(courtesy wildlife.state.nm.us)

I’m not a big fan of police roadblocks, whether they’re designed to snare drunk drivers or search for escaped felons. Something about the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unreasonable meaning that roadblock cops presume I’m guilty until proven innocent. In short, I see a roadblock I think police state. New Mexico’s hunters may agree, as “the Department of Game and Fish will conduct roadblocks throughout the state during hunting seasons to collect harvest data and to detect wildlife law violations.” (Press release after the jump.) More specifically they’ll check for compliance with the . . .

Off Highway Motor Vehicle Act  – The muffler on a off-highway vehicle “must have a stamp showing U.S. Forest Service approval.”

Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act  – Requires the “decontamination of vessels, trailers or other equipment suspected of being contaminated with invasive species before entering state waters” and “requires that all boats, personal watercraft and equipment used in waters infested with invasive species be certified as decontaminated before entering New Mexico waters.”

Forest Conservation Act  – “No person shall cut, remove, transport or sell any woody material without written consent of the owner or proof of ownership, whether the land is publicly or privately owned.”

I’m betting they’ll also look for drunk drivers. And stuff.

EXPECT ROADBLOCKS STATEWIDE DURING HUNTING SEASONS

SANTA FE – The Department of Game and Fish will conduct roadblocks throughout the state during hunting seasons to collect harvest data and to detect wildlife law violations.

Hunting seasons are ongoing for deer, elk, pronghorns, bears and some other species as listed in the department’s Hunting Rules & Information booklets.

At roadblocks, conservation officers also will check for compliance with the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Act and the Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act. Drivers of vehicles hauling wood products will be asked to produce documentation as required by the Forest Conservation Act.

Department officers may be assisted by other law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Police or county sheriff’s offices. As a result, the public may encounter minor delays.

To report a wildlife-law violation, please contact a Department of Game and Fish area office in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Raton, Roswell or Las Cruces, or call the toll-free Operation Game Thief hotline at (800) 432-GAME (4263). Callers can remain anonymous and earn rewards for information leading to charges being filed.

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33 Responses to New Mexico Using Roadblocks to “Detect Wildlife Violations”

  1. Haven’t done anything wrong? Then you don’t have anything to worry about, sir. We just need to search your truck real quick. Papers, please.

    Sounds like a police state to me.

      • Far worse in AZ. Between the nutty state coppers and the alphabet soup of DHS, Border Patrol, TSA, and the lot, expect to get stopped pretty much everywhere. Even hundreds of miles from the border.

        Scariest ones will be TSA – the VIPR (not making this up) Teams. Currently at 37 teams, $100MM+ budget and free rei(g)n to do anything, anywhere. 8000+ operations last year, and that number is growing again.

    • Since I don’t have a New Mexico hunting license and don’t hunt in New Mexico, my response would be, “Piss off.”

  2. The 4th is right up there with the 2nd as far as a concerted and concentrated effort by those in power to ignore/mitigate/forget/trash it.

  3. Driving is definitely a privilege, not a right. (Although you wouldn’t know it some places … But that’s another discussion.)

    While I don’t like roadblocks any more than the next person, so long as the people manning it don’t demand I consent to a search without probable cause, I have less problem with them than a lot of other things police are wont to do.

    • Being able to move freely about and travel is not a privilege, despite what Statists would have you believe.

      Where in the 4th Amendment is there an exception because you’re traveling vs. being in your home?

        • John Galt, your consistent way out in left field comments suggests some troubling issues with authority figures(paranoid schizophrenia?) That being said, you should know that if you opt to be the obstinate @$$hole who derives some type of weird pleasure through confrontation by insisting to do it the hard way and defying the lawful authority of the U.S. Border Patrol at checkpoints, you will most likely be directed to the secondary search area where a couple of BP Agents and dog will search your vehicle, and if you choose to escalate your obstinate @$$hole behavior, you will be arrested and remain in custody until taken before a Federal Magistrate.

          The Border Patrol has a tough enough job as it is, especially with the refusal of the current administration to honor their oaths of office, the last thing they need is having to waste time on some obstinate @$$hole refusing to submit to lawful authority. Luckily, most obstinate @$$holes talk a tough line of bull$#it, but rarely do something as stupid as bowing up on a BP Agent at a checkpoint.

        • Actually Ted, just because you want to believe your fascist behaviors are legal, doesn’t make them so. What’s more troubling (but not surprising) is your enthusiasm for disrespecting people’s legal rights, and then telling how hard you’re going to make it for them if they don’t submit to your misbehavior. Want to talk about psychology? Your post has Stanford Prison Experiment written all over it.

          The Border Patrol was always intended for the border. As they can’t even manage to come close to doing that, perhaps they should start by focusing on that area.

        • 16V, obviously you’re in the obstinate @$$hole camp and are oblivious to the fact that the lawful authority of the Border Patrol checkpoints was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s settled law, deal with it. Good luck when you and John tell a BP Agent trying to do a thankless job to f@&k off.

        • Yup Ted, I’m one of those assholes. One who believes in The Constitution, perhaps a bit more fervently than you, as I can slap a whole bunch of ‘greats’ in front of “grandfather” and get to a guy who worked with Jefferson at the Constitutional Convention. And corresponded with him, and met clandestinely, and lots of other things that helped free our people from, well, statist opressors who think like you.

          I was raised in the tradition that you government employees served me and our Great Nation, not the other way around. So, as the average Border Patrol Agent makes north of $75K for doing almost nothing, compared to the average American who works really hard to pay your egregious salary making under $45K, I find you quite well thanked despite your delusions. You have a cakewalk-gravy-benes job, which is why there is no shortage of applicants.

