Utah Wildlife Forum banner
21 - 39 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,234 Posts
Just out of curiosity -- it sounds to me like you guys think that fishing without a license is a big issue in Utah. is that correct?

Personally, I don't think that "not being checked" is accurate. I do think that you probably have been "observed" while fishing. I also think that it's possible that license plates of vehicles in parking areas are looked at, names run through checks, etc.

For me, I try to follow all of the laws and rules, so I don't feel like I need to be "checked". It would be a waste of time for an officer to come ask me for my license, because I always have a legal license with me. However, if I were out smoking a joint while fishing? Then maybe there would be a good reason to be approached and "checked".

FWIW -- I went with the DWR a couple years ago to Fish Lake for a "blitz". Basically, they had a bunch of LEOs all dressed in plain old snow clothes. We all jumped on ATVs, with sleds full of fishing gear. We went out on the ice, they set up a couple tents, and then they started watching all the other anglers out on the ice.

Just because a LEO didn't walk up to you and speak with you doesn't mean you haven't been "checked". But, I get it, sometimes we want that presence of a uniformed officer out making contact.
This X100
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,894 Posts
I don't know about others- but when I drive- and pretty much every time I'm with someone else who is driving- and a police vehicle is seen, we slow down. Doesn't matter if we are going the under or over the speed limit, we slow down. Something to be said about enforcement by simply being visible.

In Utah, I've been checked fishing a handful of times, hunting a handful of times. I think the officers do the best they can. I have also sat in meetings where it has been stated that they don't have the man power to cover their areas. It is more than just ice fishing. Such as illegal/non-approved activities on WMAs is an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,345 Posts
I have also sat in meetings where it has been stated that they don't have the man power to cover their areas.
If that is the case, then why do we want them to waste what time they do have checking anglers for licenses? Don't they have "bigger fish to fry"? Again -- do you guys think license infractions are a big issue??


I won't argue with the visibility deterrent. No question about that. I just don't understand why people want to be checked when they aren't doing anything wrong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,631 Posts
I must look like some sort of a dirtbag while out fishing. I have been "checked" multiple times while fishing. Several times while ice fishing at Strawberry, a couple of times on the hard deck at Fish lake, a time or two elsewhere. A couple of years ago, the CO kind of snuck up to me at Jordanelle while I was getting ready to launch. I had my waders on and my paper license was in the recesses of my wallet below my wading belt. It gave me a chance to use my handy-dandy phone app though. Maybe I seemed suspicious because I was startled. 🤷‍♂️ I have been checked twice while big game hunting. Both times were in the Book Cliffs the two times I had an antlerless elk tag for there.

FWIW -- I went with the DWR a couple years ago to Fish Lake for a "blitz". Basically, they had a bunch of LEOs all dressed in plain old snow clothes. We all jumped on ATVs, with sleds full of fishing gear. We went out on the ice, they set up a couple tents, and then they started watching all the other anglers out on the ice.

Just because a LEO didn't walk up to you and speak with you doesn't mean you haven't been "checked". But, I get it, sometimes we want that presence of a uniformed officer out making contact.
I like when they do this. Many years ago, we were ice fishing Scofield. A couple of Good-ol-boys sauntered down to "fish". They were more intent on emptying the 24 pack of Natty light they brought with them and before long they had cans strewn all around where they were fishing. Unbeknownst to them (and everyone else there) one of our fellow angling "groups" was a CO group like you describe. The CO came over, checked their licenses, and told them they had 10 minutes to clean up all the beer cans or they would get a ticket for littering. The GOB's wisely complied and left.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Just out of curiosity -- it sounds to me like you guys think that fishing without a license is a big issue in Utah. is that correct?
You probably live in the region with the most citations written for fishing without a license because of the Nevada and California crowd. They are smart enough to know that it's just as cheap to take a chance of not getting caught as it is to purchase a nonresident license. The CO's stated that sometimes a person would be cited one day and be right back out the next day still without a valid license.

Your right about being observed without being checked. I have plenty of time to observe myself when I'm out in my tube and there have been a lot of times and at a lot of different locations I've seen the CO's parked and watching for suspicious activity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,260 Posts
I won't argue with the visibility deterrent. No question about that. I just don't understand why people want to be checked when they aren't doing anything wrong.
If you really understand what visible enforcement does, and there’s really no question about it as you posted above, then why ask a question? Seems pretty self explanatory based on your own posts. This one isn’t that tough to comprehend.

But just to humor you since this one seems to be hard for you - I don’t WANT to be checked while I’m doing nothing wrong, but I’m willing to be checked so they can catch others that are doing something wrong. It’s not just valid licenses. That’s a way to look into other things. You think that highway patrol trooper gives a crap about that broken tail light you got pulled over for? Nope, they don’t. But it gave them a reason to look for something else. And those things do matter.

High visibility enforcement has been proven to be one the most efficient deterrents to illegal behavior that there is. Preventing the illegal take of wildlife in Utah seems like a noble cause to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,345 Posts
'Nilla -- thank you. That's what I hoped to hear. When you say "I've never been checked", it isn't because you want to be checked, it's because you aren't seeing any law enforcement officers out-and-about. So, it isn't a gripe that LEOs are being "lazy" not doing their jobs -- it's just simply that you aren't seeing them doing their jobs.

