What Rights Do Game Wardens Have?

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by Pollcat, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Pollcat

    Pollcat 8 pointer

    718
    0
    Mar 29, 2005
    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.

     
  2. Thunderchicken

    Thunderchicken Fawn

    40
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    Aug 3, 2006
    alabama
    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.
     
  3. skin_dog1

    skin_dog1 BBBC Members

    10,447
    8
    Jan 2, 2004
    Alvaton, KY, USA.
    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.
     
  4. Wildcat

    Wildcat 12 pointer

    9,086
    31
    Jan 7, 2002
    Ledbetter, Ky.
    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.
     
  5. therron258

    therron258 10 pointer

    1,357
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    Sep 24, 2006
    Madisonville, KY
    age 16+ can hunt alone right?
     
  6. OldDog

    OldDog Spike

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    Oct 4, 2004
    Ky Dam.
    More power than John Wayne, which is how most of them act!
     
  7. Rat

    Rat 6 pointer

    493
    6
    Oct 9, 2006
    USA
    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.
     
  8. Walt K

    Walt K 6 pointer

    171
    0
    Aug 22, 2002
    Elizabethtown, KY, USA.
    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."
     
  9. Rat

    Rat 6 pointer

    493
    6
    Oct 9, 2006
    USA
    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.
     
  10. Pollcat

    Pollcat 8 pointer

    718
    0
    Mar 29, 2005
    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.
     
  11. keith meador

    keith meador Got the Spotted Fever

    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.
     
  12. 6.5x55swedish

    6.5x55swedish 12 pointer

    2,681
    0
    May 27, 2005
    Lexington
    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.
     
  13. Pugs

    Pugs 8 pointer

    537
    0
    Oct 3, 2005
    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.
     
  14. Dalebow

    Dalebow 6 pointer

    158
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    Dec 19, 2004
    Taylorsville, Ky
    What happens when one gets shot not wearing hunter orange??
     
  15. Dalebow

    Dalebow 6 pointer

    158
    0
    Dec 19, 2004
    Taylorsville, Ky
    also gate you land and lock it most are to lazy and fat to walk that much:)
     
  16. DUOGLIDE

    DUOGLIDE 6 pointer

    Dalebow

    Bait Bait Becareful Of What You Catch
     
  17. mossman500

    mossman500 Fawn

    37
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    Oct 7, 2006
    Ft Knox, Ky
    The only one with more power is Chuck Norris.
     
  18. GSP

    GSP 14 Pointer Staff Member

    13,077
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    Dec 12, 2001
    Montrose
    They shoot back!:eek:

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

    AteUp 12 pointer

    15,707
    1
    Mar 14, 2004
    Luavul
    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.
     
  20. roleksy

    roleksy 6 pointer

    183
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    Feb 8, 2006
    Indiana/Butler Co. Ky
    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.
     

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