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Pollcat
10-11-2006, 02:06 PM
Looks like they can do what they want, when they want, where ever they want.

. What rights do wildlife officers (game wardens) have as far as access to land just to be snooping around trying to find someone doing something wrong? Can a game warden just show up on your property and say he wants to look for hunters violating the law and gain access to your land without your permission. Do they have to obtain a search warrant before they can search your property without your permission? Also, where can I find this in writing?


150.090 Conservation officers, peace officers, and other persons appointed by the
commissioner to enforce chapter -- Authority of such officers and persons.

(1) Conservation officers appointed by the commissioner shall have full powers as
peace officers for the enforcement of all of the laws of the Commonwealth, except
that they shall not enforce laws other than this chapter and the administrative
regulations issued thereunder or to serve process unless so directed by the
commissioner in life threatening situations or when assistance is requested by
another law enforcement agency.
(2) The commissioner may appoint other persons to enforce only the provisions of this
chapter and the administrative regulations issued thereunder. Such persons shall
have the power to make arrests or issue citations only for violations of this chapter
and the administrative regulations issued thereunder.
(3) All other peace officers and their deputies shall enforce the provisions of this
chapter and the administrative regulations issued thereunder.
(4) All persons charged with the enforcement of this chapter and the administrative
regulations issued thereunder shall have the right to go upon the land of any person
or persons whether private or public for the purpose of conducting research or
investigation of game or fish or their habitat conditions or engage in restocking
game or fish or in any type of work involved in or incident to game and fish
restoration projects or their enforcement or in the enforcement of laws or orders of
the department relating to game or fish, while in the normal, lawful and peaceful
pursuit of such investigation or work or enforcement, may enter upon, cross over,
be upon, and remain upon privately owned lands for such purposes, and shall not be
subject to arrest for trespass while so engaged or for such cause thereafter. They
may arrest on sight, without warrant, any person detected by them in the act of
violating any of the provisions of this chapter. They shall have the same rights as
sheriffs to require aid in arresting with or without process any person found by them
violating any of the provisions of this chapter and may seize without process
anything declared by this chapter to be contraband. No liability shall be incurred by
any person charged or directed in the enforcement of this chapter.
(5) Conservation officers and other officers charged with the enforcement of this
chapter, shall have the authority to call for and inspect the license or tag, bag or
creel of any person engaged in any activity for the performance of which a license is
required under this chapter, and shall also have the authority to take proper
identification of any person, or hunter, or fisherman who is actually engaged in any
of these activities, and to call for and inspect any and all firearms and any other
device that may be used in taking wildlife and is in the possession of any person so
engaged.
(6) No person shall resist, obstruct, interfere with or threaten or attempt to intimidate or
in any other manner interfere with any officer in the discharge of his duties under
the provisions of this chapter. This subsection shall not apply to a criminal
homicide or an assault upon such officer. An assault upon such officer shall be
deemed an offense under KRS Chapter 507 or 508, as appropriate.

Effective: July 15, 1986

History: Amended 1986 Ky. Acts ch. 424, sec. 1, effective July 15, 1986. -- Amended
1968 Ky. Acts ch. 38, sec. 3 -- Amended 1956 Ky. Acts ch. 115, sec. 7 -- Amended
1952 Ky. Acts ch. 200, sec. 14 -- Amended 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 68, sec. 9 --
Recodified 1942 Ky. Acts ch. 208, sec. 1, effective October 1, 1942, from Ky. Stat.
sec. 1954d-9.

Thunderchicken
10-11-2006, 02:15 PM
pollcat,

I know that in Alabama a State Game Warden has more rights than a police officer. I know for a fact that all a game warden has to have is a hunch and he can enter your home without a warrant and search your freezer or anyother space in your home. Same goes for property and your vehicle.

skin_dog1
10-11-2006, 02:36 PM
pollcat,

I know that in Alabama a State Game Warden has more rights than a police officer. I know for a fact that all a game warden has to have is a hunch and he can enter your home without a warrant and search your freezer or anyother space in your home. Same goes for property and your vehicle.
If this has happened to you then your rights were violated. GW's have no more rights than any other LEO when it comes to the 4th ammendment.

