Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Typical Hunters Blast Away At Anything: Group Caught Shooting Randomly at Decoys

Typical hunters – no game at all. Just drink and blast away. Very sad. Glad they were stupid enough to fall for it. But shows you how scary these type of people are. Just let the bullets fly.


Hunters blast away at elk decoy; nine cited


By Cory Hatch
October 24, 2006

A young bull elk decoy in a closed hunting area off Union Pass Road looked too good to resist for a number of hunters whom Wyoming Game and Fish cited Oct. 1.

Of 29 people who slowed down their vehicles to look at the decoy, nine, or 31 percent, fired weapons at it, resulting in 19 citations and four warnings from officers.

All nine hunters fired either from their vehicles or from the road itself. A total of 30 bullets hit the decoy. "Three people shot it so many times they knocked it over," said Scott Werbelow, game warden supervisor for the Jackson/Pinedale region.

In 2002, Game and Fish targeted the same location, racking up 17 citations and three warnings. The area, called elk area 95, has a history of problems, partly because of its late opening date and relatively high concentration of animals.

This year's effort resulted in six citations for shooting from a roadway, three citations for taking elk from a vehicle, six citations for taking elk during a closed season, three citations for taking elk without a license, and one citation for transfer of license. All told, the fines amounted to $7,700.

"In this situation the decoy was in a closed area," Werbelow said. "So everyone that shot it was in violation. We had people that didn't even have licences."

"If there had been a moving part [to the decoy], we would have had more shooters," he said. "It's not like everybody that comes down the road shoots it. It's typically designed for somebody that is road hunting or going to shoot from the road."

Normally, Werbelow said, offenders deny any wrongdoing, but when faced with a decoy, they usually confess.

"It puts the game warden ... and the hunter at the scene at the same time," he said. "We typically don't have that kind of information in our job."

"Typically, people are very humble or mad at themselves," Werbelow said. "They feel bad. They can't believe that they did it."

Most of the time, a hunter's excitement upon seeing an elk overwhelms his sense of right and wrong, Werbelow said. "It's quite an educational tool. I guarantee, everybody that shot this [decoy] will think twice before they do it again."

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