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#57180 08/03/05 08:23 AM
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To all those who posted advice in response to "What would you do?" I thank you. I would like to have the information on how to run those plates, please. However, things have taken a good turn.

Deputy Sheriff called late last night around 11:00. Turns out he knew who these guys were from our description and he ran the plates to confirm. He said he wanted me to calm down (who me?). Apparently, its three "kids" in their late teens.

Deputy Dog said he "put the fear of God" in them. The parents are aware and have promised the Deputy that the poachers will come to my house and apologize and offer to make restitution. They said that the truck would never be seen on my road again.

All this is good, but I still do not have a name(s) of the perps. I have the Deputy's assurance that if they do not come forward and apologize and offer restitution, he will turn the "fear of God" into action.

I'm not finished with these guys yet. For restitution, I'm going to demand they turn in all their fishing equipment to the Deputy. The equipment will be held for a minimum of one year. If within that time, there is any poaching, by anyone, the equipment will be destroyed and I will prosecute the three boys. I've thought about this a lot and think that may be a good way to teach a lesson and deter future poachers. If they do not show up for apologies, it will be a different ball game entirely.

Please, any one that knows how to run these plates I would greatly appreciate some info. The Deputy refuses to tell me who they are for fear I will act myself...he's probably right.

#57181 08/03/05 08:32 AM
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He had to have written some type of report. That report will be public record in 24 hours. Go get it.
Toby

#57182 08/03/05 09:08 AM
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ML :

What you described is not unusual in rural law enf. work. It is often the most effective way to deal with these type problems unless it is hardned criminals . That is why on post when we talked about hidden camara I pointed out to get law to warn people in area to stay away. Usualy very effective. It is good that dep. thought you were mad. His warning will be more stern as a result. He may be concerned that you would shoot them and he does not want that to happen because he would be asked why he did not do his job the first time.

One thought -- turn the kids into pond bosses. I know that sounds strange --out of box thinking. Instead of taking their stuff -- make them work off the damages on your place while you are there - weekends . You can get a lot of work done and teach them how much work it takes to mang. a pond. For this to work though you will have to make a judgment at the start if these kids are total wastes or if possible to redeem. If it works you may have started them toward a job in pond mgt. or fisheries work. If it works you may also have found some allies in the area who will watch out for your ponds. I would start by talking to dep. and ask him about kids and family {not names} to find out if plan might work or not. ewest
















#57183 08/03/05 09:19 AM
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The below is all based on if your son in law can indentify one or more of the kids, kids are a problem if they are under 18, a different kind of punishment.
Tell the deputy that what ever he did was fine but you are not satisfied, you want to prosecute, period. Have him make out a crime report, he will then list the suspects, most likely. If I remember this is not the first time this has happened. So whether or not these young lads are responsibile for past tresspasses or not let's hold them accountable so that if there were others they will also see. It,s generally not good that the deputy knows the boys. Tells me they may have had a brush or two with the law in the past. In any case if you try to use the sheriff to mete out your own form of justice you will wind up even more frustrated. By prosecuting or threatening to you should get the parents involved if these guys are minors. In the grand scheme of things this is only a big deal to you so stick to your guns and prosecute them and it will shift the "big deal" to them. Good luck and like the man says "calm, calm" The plate should be confidential and only available to law enforcement. If you sue the attorney can get whatever you need.


1/4 & 3/4 acre ponds. A thousand miles from no where and there is no place I want to be...
Dwight Yoakam
#57184 08/03/05 10:00 AM
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That's great news. It brings several thoughts to mind.

When kids are involved and you're trying to decide on stern warnings vs. prosectution, you have to know what the parents are all about.

Some parents encourage their kids to go and catch fish and bring them home. If one of the kids was trying to run with fish on a stringer, you have to ask what he was going to do with them. Probably eat them, and if so, were the parents/family going to eat them also.

Some parents could care less what their children do, and will do nothing to punish them or prevent future violations.

Some parents will care and take the right steps.

If I were you, I would do whatever I had to do in order to meet the kids and parents and know where each of them live.

As someone else mentioned, I would keep the possibility of prosecution front and foremost; you can always drop the case if you are satisfied that the warnings will have teeth.

Because you are the victim, the police are going to be bound by certain rules and procedures, as someone else mentioned. He can't decline to tell you who these people are if you request that information, especially if you keep the possibility of prosecution open.


Excerpt from Robert Crais' "The Monkey's Raincoat:"
"She took another microscopic bite of her sandwich, then pushed it away. Maybe she absorbed nutrients from her surroundings."

#57185 08/03/05 11:09 AM
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I'm glad they got caught, ML.

