIONAL PARK in Marin County. Know how many times I've been approached by anti-hunters: ZERO. Harassed: ZERO. Bothered: ZERO. 8)

    State not hunter friendly?? You know not what you speak of. Most people are smart enough to know when to shutup. :-*