Game warden runs into rock on a section line. Farmer in trouble

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kman Said:
So if I go out in the badlands and hit a rock on a section line on federal land will they fix my pickup?

You're confusing something that is there naturally with something that was placed there intentionally - maybe with the intention of cause injury to a neighbor maybe not but certainly placed there on purpose for some reason.  Two completely different scenarios.  Now if the forest service intentionally piled rocks on the section line you might have a case.

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Farnorth Said:

You didn't answer the question that was asked.  You changed it to make a point.  I don't think I actually called you a name did I?  I wanted to.  We're done here necause you obviously don't get it..

BTW, the Warden didn't decide what action the STATE took in this case.  It was out of his hands.

Okay Mr. Farnorth. here is the question and here is my answer the first time.

gst Said:

Farnorth Said:

gst Said:
When hall monitors grow up.

Farnorth Said:
Keep in mind that what triggered action by  the State was a casualty loss.  In those situations, it is the JOB of the representatives of the taxpayers to make sure that any responsible parties are pursued for payment.  I think that's what they did here.  The object that caused the damage was, technically, placed there illegally (that's what the judge said).

Somebody up the chain could have stopped it.  MAYBE.  If they did, what would be the justification for doing that?  What about the next time something similar happens?

Work all year to build relationships with farmers and ranchers............................ruin that in one stupid move and use the "rule book" to justify it.....................................................

Priceless.

So, if you suffered monetary damages and there was a responsible party who could successfully be pursued for payment, would you eat the cost yourself?

If I  ran into a 3 foot by 4 foot rock because I wasn';t paying attention to where I was driving in an trail area that by all modern math estimates gave me at least 62 feet to miss said rock Because I was watching what was going on in the field beside the trail instead of watching where I was driving............................yes I would eat the cost of my own stupidity. .

And sir his is the 2nd time I answered the question. For most people I didn;t "change" anything. I simply answered clearly that if it was my stupidity I would NOT seek someone else to pay for it.  I guess you and I differ on that point of view.

gst Said:

Farnorth Said:

gst Said:

Farnorth Said:

So, if you suffered monetary damages and there was a responsible party who could successfully be pursued for payment, would you eat the cost yourself?

If I  ran into a 3 foot by 4 foot rock because I wasn';t paying attention to where I was driving in an trail area that by all modern math estimates gave me at least 62 feet to miss said rock Because I was watching what was going on in the field beside the trail instead of watching where I was driving............................yes I would eat the cost of my own stupidity. .

You dodged the question.

In this case the YOU is the State of North Dakota (not the Game Warden).

So again, if YOU suffer damage to your property and somebody else is LEGALLY LIABLE, do you eat the cost because you're such a great guy or do you pursue the party that is legally responsible?

BTW, any answer other than pursue it is a lie.

If it was you driving down a section line (not yours) and hit a rock that was placed there by the landowner and you totaled out your brand new $60,000 pickup you wouldn't turn in an insurance claim?  BS.  Keep in mind that turning in a claim could very well result in your insurance carrier going after the landowner for payment.  That is if your insurance carrier is any good.  So, pretty much the same thing.

I didnl;t dodge jack shit.

You asked me if I would go after someone else for recovering damages it there was a way and I explained pretty plainly that if I had my head up my ass and caused the damage I would not.

I did not say I would not turn it into MY insurance company and eat the cost of an increased premium, I made it clear I would not hold whom ever placed the rock on the side of a section line of the trail that I had 60 some feet to miss responsible.

A BIG DIFFERENCE that is not that hard to understand  if you are not a whiney jack ass that blames everyone else looking to cover your own stupidity.

Remember here dumbass the warden admitted right away that it was HIS fault for not looking where he was going and admitted to feeling pretty "dumb" for veering off the trail and hitting a rock.

Here is a question for you farnorth, do you take responsibiltiy for your own stupid actions even if there is someone else to blame?

BTW, any answer other than no is a lie.

People that think every situation like this is black and white and that common sense should not and can not enter into these type things were likely the hall monitor in grade school

And do you actually think Terry Steinwand could not have stepped in and said we are not going to go down this path?

The supervisor likely has a mentality much like your own, possibly was a hall monitor himself back in the day.

So Mr. Farnorth, what then should the "State" do about ALL the rock piles within the 66 foot section line right of way across this state?

According to you they have NO choice but to start prosecuting each and every farmer that has ever dumped a rock within this 66 foot allowance.

