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Uncle Bill

Search my boat ??

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Guest

To find the low lifes that take more than their share of fish or any other game are to be caught we need laws that don't tie Game Wardens hands. Wake up.
I don't hide anything, do you??

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The only folks that will gain anything are the ones who are poaching or dealing in other illegal activities, and the lawyers. With my boat, all you have to do is pull alongside, maybe open a cooler or bait bucket, no fancy livewells or hiding spaces. I don't see why someone with a fancier boat should have any more legal expectation to privacy...

[This message has been edited by coldone (edited 07-24-2002).]

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Sorry, Uncle Bill. I think they blew it with this decision. So, anyone can have 100 walleye in the livewell now, not make a mistake going in, and take off for home without being checked. Doesn't sound right.

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Is there a new decision out there that does not allow wardens to search boats? What's the scoop?

If that's the case....searches of watercrafts should hold the same guidelines as motor vehicles. If there is probable cause that a crime was/is committed in that boat/vehicle, then it a search shall be warranted....period.

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You're right CD, probable cause is necessary. The issue at hand is the game wardens had no probable cause to search the boat. So, basically unless the wardens see you keeping too many fish they can not search your boat without permission. A way to get around this fourth admendment issue is to pass a law that states that if an angler purchases a fishing liscence then they waive all privacy claims while fishing.

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If one reads the entire decision (today's Star Tribune), it becomes clear why the courts ruled in the manner that they did.

There is legal precedence that supports their decision.

I certainly agree that this makes the CO's job a lot more difficult, but it doesn't make it any more difficult than any other law enforcement officer's job.

As it stands now, the DNR relies mostly on voluntary compliance, anyway. Most of the game hog cases that we hear about start with a tip from a concerned citizen, not from random searches (my opinion).

We don't sign away any of our rights when we purchase a fishing/hunting license.

The DNR can still ask permission to search your boat, fish house or vehicle. They can still ask you to produce your license, life jackets, fire extinguishers....they just can't start opening up storage areas and livewells without your prior consent or without probable cause.

Because I believe that law enforcement needs to stay within the bounds of the constitution and that unconstitutional laws need to be stricken from the books, I have to support this decision.

Just because most of us "don't hide anything" doesn't mean that we should allow the government to tread on our rights. There is world out there bigger than game and fish laws and all rulings like this set legal precedence for future and unrelated decisions.

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I'm regret to tell you it is a privilege to fish & hunt in this world. Remember
Here is where you go wrong thinking that involvement of Gov. is wrong. If violators know that "without probable cuase" they can't be search that gives them the right to go ahead and break the law?
Just look back in history on letting people run wild on game....the buffalo for example.
If we knew that the Gov. could not check our taxes we pay every spring I would file "Exempt" on my W4 and never worry about being busted.
We need to send a message that if you could be check at anytime? Would you temp getting caught?
Fishing and hunting is a privilege, as is driving. We forget sometimes where we live, everyone has a right to do what every they want as long as it doesn't destroy that right for everyone else.
Why do you think limits on fish, speed, etc.
are in place? cause human nature is to push the limits. We all pay when someone breaks this rules.
Don't get me wrong that our Gov. is not perfect, but its better then most country.

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I urge you to read the ruling. It doesn't have anything to do with filing taxes, buffalo or speeding.

It does, however, have a little bit to do with driving (as you mentioned) because part of the legal precedence that was used in the ruling is related to the government's ability to search a vehicle. Even though no one has a right to drive (it is a privilege), a law enforcement officer still cannot search your vehicle without probable cause, a warrant or your permission.

I have to whole-heartedly agree with you that our government is better than most. The sole reason why that is the case is because of our federal constitution and the rights that it affords the citizenry.

Again, I urge you to read the ruling.

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I have to agree with huskminn, if we attempt to infringe on the constitution with open ended searches under a Fish and Game banner, then where do you stop? Can the CO now just walk into your house and check your freezer because you purchased a fishing or hunting license?

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Good for Minnesota. Here I thought they'd just jump at anything that smacked of Big Brother. There is no reason for a CO to inspect my boat without probable cause. I don't have anything to hide, but I do have something to protect- my privacy and my dignity. If there is probable cause, that's another matter entirely. While this does make life a bit more difficult for the COs, we don't need any more damage to the few freedoms we have left.

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Does this mean the CO's can't walk up to check your fishing or hunting license?

Cops just can't stop you to see if you have a driver's license, can they?

Not trying to start a tiff, I seriously don't know the answer.

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I agree whole-heartedly with the decision. But for a long time I've been saying we need to police ourselves better so these issues don't come up. We've all fished next to someone that seems to be taking too many fish, or cleaned fish next to someone at a resort who either caught fish out of season or have too many.
Let the CO that comes over to your boat know your suspicions. You're not being a narc, you're doing your duty to our resource.

Evenflow

------------------
It's all just theory till you hit the water.

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Had a similer discussion last winter about the ice houses, again I am for the new law, as I put a lot of value on privacy and freedoms, but also understand the drawbacks. This will get a lot of attention. For sportsmen like you and I it is on us to pick up where the DNR can't. If you see a boat taking more then there limit or somebody keeping a fish that obviously isn't 14-16 inches on lakes like Mille Lacs get on the cell and alert the DNR and take down there license info, we can do a lot.

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Dave,

That's an interesting question.

I will do some checking, but, if I'm not mistaken, I think that a law enforcement person can ask you to produce your drivers license at any time while you are in the act of driving.

I would have to assume (again), that a CO could do the same as long as you are in the act of fishing/hunting.

I'll look more into that.

