Unfriendly Kansas. What's happened here?

Nugent

Well-known member
I've never had a negative interaction with a Kansas Game Warden, but I've only had a handful of encounters.

One time, though, I was hunting some posted ground along a state highway. I had verbal permission to be there. A Highway Patrolman stopped to check us for permission. It was the first field of the day, so prime hunting hours. He called us all out to the highway to see if we had written permission, which we didn't. He made me dig out my cell phone and call the landowner so that the landowner could tell him we had permission. I'm not sure how he would have known that the guy on the other end of the phone was the actual landowner, but he was satisfied. Then he wanted to check our licenses. All was in order and no tickets were written. He was friendly enough, but I would think a Highway Patrolman would have bigger fish to fry than randomly checking a group of hunters for permission and then licenses...

I carry a short leash in my hunting coat for situations like this, but mine wasn't the only dog milling around on the shoulder of the highway while this all happened.
That's absolutely insane!!!
 

KSnative

Active member
If those were nice looking tracks - those were probably the Union Pacific road my brother ran - traffic is probably down w our economy in the toilet - but who knows - depending on exactly where you're at there are lots of RR workers around various towns etc -- someone was probably having a bad day and called you in.

The RR's can go to hell as far as I'm concerned - they stole and conned their way to obtain the land to begin with if you go back in the history books.
I did not realize that the RRs had stolen land from the First People. What history book are you reading from? :)
 
I agree that KDWPT game wardens are way under paid and way under staffed and are in general good guys, sorry you had a bad run in we all have had something. They do have a thankless job for the most part. Now... last year we where checked in our duck blind by a Federal Game warden, the one who covers 4 state at a time and yes he was only there to write tickets. We where lucky that all our friends that weekend had everything squared away but he went through everything you could think of. He even checked our shot guns to confirm the could not float a 4th shell. When I saw him doing it he said even it's manufactured to be able to he is writing a ticket, even said he hates wasting his hims time if he doesn't write at least one. We had KDPWT wardens at our blind several times that year and the day before so we where good. Each person has their job to do and as long as you treat them with respect they normally will return it.
 

KsHusker

Active member
I did not realize that the RRs had stolen land from the First People. What history book are you reading from? :)
Well lets just say my choice of words could have been rethought - and my point of reference was not going way back. To get technical yes the First People had their land stolen by the US Govt - RR land was then given through con games and corruption to the RR barons.

My .02 - and I'm sure there are many ways and perspectives out there that are different.

My point of reference was late 1800s to early 1900s -- A farmer in Lincoln county that was a distant relative of a good buddy of mine would let us hunt - he was a very well educated man and student of history - anyways at times we enjoyed just visiting with him in his house when time allowed -- he came across some platt books at an estate sale for Lincoln County -- I believe one was dated 1909, the other about 1920 or 30 something - maybe 40s -- either way a significant gap -- it was interesting to see all of the sections and quarter sections of ground the RR's had that were likely given to them or sold for fractions of what they were worth with the promise the RR would develop a track through the area -- you'd look at the platt map later and low and behold no RR trestle through there - the RR divested of the land and was able to sell it to a farming family. I believe he was interested in the maps if I recall so he could find every old one room school house in the county -- I believe Lincoln county has most of them marked with a marker -- I think he had visited/found virtually all of them save for 4 or 5 last time we saw him.
 

KSnative

Active member
Well lets just say my choice of words could have been rethought - and my point of reference was not going way back. To get technical yes the First People had their land stolen by the US Govt - RR land was then given through con games and corruption to the RR barons.

My .02 - and I'm sure there are many ways and perspectives out there that are different.

My point of reference was late 1800s to early 1900s -- A farmer in Lincoln county that was a distant relative of a good buddy of mine would let us hunt - he was a very well educated man and student of history - anyways at times we enjoyed just visiting with him in his house when time allowed -- he came across some platt books at an estate sale for Lincoln County -- I believe one was dated 1909, the other about 1920 or 30 something - maybe 40s -- either way a significant gap -- it was interesting to see all of the sections and quarter sections of ground the RR's had that were likely given to them or sold for fractions of what they were worth with the promise the RR would develop a track through the area -- you'd look at the platt map later and low and behold no RR trestle through there - the RR divested of the land and was able to sell it to a farming family. I believe he was interested in the maps if I recall so he could find every old one room school house in the county -- I believe Lincoln county has most of them marked with a marker -- I think he had visited/found virtually all of them save for 4 or 5 last time we saw him.
Just to be clear, we're all on the same side here. We, like the First People (OK - I'll say it - INDIANS) are probably part of a dying breed. Best we stick together and concentrate our fire to thwart those who would deprive us of what remains of our liberty, and way of life. Happy hunting!
 

