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Punishment for Game Law Violations…

January 23rd, 2009

Most states have a point system that is used to dictate the punishment that comes from various game law violations. For example, in West Virginia, one can lose points on their license for various violations.  Here are some of the violations listed in the game law book:

  • 10 points use of spotlight with firearms or other implement.
  • 6 points illegal possession or sale of wildlife or illegally killing deer, boar, or turkey.
  • 6 points hunting from a motor vehicle.
  • 4 points all other hunting violations.

When a person racks up 10 or more points, they lose their hunting or fishing privileges for a period of 2 years.  I could not find any evidence in the game book that longer penalties are enacted in the state of WV.

While doing some “online reading” today, I came across a story that I thought you all might be interested in.  In North Dakota, there is a current bill that has been proposed that will lengthen the period of time that a hunting license can be taken away from a repeat offender.  This is to help close a loop hole where hunters from other states who have lost their licenses for a longer period of time than the 3 year maximum now in the ND law, come to the state to get to hunt.  ND, like many other states, have a reciprocal agreement.  If you lose your license in Wyoming, for example, you cannot go into ND to hunt.  However, other states have a “lifetime ban” for those who are chronic repeat offenders.  The 3 year maximum currently applies to even those who have lost their license on a lifetime ban in other states.  The change in law would make it possible for ND to ban these chronic offenders as well.

I personally like the idea that chronic game law offenders can lose their license for life.  Granted, this is not going to stop those who have no regard for hunting laws anyway (like those that are mentioned in the linked article above).  They are still going to poach deer.  However, if they have their license taken away, the punishment can be much more harsh when they are caught, even if caught in a different state.

The point system is fair for most of us.  It allows for us to have minor violations by accident.  Regardless of how honest and careful we are, there is still a chance that we could violate some law without knowing it.  The point system makes it so that unintentional violations do not cause a person to lose all hunting rights.  But, I think that all states should move toward what ND is doing.  Every state needs to have a provision for those who simply have no regard for game/fish laws.

You all know that I strive for keeping every game law.  These laws will make it possible to punish those who insist on violating the law.  These chronic violators reflect badly on the rest of us, since they gain far more press than the honest, lawful hunters.  Being able to inflict greater consequences on these offenders will make it possible to show that we will not tolerate intentional violations!

5 Responses to “Punishment for Game Law Violations…”

  1. I totally agree. Anything we can do to more severely punish the true offenders but not go over the top of the “innocent” guy who has an accidental take is something I support.

  2. Amen! No mercy for the pigs who have no respect for wildlife and the laws designed to ensure wildlife’s survival.

    Just like repeat drunk drivers, I’m sure some would continue to poach and break other laws, but there’s no reason to make it easy for them.

  3. (Oh, I’m sorry, that was very disrespectful to pigs.)

  4. NorCal, that was funny!

    It is a matter of respect for the animals. As Jon pointed out, we need to punish these type of offenders much more severely than the guy who just misunderstood, or misinterpreted a game law…

  5. It sounds like a good idea to me!

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