Wildcat
10-11-2006, 02:46 PM
They can come on your LAND at anytime, 24/365.

Their JOB is wildlife laws and to be able to do their job they have to be able to go on anyones land to check on the wildlife.

Going into someone's home is a different mater, for that they need a warrant.

therron258
10-11-2006, 03:12 PM
age 16+ can hunt alone right?

OldDog
10-11-2006, 03:32 PM
More power than John Wayne, which is how most of them act!

Rat
10-11-2006, 03:46 PM
From what I understand, game wardens don't have to play by the rules. They are above the law and above the United States Constitution. Or at least that is what the states say. I have no problem with game wardens enforcing rules and looking into poaching operations, but by should have to have some respect for private property.

Walt K
10-11-2006, 03:56 PM
They can do it. As long as you don't violate or have anything to hide, so what they walk on your land? They are the good guys, not the poachers who steal from all of us.

"All persons charged with the enforcement of this chapter and the administrative
regulations issued thereunder shall have the right to go upon the land of any person
or persons whether private or public for the purpose of conducting research or
investigation of game or fish or their habitat conditions or engage in restocking
game or fish or in any type of work involved in or incident to game and fish
restoration projects or their enforcement or in the enforcement of laws or orders of
the department relating to game or fish, while in the normal, lawful and peaceful
pursuit of such investigation or work or enforcement, may enter upon, cross over,
be upon, and remain upon privately owned lands for such purposes, and shall not be
subject to arrest for trespass while so engaged or for such cause thereafter."

Rat
10-11-2006, 04:03 PM
I agree Walt K,
I would just be really PO'd if they came walking on my land while I was hunting and scared off some game.

Pollcat
10-11-2006, 04:17 PM
How would you feel if you pulled up to where you were going to hunt and the land owner told you that some game wardens just left from walking around in the woods. What's worse, the land owner didn't even know they were on the property until he saw them leaving and stopped them.

keith meador
10-11-2006, 04:20 PM
my view on this, if the game warden is out beating the bushes, he is doing his job. i would much rather see them getting involved than giving it the drive by. we have a great game warden in our county, he is very pro active and seeks out infractions...thats what he gets paid to do. i for one appreciate the job done by our game wardens. i have said in the past and will say again, i would not mind paying more for a permit/license if that money would go directly to a fund for more officers and better equipment for them.

i hunt within the limits of the law, so i have nothing to hide. if he wants to frequent my property, thats great. it is a huge deterent for trespassers and poachers knowing he is on the prowl.

6.5x55swedish
10-11-2006, 04:57 PM
It is true that game wardens do not need a warrent to search your property and I know a police officer who has said that sometimes they use wardens when a warrent can't be gotten. I remember a few years ago a restraunt that was suspect in criminal activity and they made the mistake of having bear listed as the special of the day. Fish and game was on them like flys on shot and while doing their search they kicked a few bones to the state police as well. This was in Vermont and that was federal fish and wildlife officers who did the search. I don't know how much authority a state officer has, but I wish I would see alot more of them when I am afield; or any at all.

Pugs
10-11-2006, 05:28 PM
How would you feel if you pulled up to where you were going to hunt and the land owner told you that some game wardens just left from walking around in the woods. What's worse, the land owner didn't even know they were on the property until he saw them leaving and stopped them.

So here's a question. I assume they can't cut locks and such to get on property (at least without really good suspicion anyway) and if that's the case then that would mean that they had gotten out and walked our property and I would feel good that they were out doing their job! I'd actually suggest a place for them to hang out to nab a poacher coming across the ridge that causes problems.

For the record I've been checked by wardens in maybe ten states and some federal guys and they've never been anything but professional. Never had the chance to meet the Whitley County one but I'd be happy to do so and give him a tour of our place.

Dalebow
10-11-2006, 08:51 PM
What happens when one gets shot not wearing hunter orange??

Dalebow
10-11-2006, 08:51 PM
also gate you land and lock it most are to lazy and fat to walk that much:-)

DUOGLIDE
10-11-2006, 09:03 PM
Bait Bait Becareful Of What You Catch

mossman500
10-12-2006, 12:59 AM
The only one with more power is Chuck Norris.