Gatzby

Active member
Tales of the Kansas Warden:

So, decades ago a friend and I were going to walk one last draw right before sunset. It went uphill to the East about 500 yards and we had permission on the land. We figured we'd get to the end of the draw about 5-10 minutes before quitting time.

We walked it, two roosters flushed way ahead at the end of the draw; no shots. We worked it out and then stood there and watched the setting sun for a few minutes. We start back walking to the truck with our O/Us broken open and butt first over our shoulder. The dogs walking along side but ranging out a little. As we walk a Game Warden pulled up by our truck.

We get there and first thing he says is "you boys are hunting a little late, aren't you." We explain what we did, point out the broken O/Us. He's not having it and writes us both up. Yeah, we were a bit upset. Told him we'd see him in court. He says that'll be six weeks from now. We said we're fine with that, we'll be back hunting anyway. Before we left town, we called on the county attorney and told him our side. He says don't worry about it.

We get to the courthouse on the date and hear the county attorney ripping this warden a new one about writing us up and telling him to just drop it. Oh no...the warden won't drop it.

We go before the judge. We tell her our story. She is very sympathetic. Asks the warden to just drop the charges. Oh no...he whips out the KS statutes and points out that our dogs were not on a leash and the statute says dogs off a leash mean you are hunting. Plops it down in front of the judge. She reads it and asks us if the dogs were on a leash. We say no, they weren't. She says sorry boys...nothing I can do if he won't be reasonable. Guilty as charged.

We paid the fine. Pretty hefty for back then with court costs and all.

I still remember that jackhole warden's name to this day. I also carry a light 18" nylon lead in my vest.
Just over a year ago on a combo upland/waterfowl hunt in the Hoisington area we had a similar experience. Well past the end of shooting hours we stopped at a tilled field just outside of town to air dogs before putting them up for the night. We were parked in a liquor store parking lot and turned 5 dogs out to air and walked them into the field. We didn't have guns and all the dogs were wearing lighted colors and we carried flashlights.

The gentleman from KDWPT walked out to tell us it was past shooting hours and having unleashed dogs was considered hunting (or something to the effect) he then proceeded to basically strip search us and our vehicles. He didn't issue any tickets as we were legal, but he made it clear that he could ticket us for hunting past legal shooting hours. The interaction was polite but unreasonable.

This was day two of a five day hunt. All seven of us packed up at daybreak and went to SD for the balance of the trip. I felt bad for the gentleman we rented the house from but none of us were willing to condone the behavior of this officer or worry about another strip search.

I have been checked by CO's in SD, MT, ND, MN, KS probably a total of 8 times in my life. I've never received a ticket and have always found the interactions to be enjoyable, except once!
 
Just over a year ago on a combo upland/waterfowl hunt in the Hoisington area we had a similar experience. Well past the end of shooting hours we stopped at a tilled field just outside of town to air dogs before putting them up for the night. We were parked in a liquor store parking lot and turned 5 dogs out to air and walked them into the field. We didn't have guns and all the dogs were wearing lighted colors and we carried flashlights.

The gentleman from KDWPT walked out to tell us it was past shooting hours and having unleashed dogs was considered hunting (or something to the effect) he then proceeded to basically strip search us and our vehicles. He didn't issue any tickets as we were legal, but he made it clear that he could ticket us for hunting past legal shooting hours. The interaction was polite but unreasonable.

This was day two of a five day hunt. All seven of us packed up at daybreak and went to SD for the balance of the trip. I felt bad for the gentleman we rented the house from but none of us were willing to condone the behavior of this officer or worry about another strip search.

I have been checked by CO's in SD, MT, ND, MN, KS probably a total of 8 times in my life. I've never received a ticket and have always found the interactions to be enjoyable, except once!
Only takes once sometimes ! As a rule a reputation ( even generalizations ) are earned sadly.
 

