Big Bend Conservancy
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I was caught by the old fake snake on the road trick used by LE in BiG Bend National Park this weekend. Two things I didn't know. 1> You cannot have a snake hook in the vehicle (I got a large ticket for having a weapon/trap/net ?!?) 2> You cannot have dead museum specimens legally collected several hundred miles away with a scientific permit in your cooler (an even larger ticket). So if you are a herper and plan to be in big bend. Make sure you leave all animals/equipment that you legally collected in your tent, because if you turn around to identify or photograph any herp while in the park you are likely going to be searched. They confiscated all my herping equipment including my scientific permit (why not my hunting permit - HB 12!?) vadoni ps> The LE officer was very cool, and cut me several breaks. He could have given me much stiffer fines as well as made me appear in an Alpine court and confiscate my camera. So if you do get busted (even if you were not aware it was illegal), be polite!
The LE officer told me he has given tickets for the same thing to others. I asked him what law I violated and he told me to look online under Code of Federal Regulation 36CFR 2.4A1 I would like to fight it, but the money I will need to spend on gas and the time off from work make it not worth it. I figure the best thing I can do is expose this stupid scam so that the number of busts this guy gets drops off. The bottom line is he is trying to look good for his superiors.
Correct. I had a TPW scientific collecting permit, which I only carried on this trip do to HB12. So it was not valid for the park. But I proved the animals were collected outside the park with data, maps, and photos. The LE officer even told me he knows that I didn't collect in the park, but it is illegal to have any wildlife in the car. (so that 70 year old lady with a wildflower should get the same ticket)
Just a few miles west of panther junction No I did not exit my vehicle. And the excuse I was given for being pulled over was that I was speeding. I was not speeding and the LE passed me and turned around a mile or so later. As soon as I turned around for the snake the LE came blasting down the road towards me. Yes I proved that I had collected the specimens in Terrell. I had all the data for the museum as well as photographs with time and date. The LE told me he had recently given the same fine to a college professor that had a snake hook. He also told me that most herpers are jerks (of course we feel like we are being raped!) And that since I was polite I was getting off easy.
I was given the citations, but the LE officer said due to my "cooperativeness" I was given a break and will not have to appear in court, just mail the money in (of course he asked where I was from first - Fort Worth)
He was driving and spotted what looked like a snake on the road and turned around to look at it (NOTE: just to LOOK at it -he never even exited his vehicle)
Wow, I'm guilty as charged. More than once I've turned around to LOOK at something in the dark that I passed, be it a rattler on the side of the road or whatever. Not spotlighting, etc. I guess not any more. Thanks for the warning.
Quote from: "SHANEA"Wow, I'm guilty as charged. More than once I've turned around to LOOK at something in the dark that I passed, be it a rattler on the side of the road or whatever. Not spotlighting, etc. I guess not any more. Thanks for the warning.He didn't get ticketed for looking at the snake, he got the ticket for what was in his vehicle...at least that was my understanding. Surprising though...
SECTION 2.2: WILDLIFE PROTECTION.(d).-4-Wildlife lawfully killed outside the park may be transported through the park under the following conditions:° Persons transporting animal carcasses will have in their possession a valid state hunting license.° Animal carcasses shall display a valid state game tag when required.° Animal carcasses must be covered and out of sight.° Animal carcasses shall be subject to inspection at any time by authorized law enforcement personnel.° Animal carcasses may be transported through the park only on Route 13 (Hwy 118), Route 11 (Hwy 385) and the North Rosillos road.Possession or transportation of live wildlife in the park is prohibited.(e).All areas of the park are closed to the viewing of wildlife with an artificial light.Artificial light is defined as a flashlight, hand-held spotlight, headlights, exterior vehicle lights or other light, which is emitted from a non-natural source. This also includes any infrared or similar light used in connection with a scope or electronic viewing device.
Wonder if the snake hook was easily seen by the officer. Otherwise how did he know to search the vehicle, thus finding all of the specimens.
From my personal experience working at park headquarters, my view on this is that if he was indeed a professional herper doing research and collecting/photographing for a museum or some other project, he would have known to make arrangements with the park beforehand.
A state permit does not work in a national park as far as I know?
And I've never heard of a rubber snake being used as bait....
Nothing wrong with taking a photo of wildlife if you happen to cross paths, but there can't be any stalking or antagonizing involved to get one is the whole point.
Quote from: "chisos_muse"From my personal experience working at park headquarters, my view on this is that if he was indeed a professional herper doing research and collecting/photographing for a museum or some other project, he would have known to make arrangements with the park beforehand.True, however, he wasn't collecting or doing any type of research IN the park. All of that was done outside the park. He just visited the park because he was in the area and just happened to have some of his specimens and equipment with him.QuoteA state permit does not work in a national park as far as I know? Correct. But again, he wasn't trying to use the permit in the park. He merely showed it to the ranger in order to explain his possession of the equipment and specimens.QuoteAnd I've never heard of a rubber snake being used as bait....First for me too, at least inside the park.QuoteNothing wrong with taking a photo of wildlife if you happen to cross paths, but there can't be any stalking or antagonizing involved to get one is the whole point. Agreed 100% that this SHOULD be the case. But what is stalking or antagonizing and what is coincidental observation that may have unintentional disturbed an animal is very subjective. In this case, he never even got out of the vehicle.
...I find it hard to make a complete judgement on the situation or base any real conclusions with only one side of the story....I've become very skeptical in my older age..... :lol:
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