GSP
10-12-2006, 01:06 AM
What happens when one gets shot not wearing hunter orange??

They shoot back!:eek:

Ain't no season out there that allows shooting at a CO.

AteUp
10-12-2006, 01:36 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_expectation_of_privacy

The protection against unreasonable warrant-less searches by the government is found in the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


The exception known as the “open fields doctrine” predates Katz and so the method in which it has been justified has changed since it was first blessed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Hester v. United States, 265 U.S. 57 (1924). In that case the court summarized the doctrine when it stated that, “the special protection accorded by the Fourth Amendment to the people in their ‘persons, houses, papers, and effects,’ is not extended to the open fields.” Id. at 57. In this “early” opinion the justification for using this common law doctrine for the purposes of analyzing the Fourth Amendment appears to be that the “open fields” are not specifically mentioned as a “constitutionally protected area” in the Fourth Amendment itself (the “open fields” are obviously not “persons, houses, papers, [nor] effects”).

This method of reasoning gave way with the arrival of the landmark Katz case. Following Katz the key question has become, what is the societal expectation of privacy in any given fact situation. Under this “new” analysis of the Fourth Amendment, privacy expectations in areas which cannot support society’s reasonable expectation of privacy will not be altered by any steps taken by the defendant to shield the area from view. The U.S. Supreme Court pondered the effects of the Katz test on the effectiveness of the “open fields doctrine” in the case of Oliver v. United States, 466 U.S. 170 (1984). In Oliver the court stated:

…open fields do not provide the setting for those intimate activities that the Amendment is intended to shelter from government interference or surveillance. There is no societal interest in protecting the privacy of those activities, such as the cultivation of crops, that occur in open fields. Id at 179.

So under this evaluation the determination of whether an unreasonable search has occurred will turn on whether the questioned activity takes place in an open field.

An “open field” as defined by the Oliver court is any area “out of doors in fields, except in the area immediately surrounding the home.” Id at 178. The area immediately surrounding the home is also sometimes referred to as the “curtilage.” Courts have treated this area as an extension of the house and so subject to all the privacy protections afforded a person’s home under the Fourth Amendment. United States v. Dunn, 480 U.S. 294, 300 (1987). The U.S. Supreme court has stated the factors used to determine whether a particular area of land is within the “curtilage” as follows:

[T]he Fourth Amendment protects the curtilage of a house and that the extent of the curtilage is determined by factors that bear upon whether an individual reasonably may expect that the area in question should be treated as the home itself. We identified the central component of this inquiry as whether the area harbors the intimate activity associated with the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life. Id.

This means that the determination of whether an area is an “open field” requires that it must not be within the “curtilage” of a home and that what area encompasses the “curtilage” will be determined on a case by case basis looking at whether that area “harbors the intimate activity associated with the sanctity of a man’s home and the privacies of life.”

The only way to create a more precise definition of which areas are “open fields” is to look at particular examples found in the federal jurisprudence following Oliver.

roleksy
10-12-2006, 05:26 AM
CO's mainly operate on the "Open Field Doctrine" just as any other officer can. The premise is that the same expectation of privacy does not apply to an open area, such as the great outdoors.

ksp771
10-12-2006, 06:31 AM
Being an LEO I can tell you that most Game Wardens that I have met are nice. They have a job to do and I can tell you that I would not want to do it all the time. 1> they have people with guns and other weapons that if they are not playing by the rules they must sieze property. 2> thanks to state government those poor guys work alone alot. 3> If you are not doing anything wrong they will not bother you. I have only been checked once when I went to Laurel lake fishing \. I liked the idea that they were doing their job and that my purchase of a license was not just to give the governor a new car or house. If I had my own land I would welcome them on it too keep the poachers off. Wen my parents owned land they had about 3 of the local game wardens come by for coffee durng the seasons nice guys, I learned alot from them. All in all gentlemen they have a job to do.

Walt K
10-12-2006, 09:50 AM
How would you feel if you pulled up to where you were going to hunt and the land owner told you that some game wardens just left from walking around in the woods. What's worse, the land owner didn't even know they were on the property until he saw them leaving and stopped them.


