Oklahoma Second Amendment Association has worked hard for the rights of country dwellers to be left alone. But game wardens routinely acost anyone at a privately owned firing range. People are commonly forced to fight off allegations of "hunting without a license" just for carrying a rifle outside their farm house. If a rancher sights in his scope behind the barn, he can face asset forfeiture, fines, and even worse. The warden can even call in additional law enforcement to challenge other various posession charges.
The majority of people in Oklahoma are no longer rural. That means the voters and their legislative representatives also have changed their priorities. The farmer & rancher feel abandoned, politically. Most of us have no sense of the freedom of having vast acreages of meadows, forests, and fields; or to be left alone until we decide to go into town. Most Oklahoman's don't know what it's like to live with venimous snakes, razorback pigs, bears, big cats, or packs of wild dogs. But the rancher has to deal with all of it, on a daily basis. He has to protect his herds from them. He often has bank loans collateralized with those same vulnerable herds.
Currently, the rancher faces severe penalties if he shoots a feral hog behind the barn, in November. He must prove he has a current unused deer tag, or he gets charged with poaching and his gun is confiscated.
See, the game warden knows who owns what land. But since he feels the wildlife on that land belongs to the state, and the state authorized him to protect it, then he believes he has the right to do whatever is advantageous toward protecting any and all wildlife in his care. This is where the struggle really resides.
It appears this issue hit a raw nerve and there have been attempts to discredit the report.... but that's not been successful, either.
One point of clarification: The Game Wardens are not known to currently use canine units, but that's not outside the possibilities, either. That's why the article properly says "they can".
No Oklahoma statute was found which would prohibit wardens from letting a trained law enforcement dog on private property. We illustrated the point in the enclosed photo to make the point of what current policy and law could very easily lead to.
The proper & constitutional solution is to get a warrant like every other cop is required to do. This current practice is obviously a solution looking for a problem to get justified by.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...