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46 Cumb. L. Rev. 79 (2015-2016)
The Fourth Amendment, Game Wardens, and Hunters

handle is hein.journals/cumlr46 and id is 83 raw text is: 


                 ED R. HADEN* & ADAM K. ISRAEL**

     Game wardens are charged with enforcing federal and state hunt-
ing and fishing laws.' Courts have often interpreted the Fourth Amend-
ment to provide more leeway to game wardens who interact with hunt-
ers than to police officers who interact with other citizens. For
example, a game warden may stop a hunter in the field and demand that
the hunter present his hunting license for any reason.2 Alternatively,
for a police officer to stop a pedestrian on the street and demand the
production of an identifying document, he must have reasonable sus-
picion that the pedestrian has violated the law.3
     Furthermore, the Supreme Court of California held that a game
warden possesses the authority to stop a hunter in a moving automobile
without reasonable suspicion of any legal violation.4 In contrast, a po-
lice officer must have reasonable suspicion that a driver on the road has
violated the law to pull him over.'
     In most states, a game warden may search any containers the
hunter may have with him or in his motor vehicle for game without any
reason to believe there has been a violation of the game laws.6 How-
ever, a police officer must have probable cause to search containers
such as luggage or the trunk of an automobile.7

* Ed R. Haden, J.D., Washington and Lee University School of Law, 1993; B.S., Univer-
sity of Alabama, 1985; M.T.A., University of Alabama, 1986.
** Adam K. Israel, J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 2009; B.A., Birmingham-
Southern College, 2006.
1 See, e.g., 16 U.S.C. §§ 3375, 3378 (2012); ALA. CODE § 9-2-65(a) (2001) (Game and
fish wardens shall have power: (1) To enforce all laws of this state relating to birds, animals
and fish....); CAL. FISH & GAME CODE § 878 (West 2013) (The county fish and game
warden shall enforce the state laws relating to the protection of fish and game.).
2 See, e.g., State v. McHugh, 630 So. 2d 1259, 1265-66 (La. 1994), rejected on other
grounds by State v. Jackson, 764 So. 2d 64 (La. 2000).
3 See Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47, 52-53 (1979); Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 30 (1968).
4 See People v. Maikhio, 253 P.3d 247, 250 (Cal. 2011).
5 See Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648, 663 (1979).
6 See, e.g., Hamilton v. Myers, 281 F.3d 520, 531-32 (6th Cir. 2002) (finding that TENN.
CODE ANN. § 70-1-201 supported the warrantless searching of boats or duck blinds for any
reason in connection with enforcing all laws relating to wildlife); People v. Layton, 552
N.E.2d 1280, 1287 (11. App. Ct. 1990); Monroe v State, 253 S.W.2d 734, 735-36 (Tenn.
7 United States v. Ross, 456 U.S. 798, 825 (1982); see Torres v. Puerto Rico, 442 U.S.

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