If the game wardens just left...and you just got there...you're getting up to late!...heh, heh...and on the note of hunter orange...I've never seen a game warden NOT wear hunter orange during the firearm seasons while in the field. They know there's some kooky hunters out there! On our hunt lease in Nelson county...we ASK the game warden to come by any chance he gets. We've been plaqued by road hunters every opening firearm season. Bad thing is, with only 1 warden per county...he's stretched waaay too thin.

Basswipe
10-12-2006, 10:06 AM
A game warden can pretty much do what he wants. He does not have to have a warrant or permission to go onto any land. He does not have to have a warrant or permission to search a person or their vehicle. There are some limitations to a home search. However, all he has to do is get on the property and detain you. From there he can call for some help and a warrant. I think he's actually allowed to enter your home to make the call for help and warrant. Entering the home to make a call doesn't necessarily count as searching.

They have much broader power than a standard cop.

buckfever
10-12-2006, 10:13 AM
Bad thing is, with only 1 warden per county...he's stretched waaay too thin.

1 warden per county. . .I only wish that were true. We've got about 1 game warden for every 2 counties currently.

Dalebow
10-12-2006, 11:07 AM
Good Lord! I didnt mean "shoot at them"" I mean if they are walking around land during gun season in their brown and green uniforms would they not be putting themselves in danger??

jdattilo
10-12-2006, 11:56 AM
Being an attorney, I understand the open fields doctrine, but, what about the following scenario? You're duck hunting, and a warden pulls up next to you in the marsh. Without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the warden boards your boat and begins to open containers, asks you to empty your pockets, and searches every square inch of the boat. Without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, I question seriously whether or not a warden has the power under Fourth Amendment principles to conduct this kind of warrantless search and seizure. The case law is full of cases involving automobiles and other types of vehicles. Individuals do, in fact, have a recognized privacy interest in their cars and other vehicles. A boat is certainly a vehicle. Therefore, without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, I would say that such a search is unconstituitional. This happended to me on the Mississippi River last season. While we had nothing to hide, and the wardens were professional, I couldn't help but think my constitutional rights were being violated. If contraband was found, I think I could have successfully challenged the statute cited in earlier posts giving wardens their wide-ranging authority ..... Jason

12 pointer
10-12-2006, 12:24 PM
Dern,
One day some of you complain that we do not have enough wardens to protect our wildlife and the next they are being called fat and lazy and you don't want them out there doing their job.:mad: Being that they are working with wildlife and such, I would say that they have a love for the outdoors just as we do. (hunters) The difference between them and some of us are they had enough sense to get a further education and they got a real job!!!!!!!!!!

shogan
10-12-2006, 01:12 PM
First my hats off to all that have served this country both in Armed Services and Public Saftey Officers from the Warden to the State Trooper. Thank you for laying your life on the line so that my family is safer.

I have one caveat to this while I understand it from a Wildlife and Game laws protection perspective I need to state that we don't let law enforcement on private property for any other plain ole looking for bad guys and infractions without probable cause or invitation. The same could be said about police entering your personal dwelling or farm looking for other legal infractions without probable cause or warrant. Think of all the bad guys they could get if they could enter every home and start looking for bad guys and broken laws. There are reasons for this and it goes back to the inherrenint rights of freedom, due justice, and personal property that are protected in this country. Now add to that the game wardens are given police power that go beyond strictly game infractions and suddenly this is a back door to other federal and state power stepping beyond it bounderies. There was a case of this in Colorado where the Dept wanted some land and thus the authorities ganged up using the Game Warden as an initial way in.

Also if your a land owner needing to report and catch a poacher but the warden is out walking blindly though private property most of which is farmed and not hunted looking blindly for an infraction then are they serving the time well. Wouldn't it be better spent patrolling the public land and following up on reports and requests from private land owners wanting them on their property with real leads. There must be a 100 folks in every county that have unoccupied land that would love for the warden to sit in the shadows of their property during hunting season (ecsp the deer modern gun) and wait for the tresspassers that don't have permission.