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Horsager Said:

gst Said:
There would have been a way to recover the cost of the damage to the vehicle without dragging this guy to court and stepping on whatever relationship building the G&F has engaged in over the past few years.

Please explain how that could happen.  For the record, I wish there was a way for that to happen.  I guess what I'd like to hear is how do you recover the damage to the vehicle in this instance without then absolving future "rock/obstruction placers" of any wrongdoing?  I think we both know that there are folks out there who, if they knew this guy was let off, would place all sorts and manners of obstructions upon section lines adjacent to land they owned, and frankly, upon section lines that they just didn't want folks to drive on for whatever reason.

I kind of wish everything didn't have to be fair to everyone all the time.  It'd be nice to take each situation individually without them setting precedent for each future event.  It'd be nice to give good guys a break while really sticking it to those who are perpetual problem makers.

 

gst Said:

It has always been a pet peeve when people try to find some way to blame someone else for their stupidity. 

We were raised that if you did something stupid you accepted the consequences and didn;t try to make someone else pay for them. 

Just so we're clear, who's stupid here?

1.  The warden for running into the rock?

2.  The adjacent landowner for placing the rock within the right of way?

Again, to clarify, who's trying to make someone else pay?

1.  The state?

2.  The adjacent landowner who wanted to be sued civilly so his Ins. Co. would pay?

Horsager, the state attorney decides to drop or prosecute cases all the time. There have been instances where a clear violation has occurred, but because someone was willing to make restitution the states attorney agrees to drop the case. Perhaps in the case of the "state" this is different, I am guessing if Terry Steinwand went to the states atty and explained they did not want to prosecute this guy as long as the damages were covered no one would have ever heard about this.
 
In past situation where someone violated game laws the warden at the scene was able to "work out" an agreement that took care of issue. Sheriffs implement common sense solutions all the time. Perhaps in today's age of hall monitors that have grown up, this is no longer possible.
 
How is a High way patrol able to give one person a warning for driving 67 in a 65 and another write another person up a ticket for the same violation of state law?
 
The warden seemed to admit himself he was the "stupid"  party by the accounts of the witnesses.

Mr. Horsager, what is your solution for all the rock piles that exist within the 66 foot section line right of way across this state?

What if a warden veers off the two track trail and runs into a 30 by 40 foot rock pile that is 7 foot high that has been there for 40 years?

 
Should he bear ANY responsibility?

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 There are many things that happen every day that are illegal.  If something bad doesn't happen as a result of that illegal action usually it goes unnoticed and unprosecuted but doesn't mean it wasn't illegal.  I will occasionally exceed the speed limit.  If nothing happens as a result of that and an officer doesn't see it I probably won't be prosecuted.  If I get in an accident and damage someone else's property because of my excessive speed I guarantee you I will be prosecuted and will be responsible for damage even though I'm certainly not meaning to cause that damage.  

Initially, based on the landowner's response I read, I thought this might be on the crazy side of things.  However, there are always both sides to the story and according to some the rock could have been placed with the intent of causing damage.  I don't know when the rock was placed there but if it was just this year perhaps the warden had driven that section line many times without an issue which could have contributed to his lack of attentiveness.  The other hunters seem to so-so with their observations.  They state the warden was travelling at a significant rate of speed 25-50 mph.  Pretty wide range.  25 not so fast - 50 pretty fast on a section line. 

Also, either a judge or jury have decided the landowner was culpable.  They've heard all the facts, we've heard bits and pieces.  Who am I to second guess their decision based on what is printed on a open forum?  

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labhunter66 Said:
 The other hunters seem to so-so with their observations.  They state the warden was travelling at a significant rate of speed 25-50 mph.  Pretty wide range.  25 not so fast - 50 pretty fast on a section line. 

Hit a 3 foot by 4 foot rock 3 feet tall at 25 mph and then tell me if you think it is "not so fast".

Been there done that., it seems "fast".

The bottom line is if you are traveling down the two track trail and run over a rock someone "placed" there purposefully, yeah someone is likely going to have to pay damages.

If you are traveling down a section line that is 66 foot wide and veer 30 feet off the two track trail and hit a 3ft by 4 ft rock placed 2 foot into the 66 foot allowance  to get it off the field because you were not looking where you were going, maybe you aught to look in the mirror when whining to place blame for "your" damages.

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gst Said:

labhunter66 Said:
 The other hunters seem to so-so with their observations.  They state the warden was travelling at a significant rate of speed 25-50 mph.  Pretty wide range.  25 not so fast - 50 pretty fast on a section line. 