Chestle

Active member
The gentleman from KDWPT walked out to tell us it was past shooting hours and having unleashed dogs was considered hunting (or something to the effect) he then proceeded to basically strip search us and our vehicles. He didn't issue any tickets as we were legal, but he made it clear that he could ticket us for hunting past legal shooting hours.
So it's still going on. It must be something they emphasize in KS Game Warden school. It's ridiculous, in the true meaning. It makes them targets of ridicule.
 

Prairie Drifter

Well-known member
Here is a touch of the other side of the story. When you manage a property and invest much of your life into making it better for hunters and fishermen and get: duck hunter's truck is 40 yards behind the no vehicles sign parked 4 feet from a no parking sign blocking the gate your heavy equipment operator needs in while his $160/hr excavator is running while I chase the guy down to move his truck; I'm feeding dogs at the headquarters where I live and Joe give a crap drives in with his jeep past a dozen signs that say refuge-closed to all activities then drives within 6 feet of the no vehicles sign then drives through my farming permittee's wheat into the timber beyond onto the "walking" archery trail....yeah I was the dick; have you ever had to clean human brains off of your handicap jetty because a man having financial trouble shot himself in the head in front of 3 single digit age girls who had just been fishing beside him, have you worked a car wreck only to have to find someone's grandmother wadded up like a rag doll dead up in the dash; have you walked 2 others from that wreck to the ambulance and helicopter only to find they didn't make it to the hospital; have you stopped to check pheasant hunters only to have them point their loaded guns at you while they crossed the fence; have you had to clean up a van load of new fluorescent light bulbs 3 workers threw into your oxbow so they didn't have to install them at full pay into the Walmart store; have you been asked to go find some out-of-state campers in the park for a death notification only to find it wasn't their ailing aunt, but their daughter that was the pillar of the family; have you watched a roll-over wreck only to find that 1 of the 4's head was only attached by skin after being pile driven into the ground; have you had to explain to grown men that gutting bambi on the shoulder of a major highway was damaging all hunter's image to the little girls and boys driving by; have you waded into the lake in February to recover a car stolen and rolled down the boat ramp; have you had to write a man who had driven up the back of the lake's dam through 3 foot tall weeds just so he could get to his dozen tackle boxes while fishing from his tailgate; have you had to talk a man off of a bridge railing because he was off his meds; have you had a man threaten you with a 12 gauge just because you asked him nicely to not run his gasoline bicycle under power because it wasn't tagged as required? I am almost always the cordial and helpful officer when I stop to make contact with you, but do look at yourself through our lenses if we appear to be gruff because our last encounter may have been with one of the above. Laws and signs are all there to make your hunting and fishing activities enjoyable and fair to all. God Bless you all and, pay it forward by taking a kid with you on one of your adventures!
 

KSnative

Active member
I don't want to inject politics in this thread; I have a 2nd Amendment thread in The Lounge for those interested. I do encourage all those interested in preserving the 2nd Amendment to be a member of the NRA, the Second Amendment Foundation and Gun Owners of America. It's $85 annually for all three.

However there is an interesting article here (click link): The Separation

It's a long read. His thesis is that there is now irrevocably Two Americas. I think I'm in this group.



Now I'll shut up about this and keep my political type comments in The Lounge.
I could not agree more, although I personally have been targeting my contributions even more precisely. NRA as a whole is suffering some partly self inflicted wounds as of late. I sincerely hope they can clear a few things up soon, for the good of all. Because of this, and because I strongly believe that it is the most effective use of my resources, I have been specifically directing assistance to the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action - where bad laws are countered and good laws fostered.
 

westksbowhunter

Well-known member
Unfortunately we have not heard from the game wardens. Their stories would differ I am sure. I have met arrogant law enforcement but everytime I was in the wrong when they stopped me for a speeding violation.
 

turtle

Member
As I think, I did run into one game warden who was a super dick. He wasn't even on duty, he was fishing in a boat, and we were fishing off shore. Talked to my buddy who is now regional director of wildlife and parks about him, and he knew exactly who I was talking about. Seems like he's a dick regardless of who he runs into. Guess some folks are just that way.
Were you at Toronto lake by chance?
 