We hear people quite frequently complain about LEOs being lazy and just sitting in their trucks staying warm, not doing their jobs. These are the complaints I don't like. Visibility alone certainly is a deterrent, and that truck sitting on the hill watching a group of people fishing certainly is being "checked". The problem is when there are no trucks to be found at all.

That's an issue that may not have a simple remedy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,233 Posts
Personally, I don't think that "not being checked" is accurate. I do think that you probably have been "observed" while fishing. I also think that it's possible that license plates of vehicles in parking areas are looked at, names run through checks, etc.

I like your thinking! I believe when they show a face on the ice, (or wherever) others visually see this. Makes a difference IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,260 Posts
You’ve never heard me accuse our wildlife LEOs of being lazy. I do think they could do a better job in the visibility (yes, checking licenses is part of that) but that isn’t necessarily the individual officers fault. And it’s not because they are lazy. They need a change in priorities, and that comes from above.

And that change in priorities would make a difference. And yes, give them more resources. I’m on board with that too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,894 Posts
Sorry PBH- we all just thought it was common sense that people don't want to be checked. You made that go-around a lot harder than it needed to be. There was a sentence before the quote which stated the COs do the best they can. You're good at this internet stuff. ; )
And for the record, when someone says it isn't a priority- maybe his statement has nothing to do with the individual CO. Maybe it isn't a priority higher up the food chain with those who could fund more officers, which in turn would make it more of a priority....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,233 Posts
And that change in priorities would make a difference. And yes, give them more resources. I’m on board with that too.

Bump the app fees to $15-$20 and there's the resource for a few more officers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I'm definitely not being asked to be checked more either. As others have said its just the benefit of visual presence. I've had great and professional interactions with COs myself (I'm not a lowly dirtbag like Catherder) and believe it just helps to see them out and about.

And I'd be fine with a fee increase if it meant resourcing them more.

I figured they kept an eye but had no clue they did such blitzes like you describe. For some reason my mind went to Reno 911 on Ice (not the failed Disney show).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,860 Posts
Here's the closest I've ever been to being checked by a CO in Utah while hunting.

Had killed a cow elk that morning, we were driving to drop it off at camp and saw a CO pulled over looking at something with binos. We stopped to see what caught his attention and were surprised to see a young bull moose near Old Folks Flat in Huntington Canyon. We got out and talked with him, blood on our shirts, and hooves sticking out the back of the truck. After several minutes we decided it was time to get going, and so I asked if he wanted to check our licenses. All he said was no. Didn't ever ask about the blood, if he saw the hooves he didn't give any sign of interest.

All in that was...interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,233 Posts
Here's the closest I've ever been to being checked by a CO in Utah while hunting.

Had killed a cow elk that morning, we were driving to drop it off at camp and saw a CO pulled over looking at something with binos. We stopped to see what caught his attention and were surprised to see a young bull moose near Old Folks Flat in Huntington Canyon. We got out and talked with him, blood on our shirts, and hooves sticking out the back of the truck. After several minutes we decided it was time to get going, and so I asked if he wanted to check our licenses. All he said was no. Didn't ever ask about the blood, if he saw the hooves he didn't give any sign of interest.

All in that was...interesting.
Maybe he concluded that such an interaction with what you described, a group of hunters wouldn't have the balls to do what you guys did without being legal and in proper order. ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Here's the closest I've ever been to being checked by a CO in Utah while hunting.

Had killed a cow elk that morning, we were driving to drop it off at camp and saw a CO pulled over looking at something with binos. We stopped to see what caught his attention and were surprised to see a young bull moose near Old Folks Flat in Huntington Canyon. We got out and talked with him, blood on our shirts, and hooves sticking out the back of the truck. After several minutes we decided it was time to get going, and so I asked if he wanted to check our licenses. All he said was no. Didn't ever ask about the blood, if he saw the hooves he didn't give any sign of interest.

All in that was...interesting.
Not all people driving around in DWR trucks are in enforcement, most are biologist that won't get involved unless they see some sort of obvious infraction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,345 Posts
Regarding visibility, johnnycakes story, and BPturkeys reply:

There was a time, way back in the "olden days", when the general public didn't seem too concerned about DWR employees driving their state issued vehicles around the town, or even up on the mountain. Today that is a big "no-no". And yet, I think, other law enforcement agencies seem to be more relaxed on some personal use of vehicles (city police, sheriff's, etc.). Is this correct?

Maybe to help address the visibility aspect, we should allow our LEOs, as well as other positions (biologists, managers, etc.) to drive their DWR vehicles around? Maybe that would provide the very visual presence that everyone is asking for without having to hire more LEOs? Of course, maybe those employees would rather have a nice weekend without the general public bugging them as soon as they pull up in a DWR vehicle...

Just thinking out loud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I'm 100% supportive of LEOs or COs drive such vehicles home. The logistics of their jobs just seem to justify it.

Others, no, unless it's logistically justified (ex, house on way to meeting the next day). We couldn't as field staff with the USFS and it made total sense.

But I'll fully admit I'm biased as I disagree with a lot of civil servant benefits. But that's a different story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,860 Posts
Not all people driving around in DWR trucks are in enforcement, most are biologist that won't get involved unless they see some sort of obvious infraction.
Biologists don't tend to introduce themselves as "Officer ...."

He was 100% a CO.
 
21 - 39 of 39 Posts
Top