Hey Chris, I hope all is going well. I was just on Fieldherpforum.com and seen some of your posts while looking to see what was the word in in the herping community. I appreciate you spreading the word about the law on there. It has been a mixed bag summer as ar as what I have encountered while checking herpers this summer. Started out checking lots of road cruisers as usual. Writing some warnings and citations when needed. Lots of verbal warnings. Most everyone giving the "im just taking pictures" statement that I've become familiar with. All had licenses though until we encountered a group that several did not have licenses. Then this weekend actually checked 3 people that were walking cuts and completely legal. Well found one that was clearly hunting snakes but lied his ass off telling us other stories. Anyway, its been fun and challenging working "snake hunters" this summer so far. It is a far different animal from checking hunters or fisherman. Have you heard anything regarding Game Warden encounters lately?
1. Whether you agree with herping-specific laws or not, FOLLOW THEM. If laws are introduced leaving you scratching your head as to why they came about, work to get those laws updated/changed to provide beneficial outcomes for both herpers (so we can enjoy what we love) and LE (so they don't have to figure out if someone genuinely is "just taking pictures"--and many of us do--or is up to no good). People that aren't above-board in their herping activities only hurt the rest of us that are trying to maintain good practices and relationships. Police each other, or the job will fall on LE and they aren't necessarily as accommodating.
2. Should go without saying, but Game Wardens read Field Herp Forum. This is a good thing.
3. Similar to Point #1--regardless of whether you agree completely with this Game Warden's perspective, it is important to realize that it IS his perspective, and one shared by many others in the Game Warden community. It is good to receive this sort of feedback as it should help us in how we conduct ourselves in the field and what the expectations are.