          Enjoy your power trip, Bad Lieutenant.

        • 16V, thanks for providing us some insight to the world as seen through the eyes of a paranoid schizophrenic. No I’m not currently nor I have I ever been a Border Patrol Agent, but I did spend three decades working for the nations 3rd largest State law enforcement agency and I worked around BP Agents on several border assignments long enough to figure out that they couldn’t pay me enough to do such a shitty job for a month, much less the decades it would take to reach the eligible federal retirement age to get a pension, not to mention exposing your family to the shitty culture and school systems of a border town. Your claim that the average salary of a BP Agent is $75K is an outright lie, the average is no where near that, that’s what a Senior Agent with over 20 years would top out at, and in today’s Border Patrol, few can bear to do such a thankless shitty job for two decades. Here’s something 16V for that paranoid schizophrenic pea brain to think about; as a State law enforcement officer, when I was driving the 500+ miles back from the border assignments to my assigned duty station, each time I had to wait in line in my State vehicle at the Border Patrol checkpoints and answer the questions of the BP Agent just like every other person, and occasionally watch as a BP K9 was led around my State vehicle, law enforcement is not exempt from Border Patrol checkpoints nor should they be since every few years some idiot outlaw officer on the take tries to make a fast buck and gets caught at a BORDER PATROL CHECKPOINT. Only an idiot or a criminal or both would attempt to argue that there is some sort of constitutional protection from submitting to the lawful authority of the U.S. Border Patrol at a checkpoint. Hate to call you an idiot paranoid schizophrenic liar (and possible criminal?), but it the shoe fits.

      • “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

        Pretty straightforward, and regardless of any waffling that driving is a privilege, the fact remains that you are to be secure in your person, property, and papers. This slippery slope is exactly what The Monarchy used against us before The Revolution, and exactly the road our police state is on now. I don’t care that sobriety checkpoints may save some lives, they do so at a far greater cost – our civil liberties. You wanna catch drunks? Put a cop behind a car swerving enough to give probable cause for a primary stop.

        Roadblocks and checkpoints for anything beyond wanted/escaped violent felons, or maybe a kidnap victim are so far beyond what any American should have to tolerate. it boggles the mind.

        • There’s no reason for Constitution-infringing DUI checkpoints when roving patrols are more effective and don’t violate the 4th Amendment.

      • Being able to move freely about and travel is not a privilege, despite what Statists would have you believe.

        GOSPEL!

        • Damn Straight! This is reinforced by the 9th Amendment. It goes back to inalienable rights, natural rights etc.

    • This is what the State Police have brainwashed people to believe for several decades. However, the 9th Amendment refutes the hell out of them on that argument. Courts have maintained that the public have a right to use public roads. We pay taxes. I would love to see seem Trooper Commandant tell George Washington or Andy Jackson that righting their horse was a privilege and proceed to drag them off the horse.

  4. This is what happens when statists also happen to care about the environment. They end up making it so damn complicated to go out and enjoy the outdoors that no one does it. Then they get all confused when nobody cares about the environment anymore. I’ve participated in several hunter surveys and if they didn’t want to participate they kept driving. If you felt like they were suspicious, for example open beer cans everywhere, you would call law enforcement. Guilty until proven innocent is bullcrap.

  5. I don’t think these roadblocks will pass constitutional muster as SCOTUS has said they must be avoidable and must be used only to establish probable cause in a minimally intrusive manner. Therefore, if you keep your deer covered up, there is little chance that law enforcement can establish probable cause. And they certainly can’t crawl under your vehicle to check a stamp on the muffler. Just stop, decline to answer any questions, and ask if you can be on your way. Keep all your hunting equipment under cover and there is nothing they can do. Ditch the camo as well.

    • You do realize that avoidance of a roadblock is considered probable cause for a stop, no? And that there’s always cars right before a roadblock that are just waiting for someone to pull a u-turn.

      The Supremes won’t say a goddamned things about this – have you seen what HSA, Border, C&I, and TSA are doing these days?

      • There are always units standing by to make stops on vehicles that obviously avoid checkpoints. Avoidance of a checkpoint is probable cause for a stop.

        I flip a bitch at checkpoints just for the fun of wasting peoples’ time. 🙂

  6. I’ve never seen TSA anywhere but the airport. F&G does checks here in CA. They approach the hunter and ask them to unload their guns. They do an ammo check and mag compliance check and check licenses and any game and tags. Then everyone goes their merry way.

    The worst encounter I’ve had with F&G was fishing on the delta years ago. I had a big cat on the line when F&G showed up. I had my fishing licence but had forgotten to display it. F&G had tude til I dug it out. All the time fighting that cat. Really good cat. Almost a shame to release him after.

    • Before I moved out of CA, I refused to display my license just on principle. I always had it in the lanyard and stashed away so that I could pull the “Oh, damn! I forgot!” card. Most of Fish and Game were cool about it. I also found that the further off the beaten path I got, the more relaxed F&G was. I do miss packing trips in the Eastern Sierras. 🙁 The Appalachians just don’t have the same “magic.”

      • Been to both places and agree. F&G here in CA is actually kind of relaxed. As I want to hand off wilderness areas and hunting to my grandkids someday I support a lot of the rules in places governing hunting and the use of public lands.

  7. I can’t believe I missed this article. Why is it a surprise? California has been doing this for years and CA Fish and Game is notoriously shitty with the hunters in their state.

  8. The guy in that video about never talking to the police was right, you may at any time be violating a number of laws without even knowing it.

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