Hit a 3 foot by 4 foot rock 3 feet tall at 25 mph and then tell me if you think it is "not so fast".

Been there done that., it seems "fast".

The bottom line is if you are traveling down the two track trail and run over a rock someone "placed" there purposefully, yeah someone is likely going to have to pay damages.

If you are traveling down a section line that is 66 foot wide and veer 30 feet off the two track trail and hit a 3ft by 4 ft rock placed 2 foot into the 66 foot allowance  to get it off the field because you were not looking where you were going, maybe you aught to look in the mirror when whining to place blame for "your" damages.

Where does it say he veered 30 feet off the two track trail?  If that had been the case he probably wouldn't have been on the section line anymore.  Seems you're just adding "facts" to make your point.  All the more reason we shouldn't be questioning the decision of the judge or jury that heard the case.

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gst Said:

labhunter66 Said:
 The other hunters seem to so-so with their observations.  They state the warden was travelling at a significant rate of speed 25-50 mph.  Pretty wide range.  25 not so fast - 50 pretty fast on a section line. 

Hit a 3 foot by 4 foot rock 3 feet tall at 25 mph and then tell me if you think it is "not so fast".

Been there done that., it seems "fast".

The bottom line is if you are traveling down the two track trail and run over a rock someone "placed" there purposefully, yeah someone is likely going to have to pay damages.

If you are traveling down a section line that is 66 foot wide and veer 30 feet off the two track trail and hit a 3ft by 4 ft rock placed 2 foot into the 66 foot allowance  to get it off the field because you were not looking where you were going, maybe you aught to look in the mirror when whining to place blame for "your" damages.

Also, I never said hitting a 3x4 rock at 25 mph wasn't fast, I said travelling at that speed is not that fast.  That would certainly depend on the condition of the two track trail though.

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 The warden messed up here, PERIOD. Should have the farmer put the rock where he did? Who knows and who cares. Pretty obvious to me that if he was paying attention to where he was driving (very important) and at a prudent speed he could have circumvented the rock just as the hunters before him did. Sounds like he felt foolish afterward as he should have. We've all been there done that. Did something stupid and then had the thought we messed up. 

Think it makes sense to spread the blame elsewhere? Man up and take some responsibility,


 

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Tough situation, but as a former township officer I can tell you that townships are constantly fighting the section line obstruction issue.  Many have had to acquire additional insurance for Errors and Omissions to cover the inability to control these issues.  If anything, the landowner, the township and the farmer that placed the obstacle on the section line are all liable.  The township and other entity may have to sue the person who put the obstruction there.  It gets especially ugly when a death is the result of such an issue.  The placement of an obstacle(such as a tall crop) within 33 feet of either side of the section line that leads to or causes damage, injury or death will usually result in a law suit involving all parties.  Good luck

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labhunter66 Said:
 

gst Said:

labhunter66 Said:
 The other hunters seem to so-so with their observations.  They state the warden was travelling at a significant rate of speed 25-50 mph.  Pretty wide range.  25 not so fast - 50 pretty fast on a section line. 

Hit a 3 foot by 4 foot rock 3 feet tall at 25 mph and then tell me if you think it is "not so fast".

Been there done that., it seems "fast".

The bottom line is if you are traveling down the two track trail and run over a rock someone "placed" there purposefully, yeah someone is likely going to have to pay damages.

If you are traveling down a section line that is 66 foot wide and veer 30 feet off the two track trail and hit a 3ft by 4 ft rock placed 2 foot into the 66 foot allowance  to get it off the field because you were not looking where you were going, maybe you aught to look in the mirror when whining to place blame for "your" damages.

Where does it say he veered 30 feet off the two track trail?  If that had been the case he probably wouldn't have been on the section line anymore.  Seems you're just adding "facts" to make your point.  All the more reason we shouldn't be questioning the decision of the judge or jury that heard the case.

It appeared the witnesses traversed  the section linwe without hitting the rock. The warden admitted feeling pretty "dumb" and seemed to allude to it being his fault. the farmer admits to placing the rock on the edge of the section easement. Figure it out for yourself.

This is the problem with this country as a whole. No one wants to admit and own up to their own stupidity. If there is some why to dump it off on someone else, hell yeah, don;t own up to nothing.

The warden seemed willing to admit his fault, his adult hall monitor supervisor appears less congenial. But then hey how do people end up being hall monitors/supervisors any more.