Evenflow,

I agree completely with you. All a CO needs is a tip from one of us to give them probably cause to search someone's livewell. wink.gif

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My first thought was that since I will be up on officer Steen's "home turf" this whole next week and very likely would see/be stopped by him (been checked several times in the past) I would give him a big "where's your warrrant officer?" line. But I am guessing he's not gonna be too crazy about taking a joke about this.
He has always been polite when checking me and my wife on the water.
I have mixed ideas abou this ruling (i read the actual). I remember how I felt when I was stopped, unlawfuly in my book, by an overzealous county deputy (way pi$$ed off). Told me the tinting in my car was too dark. I said explain to me how you can tell the tint shade at 3:30am with me going 70 mph on I-35 and you are sitting stationary in the median? This guy was in the next sundays paper as having somewhat questionable stop/search methods he learned while doing drug work in Missouri. Duh!
It will make those that violate/may violate harder to apprehend.
I'm guessing this will also bring an end to the roadblocks setup some weekends in the past?? No probable cause to stop every vehicle going down the road, right?
Guess if I see Off. Steen I'll ask him his take on all this.
Xplorer

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Thanks Huskminn but, I'd suspect if the CO doesn't have probable cause that I don't have a license, he can't search me.... if that makes sense wink.gif

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Guest

100% in Support of CO's and on the spot searches.

All this high minded talk about rights and freedoms and the constitution is pure B as in B and S as in S. For some reason people closer to the founding of this country than us did not realize these CO's were constitution breakers. And on this went for years and years and years until some civil libertarian lawyer looking to make a name and several hundred thousand dollors for himself took the side of some poachers and drug thugs who were caught red handed. I believe in innocennce until proven guilt, Trial by a jury in a court of law, and the right to a speedy trial. This is how justice prevails. Not by "you shalt go free on a technicality even though you are guilty."

You Fools! Fools Fools Fools A thousand times fools with your libertarian blather and sanctimonious stupity. We have a system with safe guard after safe guard for the truly innocent. It's not perfect, but it is very good and reasonably fair.

We must be very careful about providing safe guards for the guilty by handcuffing common sense and traditional means of law enforcement. I'm not an optimist when it comes to human nature, nor a pessimist. This was the stance and brilliance of our Founding Fathers. They saw human nature as both glorious and corrupt. They were imperfect realists not starry eye'd utopian idealists or dreary existenialists.

And the realist knows that when to do wrong becomes a protected right, than all rights, justice, and freedoms are in danger. Just as there can be to much government social/civil involvement there can be to much freedom. We as a nation are several steps closer to anarchy than totalitarianism. But Anarchy is a diving board to totalitarianism.

What in the heck is so overly intrusive about a C.O. asking for a look at your fish or for a quick peak in your fish house? They have been doing it for years! But you side with those who have broken the law as they use the constitution as cover for their misdeeds. And we have judges who side with people who use the constitution as cover for their exposed misdeeds. Libertarians are lemmings who will get what they fear most.

This libertarian madness needs to stop. You do not uphold the constitution by using it as toilet paper.

Make No mistake about it. The reason these cases come before the court is that some lawbreaker got busted and doesn't want to pay for their crime against us. And you think that is a good thing. You Fools!

Sorry to be so harsh, but I am suspicious of the motives of people who profer such irrational tripe and pass it off as sensible.

What happened to my original edit apologizing for the length.

[This message has been edited by Basspastor (edited 07-27-2002).]

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Basspastor,

Before your post gets deleted because of all the forum/site policies you violated, I thought I might muster a response.

Woah, Nelly! You must have got up on the wrong side of the pulpit today!

Last time I checked, supporting the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and our general system of justice (with its reliance on precedential rulings), was not a Libertarian issue, but an American issue.

How do you think we have survived as an indepentent State with one form of government for well over 225 years? Just by chance?

The funny thing about courts intrepreting and ruling on legislated statutes is that the rulings don't just apply to the case at hand...they apply to all similar cases.

Although you will never be convinced, because I'm just full of blather and sanctimonious stupidity, I think you are being horribly short-sighted. In the grand scheme of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, someone "stealing" walleyes or a deer from the State of Minnesota is pretty small pototatos. I hate that it happens, probably just as much as you do, but I try to put it in perspective.

What is far more important than game law violations is the survival of our legal system and individual freedoms, as they appear in the Constitution, unless our Congress comes up with a 2/3 vote and every state in the Union ratifies to change it.

If the game violations get bad enough, the Federal Gov't can declare martial law. Until then, I put my faith in the Constitution.

[This message has been edited by huskminn (edited 07-25-2002).]

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Hey BP,
You made your point in the first sentence.
The rest of it reads like the blathering diatribe (I know you have a dictionary) of the isane. Take your medication!!

[This message has been edited by Uncle Bill (edited 07-25-2002).]

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Alright boys, let's play nice!

The problem here is a lack of creative thinking. The posts are relying on an assumption that we have an "either/or" situation -- either we give COs unconstituional latitude to protect the resources or we endanger the resource. How about a third alternative, a "both/and"-- we hire more COs (a necessity even w/o the recent rulings), so they can acheive their mission of protecting the resources while operating within the constraints of the Constitution.

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BassPastor......
"100% in Support of CO's and on the spot searches" at least until they try to give you a citation for pre-season bass fishin. LOL
Just funnin ya BP!
How has the bucketmouths been treating you this summer?

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Guest

Way to go on the decision! Two thumbs up!!!

I hate being stopped and searched by CO's. I think it is a major privacy violation and a major waste of my precious time, especially since I employ the catch and release method.

I hate CO's and Police officers who has the mentality that all citizens are law breakers and must be investigated or searched on the spot.

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Spike, my guess would be the state wouldn't add CO's for a long time.

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