Rat
10-12-2006, 01:46 PM
Very well put Shogan!

raktrakr
10-12-2006, 08:28 PM
Dern,
One day some of you complain that we do not have enough wardens to protect our wildlife and the next they are being called fat and lazy and you don't want them out there doing their job.:mad: I was about to post the same comment

DW
10-12-2006, 08:48 PM
[QUOTE=jdattilo;312998]Being an attorney, I understand the open fields doctrine, but, what about the following scenario? You're duck hunting, and a warden pulls up next to you in the marsh. Without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the warden boards your boat and begins to open containers, asks you to empty your pockets, and searches every square inch of the boat. Without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, I question seriously whether or not a warden has the power under Fourth Amendment principles to conduct this kind of warrantless search and seizure. The case law is full of cases involving automobiles and other types of vehicles. Individuals do, in fact, have a recognized privacy interest in their cars and other vehicles. A boat is certainly a vehicle. Therefore, without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, I would say that such a search is unconstituitional. This happended to me on the Mississippi River last season. While we had nothing to hide, and the wardens were professional, I couldn't help but think my constitutional rights were being violated. If contraband was found, I think I could have successfully challenged the statute cited in earlier posts giving wardens their wide-ranging authority ..... Jason[/

Then why didn't you?

shogan
10-13-2006, 02:20 PM
I think the difference here with hunting on public land (aka public water way) is that by taking that privlege you subject yourself to the requirement of being searched. And the argument would be that the officers engage a questioning and search of every hunter they encounter and do not single out individuals unless there is reason that would indicate they should do so (i.e. tips). Similar to road blocks. Now I still say that this does not hold water once you leave the public ground and are on private ground ((baring in mind almost all moving floatable water is considered public)) but the fields are not.

Now they do have the right to use normal monitoring equipement from afar to watch you!

;)

so moral of this story if you have illegal stuff on you do not appear to be hunter because all your rights to hide any such illegal activity as well as rights to privacy are given up once you appear to be a hunter.

jdattilo
10-13-2006, 02:43 PM
I understand the distinction between private land and being on a public waterway. However, my boat was a private vehicle, of sorts, and warrantless sarches and seizures of private vehicles are unconstitutional, absent a recognized exception. I, of course, did not make a stink about my incident because I'm a law-abiding hunter who respects the role of game wardens and understands the importance of law enforcement. I'm just saying that the activity may well be unconstitutional. Just because a person is hunting or fishing does not mean he or she automatically loses constitutional protection.

Chimpy
10-13-2006, 02:53 PM
From what I understand, game wardens don't have to play by the rules. They are above the law and above the United States Constitution. Or at least that is what the states say. I have no problem with game wardens enforcing rules and looking into poaching operations, but by should have to have some respect for private property.

I've gone with a game warden before when we were having poacher problems --- they can go on anybody's land whenever they want if they think they've heard a gunshot or something of the sort. I have no problem with them ruining my hunt to check the jackasses on the other side of the fence from us (which they now routinely do). Now not everybody has jackasses on the other side of the fence, but we do.

sharpstick
10-13-2006, 03:02 PM
I understand the distinction between private land and being on a public waterway. However, my boat was a private vehicle, of sorts, and warrantless sarches and seizures of private vehicles are unconstitutional, absent a recognized exception. I, of course, did not make a stink about my incident because I'm a law-abiding hunter who respects the role of game wardens and understands the importance of law enforcement. I'm just saying that the activity may well be unconstitutional. Just because a person is hunting or fishing does not mean he or she automatically loses constitutional protection.

The KRS should reflect that, by purchasing a hunting or fishing license, we waive that protection (regarding vehicles, boats, etc.), thus eliminating any repercussions as described above. As long as we have nothing to hide, and everything's on the "up and up", who cares what they search, where they go, or when they do it? I've only been stopped once in 20 years of hunting both private and public lands, but nearly every year we see / hear evidence of illegal hunting activity taking place. There should be more conservation officers - even if some were cross-over KSP or local LE just during fall months. I'd glady trade 20 minutes by being stopped every now & then for a legal chance at some of the deer that we've lost to poaching over the years.