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At this point, most of you have only heard landowners side. I can assure you the reports and court documents tell another. Given the wording of the century code, does anyone really think he would have been found guilty absent "the rest of the story". Those of you that are taking this so personally might be wise to contact someone who can access the documents online or go visit the courthouse and ask to see them. It might save us all from turning this into another 20 pager. But I won't hold my breath.

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Springers Said:
At this point, most of you have only heard landowners side. I can assure you the reports and court documents tell another. Given the wording of the century code, does anyone really think he would have been found guilty absent "the rest of the story". Those of you that are taking this so personally might be wise to contact someone who can access the documents online or go visit the courthouse and ask to see them. It might save us all from turning this into another 20 pager. But I won't hold my breath.

Why don't you tell us if you know?

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I think his point is no one knows.  The sad thing is so many think they know, or more than likely they are not going to let ignorance get in the way of their prejudice.  

Jig4Pig Said:

Springers Said:
At this point, most of you have only heard landowners side. I can assure you the reports and court documents tell another. Given the wording of the century code, does anyone really think he would have been found guilty absent "the rest of the story". Those of you that are taking this so personally might be wise to contact someone who can access the documents online or go visit the courthouse and ask to see them. It might save us all from turning this into another 20 pager. But I won't hold my breath.

Why don't you tell us if you know?

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springer I for one am not defending him putting something on the right of way. I traveled that particular section line a number of times after that rock was placed. To have hit it would require total attention to the trail and tracks period. Hence my point of responsisble driving is required by anyone under the wheel. The warden was not in hot pursuit, nor traveling to a call out or an emergency. Due care is required. Heck think about it, a person could just as easily been on that section line walking and if it was a farmer or someone not hunting they would not have needed blaze orange but even that I doubt would have made a difference.

That is the point regarding common sense and taking responsibility for your actions!!!

In my lifetime I have seen fence row to fence row farming and the return of CRP and game to the landscape.Now we face again the prosepect of fence row to fence row again! Sportsman are our own worst enemy in that we fail to look forward and focus to much on the now!

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 So the rock was placed is a fact? Just one rock or a rockpile?

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 You people are trying to be the judge and the jury on this one.. how's the fishing at Vanhook?

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 Farmers, please remove your rocks from public roadways. Thank you! Pretty often you have drive off the 2 track path to avoid ruts and such. Your rock piles can at times make it difficult to navigate.

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Springers Said:
At this point, most of you have only heard landowners side. I can assure you the reports and court documents tell another. Given the wording of the century code, does anyone really think he would have been found guilty absent "the rest of the story". Those of you that are taking this so personally might be wise to contact someone who can access the documents online or go visit the courthouse and ask to see them. It might save us all from turning this into another 20 pager. But I won't hold my breath.

the "point" that is seeming to be missed here is despite the farmers "illegal actions" of placing a rock within a 66 foot strip of land on the edge by a field, much like has been done by hundreds if not thousands of farmers all across this state for decades, the ex hall monitors on here seem to think the wardens apparent alleged admission of his own stupidity  absolved him of any responsibility just because the law states a rock can not be placed there.

As a legal professional springers you know that states attorneys choose all the time whether to actively pursue cases or to drop them.

Heads of depts, choose all the time what paths they wish to travel down and actions they wish to take.

So perhaps you wish to asnwer the question others have avoided. What is to be done about the hundreds if not thousands of rock piles across the state  that exist within the 66 foot allowance of a section line and those that continue to add rocks off their adjoining fields to them?

Normal peoples common sense self accountability versus ex hall monitors rigid stupidity.

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For the ex hall mointers, here is something to ponder that  has happened up here, there is a section line that has not been traveled for decades along the edge of one of our pastures. Not "legally" by the commissioners but it remains untraveled because of the terrain that is rougher than a cobb.

There is a ground blind a hunter has placed within the 66 foot allowance.  It has been placed there each of the last 3 years. Should someone call the county states attorney and turn this hardened criminal in?

I mean the law is the law and it certainly seems this ground blind is an "obstruction" that was "placed" within the 66 foot allowance.

So what would happen if that warden was traveling down this section line and while not paying attention to where he was driving, ran over this ground blind while someone was hunting in it.

Would the states attorney be obligated to travel to the hospital and handcuff this fella to the bed and charge him under the law to recover the value of the damages sustained to the wardens vehicle?

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So perhaps you wish to asnwer the question others have avoided. What is to be done about the hundreds if not thousands of rock piles across the state  that exist within the 66 foot allowance of a section line and those that continue to add rocks off their adjoining fields to them?

