Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: newly relocated to Huntsville, AL
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ATTN HUNTERS: I NEED YOUR HELP!
i am sorry that this is long, but i need your help. please read this and post it on every hunting site that you can. i think that you all need to be aware of what could happen to you. here is my story:
Friday evening I shot my first deer ever in archery season. It was nice little 6-pt. at about 25 yards. However after finding the deer, I discovered that it was actually only a 4-pt and I had made a mistake. (for those of you that don't know, it is a new law this year in Pa, that any antlered deer must have at least 3-pts on one side) so I went ahead and tagged and dressed the deer and since I was already late to help a friend move, I just hung it up for the night. So the next morning I called the game commission and told them I wanted to report a 'mistake kill'(which requires a $25 restitution fee). They sent a person from the game commission out to where I was. I gave him a written account of what happened and took the officer to my stand so he could investigate my story. After about a half hour of taking pictures and measuring distances, the officer says 'We have 2 problems here'The problems were 1) I had waited until morning to call instead of calling immediately. 2) In his opinion, at the measured 27 yards, I should have been able to verify that the deer did have a legal rack. As a result I am being charged with 'negligence'with the result being loss of deer(and tag), a minimum $500 fine and he said I would likely lose my license for at least 1 year.
Despite trying to reason with him that this was excessive considering that I called him and that it was an honest mistake, he assured me that this was his duty under the law.
It just seems very wrong to me that I am going to be punished the same as some outlaw who knowingly kills and illegal deer and gets caught trying to sneak this deer home in the trunk of his car. Or if upon realizing that it was not a legal 6-pt, I would have just walked away from the deer and left it there to rot while I continued hunting. If I were to be caught doing that, my punishment would be the same. Does that seem right to you?
I admit that I did make a mistake in verifying that it was a legal deer, but obviously I thought it was legal or I would not have shot the deer. And also the law does state that you are to call within 12 hours and I waited about 17. (From one night, until the next morning) But the fact remains that I DID call and I did not try to cover it up.
here is what the Pa Game Commission has posted about this on its official website:
HUNTERS GIVEN DIRECTION ON HOW TO HANDLE MISTAKE BUCK KILL
With new antler restrictions in place for the 2002-2003 deer seasons, the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners today gave final approval to a measure clarifying - and hopefully easing hunters' concerns - how hunters who mistakenly kill a buck that doesn't meet the antler point requirement should handle the situation.
Under the new regulation, hunters are required to complete and attach their deer harvest tag to the deer immediately after killing it and before moving it. The mistake kill must be reported as soon as possible, but no later than 12 hours after the time of kill, to the region office serving the county in which the deer was harvested. While the hunter will be required to pay a $25 restitution fee and surrender the antlers, the hunter will be permitted to keep the carcass to make use of the venison.
I have an appointment to go talk to the regional supervisor this afternoon and i am hoping that he will see that this is not right and only encourages people who make an honest mistake to try be dishonest.
i will keep you all posted, thanks for all the help!