Chief Huntum
10-13-2006, 03:59 PM
Lets face it, usually those that complain about game wardens are the ones committing the violations.

MD501
10-13-2006, 05:00 PM
to call for and inspect any and all firearms and any other
device that may be used in taking wildlife and is in the possession of any person so
engaged.



YOUR BOAT IS A DEVICE USED IN THE TAKING OF WILDLIFE THUS OPEN FOR INSPECTION

DW
10-13-2006, 05:03 PM
I understand the distinction between private land and being on a public waterway. However, my boat was a private vehicle, of sorts, and warrantless sarches and seizures of private vehicles are unconstitutional, absent a recognized exception. I, of course, did not make a stink about my incident because I'm a law-abiding hunter who respects the role of game wardens and understands the importance of law enforcement. I'm just saying that the activity may well be unconstitutional. Just because a person is hunting or fishing does not mean he or she automatically loses constitutional protection.No your boat is not a vehicle, it is a vessel. The U.S.C.G. requires you to have certain safety equipment onboard. Those items are subject to inspection when you are on public or private waterways.

jdattilo
10-13-2006, 06:16 PM
Yeah, but not all containers, boxes, bags and pockets on the boat. Once the safety equipment is shown, absent probable cause or reasonable suspicion, the search, according to constitutional principles, should end there. What a statute might say and what the constitution says are two different things. The Constitution is always going to trump as it is the supreme law of the land ....

DW
10-13-2006, 07:22 PM
to call for and inspect any and all firearms and any other
device that may be used in taking wildlife and is in the possession of any person so
engaged.



YOUR BOAT IS A DEVICE USED IN THE TAKING OF WILDLIFE THUS OPEN FOR INSPECTION

Well Said. I believe if anyone who promotes he could have won a case, probably couldn't have won.

DW
10-13-2006, 07:24 PM
Yeah, but not all containers, boxes, bags and pockets on the boat. Once the safety equipment is shown, absent probable cause or reasonable suspicion, the search, according to constitutional principles, should end there. What a statute might say and what the constitution says are two different things. The Constitution is always going to trump as it is the supreme law of the land ....
Once again probable cause is your hunting(attempting to take wildlife).

ksp771
10-13-2006, 10:42 PM
???If you thought that your rights were violated then why not file a lawsuit?

Being an attorney, I understand the open fields doctrine, but, what about the following scenario? You're duck hunting, and a warden pulls up next to you in the marsh. Without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the warden boards your boat and begins to open containers, asks you to empty your pockets, and searches every square inch of the boat. Without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, I question seriously whether or not a warden has the power under Fourth Amendment principles to conduct this kind of warrantless search and seizure. The case law is full of cases involving automobiles and other types of vehicles. Individuals do, in fact, have a recognized privacy interest in their cars and other vehicles. A boat is certainly a vehicle. Therefore, without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, I would say that such a search is unconstituitional. This happended to me on the Mississippi River last season. While we had nothing to hide, and the wardens were professional, I couldn't help but think my constitutional rights were being violated. If contraband was found, I think I could have successfully challenged the statute cited in earlier posts giving wardens their wide-ranging authority ..... Jason

ksp771
10-13-2006, 10:44 PM
YAHOO AMEN!

Lets face it, usually those that complain about game wardens are the ones committing the violations.

ksp771
10-13-2006, 10:46 PM
I bet you just graduated law school..?

Yeah, but not all containers, boxes, bags and pockets on the boat. Once the safety equipment is shown, absent probable cause or reasonable suspicion, the search, according to constitutional principles, should end there. What a statute might say and what the constitution says are two different things. The Constitution is always going to trump as it is the supreme law of the land ....

OhioHunter
10-14-2006, 11:35 AM
Instead of arguing about (debating) what rights a CO has, how about using some of your legal knowledge and fighting for the Christians rights, bring back prayer in schools, bring back In God We Trust, Bring back the 10 commandments, This is what our country was built on. If we would get back to these principles alot of what your complaining about wouldnt be happening.

Joe Bryan
10-14-2006, 01:33 PM
I would invite them to our farm anytime, just so other people would know they were around, as far as I am concerned they can stay at our cabin and I'll give them a key!:)