Television shows law-breakers

Several days ago I watched Remington’s Buck Stops Here television show on Versus. Host Mike Hanback and friend Jim Riley were deer hunting in southeast Kansas.

Much of the show was focused on Riley’s hunt for a nice eight-pointer. Much of that time he wasn’t wearing an orange cap.

For decades the Kansas deer hunting regulations have been pretty clear that firearms deer hunters must have a certain amount of orange on their torso and  heads.

The camera clearly shows Riley was breaking the law, though it was probably with no malice at heart.

He’s not the first to be caught on camera. Through the years several big-name show hosts have been shown breaking Kansas laws while on camera.

Often it has to do with hunter orange. I’ve seen some remove an orange hat once in a box blind. Another put a heavier coat on that covered their orange vest.

Several times the camera has shown untagged deer being loaded into a truck or dragged towards that job.

Years ago a show host was filmed using an electronic remote to make his deer decoy move. You can’t use electronics to lure big game animals in Kansas.

I’m not the only person who’s seen such things. Talk of it has come up at Wildlife and Parks Commission meetings. Several times a year I get an e-mail or casual mention when talking to someone.

Kevin Jones, Wildlife and Parks law enforcement chief, is aware such violations are sometimes shown on TV and videos. He said all are handled differently.

Jones said he thought a few cases have been made with such footage as proof. Sometimes the offender may be contacted and educated on the error or their ways. Often nothing happens at all, at least not that he’s heard about.

He said he and his wardens take all game laws seriously, especially those that involve hunter safety, like the hunter orange requirements. But issuing someone a ticket that lives several states away has its share of problems for the agency and the out-of-state hunter.

Of course not all in-state violators are issued citations. Most wardens I’ve been around do a pretty good job of handling each situation.

I’ve seen wardens hand hunters pens to sign their waterfowl stamps. Others have reminded deer hunters they need to be wearing all of their hunter orange if they are using binoculars to look for deer from their pick-ups.

I’m not sure how many people annually get ticketed for not wearing the required amount of hunter orange while hunting for deer in Kansas.

But I’m sure all are pretty frustrated when they see someone getting away with it on televison.