Hunting or Fishing this Fall? Avoid Getting “Trapped” by the Authorities

Oct 28, 2020

Say goodbye to Summer – Fall is here!

Many of you will soon be enjoying the great outdoors taking advantage of Washington’s amazing hunting and fishing opportunities. Unfortunately, due to an abundance of confusing (and seemingly inconsistent) game rules and laws, even the most experienced outdoorsmen (and outdoorswomen) can find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Even worse are those non-stop emergency rule changes that can occur almost overnight. These situations can create significant legal consequences ranging from steep fines to jail time – and even a felony conviction, which can end your right to possess firearms.

An inexperienced fisher might misidentify a species of fish, resulting in a gross misdemeanor conviction with penalties up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. Some State or Federal wildlife convictions can even result in losing the privilege to hunt or fish for life. Or an otherwise successful elk hunter might inadvertently cross property or game unit boundaries, only to be cited by a Game Officer for Unlawful Big Game Hunting or Trespassing. What’s more, one might not even realize they made a mistake, and in the meantime offer incriminating statements to the all too willing to chat Game Officer.

If you find yourself unwittingly on the receiving end of such an encounter with Game Officers or other law enforcement, be polite but remain silent, and immediately contact one of our attorneys experienced and skilled in defending folks facing Fish and Wildlife Violations.