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waterbound

What would you have done?

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Earlier today I was fishing Gray's Bay just above the spillway waiting for some friends to meet me there. After a little while two high-school aged kids came along with a bow. I noticed this, but didn't say anything until they shot the bow into the water, when I told them that the bowfishing season doesn't begin until May 1st. The one who had shot the bow was surprised and asked if I was serious so I told him I was "dead serious." The other was on his cell phone, but when he hung up the other boy told him what I had said. They stood around and seemed indecisive, although it was fairly obvious the one with the bow wanted to leave while the one who was on the phone wanted to stick around and try to shoot some fish (which hadn't moved in yet anyway). The kids with the bow walked away down the boardwalk and my friends, who I'll call Bob and George, showed up. I told them that they should go and see if the kids still had the bow with them. Bob didn't really want to because he felt it was none of our business and George was indifferent. Soon we hear and see them shooting the bow in the water again and I decide to call TIP. Bob says that I shouldn't because it's no big deal, George seems indifferent again. Not having a cell phone, I borrowed George's and looked up and called TIP despite Bob's continual objections. The dispatcher told me that they would try to send an officer. Before long the boys were leaving and I went to my car to swap out my rod and I wrote down their license plate and descriptions as they drove away. I waited about an hour but noone showed up to investigate about the out of season bowfishing. So here's my question: what would you have done in this situation?

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As I understand it, Lake Minnetonka is designated as Muskie waters, meaning that you can't bow hunt for fish at any time. They also included the first section of the creek below the spillway. Either the DNR or local police should have been called.

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Good call on your part. As a former police officer, I can't stress enough how much helpful the general public can be.

Officers get tied up on all kinds of calls and can't be everywhere at once. By taking down the plate number and passing it on, word will get out, even if an officer is busy.

You not only did the right thing, but the next time they do it, an officer can pull up the dispatch logs and get probable cause because you reported it.

/Salute

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I would't have confronted them, you never know when some of these teenagers are doing some drugs or drinking. It would be one thing if they were yielding fishing rods, but bows??!!

I would have made the call and reported what I witnessed and let it go at that. That being said, I am glad you did SOMETHING. Breaking the law is breaking the law and too often we leave the policing to others and then wonder why people do things they should't. I believe this is why there is a TIP line, to help with YOUR eyes when the officers are not there.

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You did the right thing but this brings up another topic.

Catching a violation in progress seems to never happen with a call to TIP. Yes we know CO's cover a huge area to cover and are understaffed. While I'm sure a follow up by a CO will happen.

It could in some cases even lead to a person being investigated, and maybe being watched. Still getting to a violation in progress that would lead to an immediate ticket with fines to follow would be most effective and less time investigating and follow up work.

IMO most violations are from not knowing the laws.

I'll say something to the person, "hey did you know that bow fishing doesn't open till May 1st?" More times then not that they stop. If they continue I'll get boat registration or license plate numbers and call the CO or TIP.

The way TIP is setup now that is all you can do.

Can we do better? Not unless you increase the amount of CO's.

Then again,

CO, Sheriff, Policemen, and Highway Patrol are all Officers of the law. Each have the same amount of authority but specialize in area of law enforcement. A CO could issue you a traffic ticket but that more then likely won't happen because they are assigned to enforce game & fish laws. Then you have a non life threatening game violation, would it be prudent to pull sheriff away from his assigned duties to make first contact with a game violation in progress?

I say that unless game & fish violations are sent out to dispatch we'll never know. There may be a case where one of the above are in the area and can stop by. Then again now you have a branch of law enforcement that are not up on the laws outside of their position.

For now use TIP and get a license number.

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I would have done the same thing.

how hard is it to find a bail of hay or a stunp to shoot arrows in to?

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There is no harm in telling someone about game rules and regs. Several years ago I moved into a fish sanctuary on a Canadian lake that I was fishing. Signs were posted on the bank, but not in view from the water. A guy on a dock yelled over and let me know about the sanctuary. I was glad he said something.

Maybe a call to TIP was in order if they kept shooting. As ST said the CO's have a lot to do, so I think we should have some good information before calling.

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You did a great job. I don't think you confrontational. You just told them what the law was. Now if they chose to ignore it after that, absolutely call TIP. You did great by getting their info and passing it along.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't a sheriff or other officer come and give them a ticket for this? I don't think it has to be a CO.

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98prosport, I love how you pulled out the age card on this one, any person of any age can inflict bodily harm if he or she choses to do so, regaurdless of age! smirk In this situation you did a great job, A verbal warning at first and if that doent seem to work then yes continue with furhter actions if necessary, like calling TIP, great job wink

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As a novice fisherman and archer, I agree you did the right thing.

It's always a tough decision, especially now-a-days, with how far to take situations like this.

I do like the verbal warning. If you were going to add anything you could have said 'guys I don't want to have to report you, but you should really wait till the season opens...' which could be boarder line too confrontational, but effective.

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So did you call tips back and give them the license #? What you did is very commendable. I would have been brave enough to have gone over to where they were and held up the phone as if you were taking their picture.

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well i think if it WAS a honest mistake i would've let it go if they picked up and left after you told them that. now if they kept doing it or said something smart then i would've call them in

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you did the right thing!! you shoulda been like hey can i try that and "accidentillay" shoot the arrow high in a tree then go to your truck call tip, watch them try and climd the tree and get the arrwow..

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I never actually got ahold of an officer, but hopefully there will be more patrols down there in the future so if anything else like that happens the guys can get a nice, big ticket.

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