turtle

Member
Here is a touch of the other side of the story. When you manage a property and invest much of your life into making it better for hunters and fishermen and get: duck hunter's truck is 40 yards behind the no vehicles sign parked 4 feet from a no parking sign blocking the gate your heavy equipment operator needs in while his $160/hr excavator is running while I chase the guy down to move his truck; I'm feeding dogs at the headquarters where I live and Joe give a crap drives in with his jeep past a dozen signs that say refuge-closed to all activities then drives within 6 feet of the no vehicles sign then drives through my farming permittee's wheat into the timber beyond onto the "walking" archery trail....yeah I was the dick; have you ever had to clean human brains off of your handicap jetty because a man having financial trouble shot himself in the head in front of 3 single digit age girls who had just been fishing beside him, have you worked a car wreck only to have to find someone's grandmother wadded up like a rag doll dead up in the dash; have you walked 2 others from that wreck to the ambulance and helicopter only to find they didn't make it to the hospital; have you stopped to check pheasant hunters only to have them point their loaded guns at you while they crossed the fence; have you had to clean up a van load of new fluorescent light bulbs 3 workers threw into your oxbow so they didn't have to install them at full pay into the Walmart store; have you been asked to go find some out-of-state campers in the park for a death notification only to find it wasn't their ailing aunt, but their daughter that was the pillar of the family; have you watched a roll-over wreck only to find that 1 of the 4's head was only attached by skin after being pile driven into the ground; have you had to explain to grown men that gutting bambi on the shoulder of a major highway was damaging all hunter's image to the little girls and boys driving by; have you waded into the lake in February to recover a car stolen and rolled down the boat ramp; have you had to write a man who had driven up the back of the lake's dam through 3 foot tall weeds just so he could get to his dozen tackle boxes while fishing from his tailgate; have you had to talk a man off of a bridge railing because he was off his meds; have you had a man threaten you with a 12 gauge just because you asked him nicely to not run his gasoline bicycle under power because it wasn't tagged as required? I am almost always the cordial and helpful officer when I stop to make contact with you, but do look at yourself through our lenses if we appear to be gruff because our last encounter may have been with one of the above. Laws and signs are all there to make your hunting and fishing activities enjoyable and fair to all. God Bless you all and, pay it forward by taking a kid with you on one of your adventures!
Troy, I can say yes to a couple of your experiences after working wrecker calls but no where near what you have seen and not able to unsee. You my friend are a great Embassador of the state.
People keep lumping all wardens in the same pile. If Kansas has 50 wardens and 2 of them are dicks you still have a 96% success.
 

Prairie Drifter

Well-known member
Troy, I can say yes to a couple of your experiences after working wrecker calls but no where near what you have seen and not able to unsee. You my friend are a great Embassador of the state.
People keep lumping all wardens in the same pile. If Kansas has 50 wardens and 2 of them are dicks you still have a 96% success.
We are all human and there are days where you can't get past the biggest arse of the day. I try to always start out very cordial with folks. If you get them comfortable from the start, it can dictate the tenor of the entire experience. However, there are those folks that don't respect anything surrounding law or ethics and you can often see that in their first sentence. Yes, we have some officers that are way too full of themselves. There are some in every group in life. Just remember the officer approaching you has a history and some of it may not be memorable for positive things. We try to not carry negativity forward, but we can fail to exhale and leave those thoughts and feelings behind. All too often we leave home for an 8 hour shift and don't see home when we expected to. I've done 24 hours straight before and your mood can darken. When you just held a 6 year old girl's neck immobile waiting for the EMT's to arrive and the next contact is some joker abusing the driving law, it's hard to not transfer that girl's situation onto this one. We are there to make your time in the field enjoyable and, hopefully, repeatable. If we are a tad sharp, ask us why! Might get us back into now and off then. Thanks!
 

Davbjon

New member
My hunting buddy and I travel to Kansas from Tennessee most years to hunt. We met a wildlife officer somewhere between Kingman and Pratt and talked to him for quite a while before we discovered it was Prairie Drifter. Troy could not have been more helpful or nicer.
 

wolfcreeknc

Member
Just to lighten things up, here is a funny Christmas ha-ha to share:
I don’t mean to be a Grinch however.... to those of you who are placing Christmas lights/decorations in your yards, would you please avoid anything that has Red or Blue flashing lights together? Every time I come around the corner, I think it's the police and I have a panic attack. I have to brake hard, toss my beer out the window, fasten my seat belt, throw my phone on the floor, turn my radio down, and push the gun under the seat. All while trying to drive.
It's just too much drama, even for Christmas. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
 
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