Your understandable anger and frustration reminds me of advice my 2nd Dad (Father-in-Law) told me many years ago:

"There will be times dealing with ***holes when you will be so damn mad you could rip their throats out, but you will have to appear cool, calm, and in control. There will also be times when you have to outwardly act like you are that mad, when inside you are really laughing. When you can identify each of those instances and act as you need to, not as you want to, you'll be grown up."

He passed seven years ago. I'm still working at it, but getting better (lots of practice lately).


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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#57186 08/03/05 12:35 PM
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Great advice all. I'm reminded of something that Fred Haise, Apollo 13 LM pilot, told me once. This was several years, many in fact, after his flight and we were working together on a particularly difficult problem. What he said was short, but carried great impact.."never panic too soon"

Theo, like your father-in-law, words of wisdom like that are priceless. Thanks guys.

#57187 08/03/05 12:45 PM
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Theo :

That is priceless advice . It gets right to the core of being human. I know you miss having that kind of influnce around. Being able to think at all times is a gift that few have the ability to do well but all should strive for. Most people do not think well when angry . Being able to control your emotitions enough to do what you need to do as apposed to what you want to do--{rational thought} is the essence of man. Without rational thought and a spirit we act as animals based on instinct. ewest
















#57188 08/03/05 01:47 PM
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Ewest,
I really like your idea of having the kids do some work on the pond for ML while he is there. The consequences fit the crime. The poachers were working against your efforts of pond managing, now they should have to help the efforts. Sounds like a great way to get some free labor and teach them to respect the efforts and money required to manage a private pond.

#57189 08/03/05 02:17 PM
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ML, try this, http://www.driverslicensecheck.com/texas.html
I thought it was free, but now $20.00.

#57190 08/03/05 03:06 PM
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ML ( MY 2 CENTS) I WOULDN'T GO THE ROUTE OF TAKEING THE FISHIN' GEAR THEY'ER FISHERMEN THEY'LL JUST GET MORE & YOU HAVE SAID ELSE WHERE
YOU HAVE LIKE TO SEE KIDS FISHING (GRANTED THESE ARE OLD ONES) .PUNISH THEM FOR THE TRESPASSING I SAY TRY TO PUT THEM TO WORK! & GOOD JOB DONE EQUALS FISHING BY YOUR RULES IF THEY PROVE THEMSELVES. IF THEY HAVE A CORE OF GOOD IN THEM THEN EVERYONE WINS + THEY CAN HELP STOP OTHER TRESPASSERS. IF NOT
YOU CAN SAY I TRIED (2-4 YEARS THEY'LL LIKEY HAVE MOVE FROM HOME. GOOD LUCK

#57191 08/03/05 04:32 PM
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The folks on this Forum are the greatest.

I just received via e-mail from a fellow board member the name and address of the owner of the vehicle used by the poachers.

I won't forget your help and hope I can do something in return....the member shall remain nameless, but not thankless. Thank you very much.

#57192 08/03/05 06:44 PM
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ML,
I don't know the circumstances of what happened, but here's what I would do.

If they broke down your fence, tore up your no trespassing signs, threw their empty beer cans all over, or destroyed your property, I would prosecute. Simple as that. If they were just fishing in your pond, I'd go the route of having them work it off over a couple of weekends.

What I'm getting at is...how bad can a couple of teenagers be if they like to go fishing? It's not like they broke into your house or robbed a liquor store. I doubt if they ever considered themselves "poachers" or "thieves". If they could see how much time and effort it takes to manage a pond, they would gain the understanding that you have. Since we already know they like to fish, they would probably appreciate any knowledge you could share about raising fish. And you could get some hard work done in exchange.


Hey Moe, I'm trying to think but nuthin's happening!
#57193 08/03/05 07:24 PM
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One of the great things about "private property" is it's just that -- and as owner you're entitled to do what you want. And I feel your frustration with the situation.

East Texas may be different than southern Iowa, but around here, the value of neighbors depending on each other is too high to risk getting into a fight over fishing.

(I'm not preaching -- I'm just saying that my world might be different than yours.)

The place I bought had been negleted and abandoned for a few years. Common sense told me it was a "community" fishing spot -- so rather than post no trespassing signs, I posted "with written permission only".

I locked my gate -- but taped the combination to it.

I've had a few requests to fish -- and all the neighbors watch the place to make sure they know who comes and goes.

I like what the earlier poster said about turning the boys into pond bosses .. it's a shot -- and if they screw up --- then prosecute -- or make the pond boss deal part of a probation.

Now, all that said, if a meth lab shows up -- between my neighbors and me -- the bad guys will wish it was the police that caught 'em first.


1/3 acre & 1.5 acre ponds -- first year of ownership
#57194 08/03/05 08:45 PM
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 Quote:
Originally posted by Jersey:
If they broke down your fence, tore up your no trespassing signs, threw their empty beer cans all over, or destroyed your property, I would prosecute. Simple as that. If they were just fishing in your pond, I'd go the route of having them work it off over a couple of weekends.
Excellent reasoning, and perfectly stated.

