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Picked a good time to go with a lawsuit. The AG leaving and running for office. I would say this will be delayed until after November. Waugh!
 

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So what is the basis of the lawsuit? Officers going onto private property without permission? My computer won't allow me to open the link.
 

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I can’t see them over turning it but the warden in question has a lot of people who don’t care for him. If the stories I’ve heard from first hand members are true, it’s a little odd that he would pull surveillance some of the times he did. He’s the same kind of warden who checks a guys license 3 days in a row, when he’s sitting in the same spot, the 1st week of November.
 

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I never had a problem with him until he checked me 3 days in a row, under the same tree, when I was parked in the same spot, on my only week off. Each day he acted like he had never seen me before. The second day his deputy apologized. The 3rd morning his deputy was embarrassed. The 4th morning I met them halfway to me as he was coming in to check me for the 4th day in a row. He did not conduct himself in a professional manner at all. That’s the only bad experience I’ve ever had with a warden but it really soured me toward him.
 

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So do game wardens and police officers have the same set of standards to adhere to when it comes to being able to legally enter private property?
 

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Well, this sounds like there is more to it. Private hunting club, game wardens and cameras. Gee, Me thinks there is more than meets the eye. I bet they used to have some kind on anonymity and a private club that now gets checked out makes them nevous? Ok what is going on there for the interest by the PGC. Smell that. That is the fishy smell from the club.
 

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Law enforcement generally needs a warrant to do surveillance while on the physical private property which is why I asked if there is a different set of standards for our game agency.
 

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I never had a problem with him until he checked me 3 days in a row, under the same tree, when I was parked in the same spot, on my only week off. Each day he acted like he had never seen me before. The second day his deputy apologized. The 3rd morning his deputy was embarrassed. The 4th morning I met them halfway to me as he was coming in to check me for the 4th day in a row. He did not conduct himself in a professional manner at all. That’s the only bad experience I’ve ever had with a warden but it really soured me toward him.
He just had to find something eh? That is a little over the top, why would the guy not patrol another area? Maybe you were hunting in his favorite spot.

My late father raised pheasants on a pgc farm for 42 years and tried a stretch as a deputy too. The game warden he was working with was a similar sort, they were watching a group of small game hunters and the guy told dad "those guys have to be breaking the law somehow".....dad said that was it for him. That is the attitude for a corrections officer where everyone has been proven guilty, but a law enforcement officer that thinks everyone is already guilty will always be in conflict with the public he is serving.
 

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I never had a problem with him until he checked me 3 days in a row, under the same tree, when I was parked in the same spot, on my only week off. Each day he acted like he had never seen me before. The second day his deputy apologized. The 3rd morning his deputy was embarrassed. The 4th morning I met them halfway to me as he was coming in to check me for the 4th day in a row. He did not conduct himself in a professional manner at all. That’s the only bad experience I’ve ever had with a warden but it really soured me toward him.
Which brings up another question I have. Driving is a highly regulated activity but a police officer must have probable cause to stop you check your drivers license. Do wardens have to adhere to those same standards? If a warden does ask for your hunting license and ID, are hunters obligated to provide it without PC for the field check?
 

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Just heard of an instance where the pgc was tracking trail cameras ( cellular). They knew the guys number, who he was and every time that cam sent him a pic. They set one of their own up in there to catch him too.
Thought he was hunting over a mineral site.
They had no proof he had put it there and that he had any knowledge of it. Said when he they got him out of the tree that morning that he let them look through his phone and was cooperating. Told him if that ground tested positive for minerals he was getting fined. They called a couple weeks later…said it did and that he was getting a fine. Said he requested a hearing. Went in the biologist was giving his testimony. He said I have one question….how long can that stuff stay in the ground? Biologist said oh 25 years!
He said and you have NO proof I put anything there…I think we are done….and they were…law enforcement is using all your technology to track you whenever they want any time they want. Cellular cams …cellular phones etc.
Maybe some suspicious cell cam activity going on at those clubs.
 

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Thought I would add my two cents. Maybe what it's worth....

Don't know the particulars of this case, not very up on the particulars of PA game warden enforcement. But, after 30 years of LEO experience with multiple agencies, I know one thing...

Basic respect, common sense, and good communications skills go a long way towards making life easier for all parties concerned in a public / law enforcement encounter. People don't like to feel like their being disrespected. That does not mean LEO is backing down, letting their guard down, or loosing control of that particular situation, it just means using common sense when dealing with folks, most of whom are not going to be dangerous, hardened felons.

When I was teaching communications skills to fellow LEO's, I would walk around the class, stop by someone in the class, pull my pen out of my pocket, and purposely drop it on the floor next to them. "Oh jeez, could you pick that up for me" I'd say. Almost always the person would. A short time later, I would do the same thing with a different student, but would point at them, and in an angry voice would say "YOU - pick up that pen, and hand it to me, NOW". Some would be intimidated and do it. Most would tell me to stick it where the sun don't shine. Basic communications 101.

Most learn that pretty quickly, some never do.
 

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So do game wardens and police officers have the same set of standards to adhere to when it comes to being able to legally enter private property?
The short answer to that question is yes.

All law enforcement officers are bound by the exact same constitutional, court granted or mandated restraints as it concerns entry onto private property under the curtilage and/or open fields doctrine.

Some law enforcement agencies put further restrictions over and above what the constitution and courts grant or restrict on their officers. It is my experience that usually happens when the officers and/or leadership of the department or agency are under trained in criminal procedures and legal updates on court cases. When that happens it results in officers that don't fully understand what they are allowed to do or restricted from doing.

Dick Bodenhorn
 
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