Sometimes it's best to keep the mouth closed and not always open a can of worms.  I think you can find enough trouble in the world without looking for it.   There appears to be a dump on the Game and Fish attitude here, but it's a state law not a Game and Fish law. 

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So what are you suggesting then plainsman?

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The rock has been beaten to a pile of sand...drop it.

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Plainsman Said:

So perhaps you wish to asnwer the question others have avoided. What is to be done about the hundreds if not thousands of rock piles across the state  that exist within the 66 foot allowance of a section line and those that continue to add rocks off their adjoining fields to them?

Sometimes it's best to keep the mouth closed and not always open a can of worms.  I think you can find enough trouble in the world without looking for it.   There appears to be a dump on the Game and Fish attitude here, but it's a state law not a Game and Fish law. 

It may be a state law plainsman but the G&F supervisor had to have gone to the states attorney to initiate the actions that followed.

Perhaps if he had followed your advice .....................................

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I guess if I was a farmer I'd be out there making sure I had nothing in that 66' easement.  unless I like spending money frivilously.  To each his own.

 

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 So what would happen if I went out and removed all the rock on our sections lines and left 4 foot deep holes for people to drive into. Would that be better? There are rocks that stick out a foot and are 5 or 6 feet in the ground. 

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  Sometimes native prairie is that rocky.  Anyone with an ounce of sense would be running cattle and not John Deer on that land.  If that's the case I can't see where you would have any responsibility.  It's not up to you to provide smooth  roads for other people.   If crop land borders these rocky section lines then I would say you just handed us a line of bs.

bacon Said:
 So what would happen if I went out and removed all the rock on our sections lines and left 4 foot deep holes for people to drive into. Would that be better? There are rocks that stick out a foot and are 5 or 6 feet in the ground. 
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That would involve work and we all know farmers don't work that hard.  

bacon Said:
 So what would happen if I went out and removed all the rock on our sections lines and left 4 foot deep holes for people to drive into. Would that be better? There are rocks that stick out a foot and are 5 or 6 feet in the ground. 
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feather_duster Said:
That would involve work and we all know farmers don't work that hard.  

bacon Said:
 So what would happen if I went out and removed all the rock on our sections lines and left 4 foot deep holes for people to drive into. Would that be better? There are rocks that stick out a foot and are 5 or 6 feet in the ground. 

I'm sure there is a piece of equipment they could buy just for that purpose.  we all know they need the write off.

 

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Plainsman Said:
  Sometimes native prairie is that rocky.  Anyone with an ounce of sense would be running cattle and not John Deer on that land.  If that's the case I can't see where you would have any responsibility.  It's not up to you to provide smooth  roads for other people.   If crop land borders these rocky section lines then I would say you just handed us a line of bs.

bacon Said:
 So what would happen if I went out and removed all the rock on our sections lines and left 4 foot deep holes for people to drive into. Would that be better? There are rocks that stick out a foot and are 5 or 6 feet in the ground. 

I am always amused when people that have never invested a dollar of their own equity in a farming operation to provide their livelyhood tell other people how they should make a living farming as if they actually know something.

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this is all public information if someone was really interested.  so, i am pretty sure i can post this.  since nobody cares enough to post the other side of the story and since its pretty clear it needs to be posted given how some of you refuse to even acknowledge there could possibly be another side of the story and everyone just wants to take mr. bear's letter as factually true, here is the narrative directly from the affidavit of probable cause that led to the charge.  i am going to paraphrase....

game warden was traveling down the section line.  game warden looked over at the hunters and his vehicle came to a sudden and abrupt stop.  he exited his truck to find that someone had placed a very large rock in the middle of the section line.  the group of hunters came over to the game warden. hunters said they saw him driving and knew he was going to hit the rock as they had almost hit it themselves but saw it in time because michael bear drove around it (the part about michael driving around it comes from the state's response to defendant's motion and brief to dismiss).  michael bear (notice the last name) stated his uncle (donald bear) placed the rock to keep someone from driving to his field.  investigator contacted donald later.  he acknowledged he placed it there to keep someone from driving in his field.  

also keep in mind that the defendant filed a motion and brief to dismiss.  the state responded in kind.  the court denied said motion.  a trial was held and he was found guilty after all evidence and testimony was presented to the judge (which included the truck sitting on said rock, google earth pictures, the location of said rock in section line, testimony from all witnesses, etc...).  he has appealed.  but, given the standard of review for appeals like this, i doubt he will be successful.  

hope this sheds light on the subject and puts an end to the nonsense.  


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