Let the punishment fit the crime. Boys wanting to fish in a nice pond is not exactly a crime you can hate. I would say "WHY DIDN"T YOU JUST ASK ME IF YOU COULD FISH?"

If they destroyed property, they should get no sympathy.

#57195 08/04/05 07:05 AM
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I also say put them to good use. At least they are not out stealing cars, getting in fights, shoplifting, killing, doing drugs..etc
Fishing is probably THE best thing for young men to learn about nature, respect, and patience. It also keeps kids out of trouble, and lord knows there is enough for children nowadays to really screw up their lives forever.
If they did no significant damage or THEFT theft (like signs, property) I say put them to work and they'll see where you're coming from.
I can remember working with my dad on our two acres cutting trees, mowing, picking up pine needles, seeding, etc etc and it has taught me to be a man and to D.I.Y. and not hire someone....it comes down to pride on your place, and I feel they'll learn something.

#57196 08/05/05 10:13 AM
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OK, I'll fess up...I was a kid once and I hunted and fished many times in places I hadn't asked permission. Obviously I've grown since, but back then, us boys were limited to where we could get to on our bikes and good fishin' holes were tough to come by.

When I was 15 (last time I trespassed) I got caught squirrel huntin' on a piece of prime oak/hickory pasture by the owner. He was about 80 at the time and danged if he didn't go walkin' his rat terrier down that timber and right up behind me...caught me dead to rights.

Read me the riot act, said he was calling the law. Me...I'm embarrassed, red from the waist up. He asked me to walk with him up to the house. I figured he was calling the sheriff and I was done.

On the way out of the timber, he asked who I was. I told him but he didn't know me or my family. Told him where I lived, but it didn't mean nothing to him. Then he asked me why I hadn't asked to hunt...I mumbled and stumbled and admitted I was just scared to ask. I knew who owned the ground but was just too immature to walk up to the door and ask.

When I told him I hunted and fished a lot, he told me he wasn't calling the law, but that I should be back out the next Saturday to hunt...after I asked for permission. He really wanted to see if I had the balls to actually come back and ask.

The next Saturday (and I'll tell ya this was HARD TO DO!) I did go back out and ask that old man. He was pretty surprised to see me, but he did say that he'd asked around about me. (I wasn't a hardened criminal by any means, but no angel either). Said he didn't call the cops because #1 I had told him the truth about who I was and #2 I hadn't simply run away from him (too damn scared).

This is long, but I gotta say that old guy was pretty cool about it. I hunted there for several seasons until I quit working the farm next to him. I gave him a few squirrels which he appreciated, and I just stopped on the way home to visit once in awhile. I even stopped by several years later, but he'd passed away...too bad. Wanted to tell him that I find it fairly easy to actually ask for permission to hunt or fish these days. I understand what it means to own property and to try to improve and protect it...let alone just to pay for it.

Him taking to time to embarrass me a bit and berate me (just a little) but then to be somewhat understanding and get over it meant a lot. If he'd have actually called the law and had me ticketed, I'd have just chalked him up as another mean old bastard...not now, but back then...and I wouldn't have learned nearly as much.

Do whatever you gotta do Meadow...


In a lifetime, the average driver will honk 15,250 times. My wife figures I'm due to die any day now...



#57197 08/05/05 08:47 PM
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Matt,
I have a similar story. What you said is what I meant. But you said it much better than I ever could.


Hey Moe, I'm trying to think but nuthin's happening!
#57198 08/22/05 08:49 PM
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Update for those following this story:

Of the three poachers, one has now come forward, apologized, and offered restitution. In addition, his Mother has taken away his transportation and assured me he will never drive on the road ever again in front of the ranch....seems a bit harsh, but hey she was really p*ssed at her son, a HS graduate.

One down and two to go...in return for accepting his apology and dropping the case, he has to rat on the other two poachers. I'm feeling there is progress here and maybe the word will get out for awhile that this place is off-limits. I sure hope so...by the way, I told the kid he could come fish at some point in the future if he would ask first; he declined, Mother won't let him on the road again and its too far to walk. \:\)

#57199 08/22/05 09:07 PM
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You did the right thing and so did his Mom.

#57200 08/23/05 06:44 AM
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ML,

Sounds like you are comfortable with the outcome. Thanks for the update.

Russ

#57201 08/23/05 07:33 AM
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You're gettin' there...


In a lifetime, the average driver will honk 15,250 times. My wife figures I'm due to die any day now...



#57202 08/23/05 09:39 AM
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Sounds like you have come to a successful conclusion to your situation. I commend you on your final approach to him. All us Texas boys have done something like this until we were caught and our parents chewed our rears.

Good thing their parents cared also.


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