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What are my rights?

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While talking to a friend of mine about being boarded by the LDWF to check my ice chest, he had a fit. He was telling me they should need warrant to open anything with a lid or hatch. Now in my 30 years of boat ownership i've always complied, got
nothing to fear when your always legal. But this got me thinking what are my rights? Are they limited to whats in plain view. police must ask permission to search a car without a warrant, do i give up that right because i'am in a boat in state or federal waters? Any wardens out there that can answer this.
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Im not quite 100% positive so take this with a grain of salt but game wardens DO NOT have to ask permission or have a warrant to search your boat/truck/atv etc. I agree that it seems like an infringement on our constitutional rights but nothing you can do about it.
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   LSU Freak
Game Wardens do not need a warrant to search your boat, home, car etc. I would not take your friends advise when it comes to this, it will result to you having a not so good day.

http://www.legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.asp?doc=105379

See LARS 56:55

§55. Search with or without warrant

A. The secretary, the deputy secretary, or any commissioned wildlife enforcement agent of the enforcement division may visit, inspect, and examine, with or without search warrant, records, any cold storage plant, warehouse, boat, store, car, conveyance, automobile or other vehicle, airplane or other aircraft, basket or other receptacle, or any place of deposit for wild birds, wild quadrupeds, fish, or other aquatic life or any parts thereof whenever there is probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred.

B. Commissioned wildlife enforcement agents of the enforcement division are authorized to visit or inspect at frequent intervals without the need of search warrants, records, cold storage plants, bait stands, warehouses, public restaurants, public and private markets, stores, and places where wild birds, game quadrupeds, fish, or other aquatic life or any parts thereof may be kept and offered for sale, for the purpose of ascertaining whether any laws or regulations under the jurisdiction of the department have been violated. They also shall inspect establishments for commercial licenses required by the department to retail and/or wholesale commercial fish and bait fish where applicable under the provisions of this Chapter. The department may institute proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction for violation of laws or regulations under its jurisdiction.

Acts 1985, No. 876, §3, eff. July 23, 1985; Acts 1999, No. 13, §1.
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Every time I have been checked (quite a few times), the agent asks if they can take a look at whatever. I always comply. Being defensive toward them will only make them offensive toward you. If I were an agent, I would probably be in prison, for I would have taken some of you out. Golden Rule applies.
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You have no rights when it comes to LDWF . They can board your vessel , search your boat , icechest , come in your house anytime they feel the need , look in your deep freeze , whatever they feel they need to do to find the evidence they're looking for . They have more power than the FBI or CIA . It's just the way it is .
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Forgot to mention. Personally i have been stopped by agents many many times on land and water. I have yet to meet an agent that wasnt polite and professional. Like the previous poster i gladly open my ice chest or livewell to show them what i have. Also when i see them approaching i stop fishing and get out my lifejackets/paperwork/fire extinguisher/ license etc....so that it makes their job easier. A small amount of courtesy towards these men and women goes a long way...and without their presence we wouldnt enjoy the hunting and fishing we have here. Now the USCG on the other hand.....well ive only encountered them once at sand dollar marina. Before i knew what was going on they were on my boat.....didnt even ask permission to get on my boat which really pissed me off. I was given a warning because my throw cushion wasnt 'accesable'(it was in my rod box) i was told i had to keep it out and visible....two questions. One isnt the coast gaurd required to ask before coming on my boat? Two anyone else ever been told that about the throw cusion? Uscg was very very rude. I asked one of them what they were doing searching boats in a marina....the reply i got was'we got bored patroling the rigs so we decided to come do this'
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Exact opposite here capt Ron . I've been checked a lot also by ldwf and each time I've also tried to be as cooperative as possible but 95% of the time the game wardens were less than friendly . I've had them sit there just thinking of what they could check me for next . Lol

On the other hand , I've been checked by the CG once and they were very professional and curteous as they boarded my houseboat and looked around , they were more curious asking questions rather than looking to write tickets . Maybe they were being nice because I offered them a beverage and food ... Hmmm
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Kind of funny that we have had the exact opposite experiences. Guess there are good and bad on both sides.
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thanks for the feedback, like i said i have always complied. this only happens when you have
beers with a couple of lawyers they get you thinking crazy thoughts. but i did note that the law said they must have probable cause. i guess that means in a boat on the water with a fishing pole.
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   rocknet
I was stopped by the Coast Guard a couple months ago. They asked to board my boat, and I said alright. They asked before they stepped in the boat if I had any weapons on board, which I didn't. I wonder what would have been their response if I did have a handgun or something on board. They checked my boat registration, drivers lic, and all required safety items. I handed them my fire ext. and they noticed the gauge on it was at low pressure. I bought it new about 8 years ago and never used it... but they told me it is possible for it to lose pressure over time. They wrote me a warning, and I was told to stop fishing and go straight in since I did not have protection from a possible fire.... which I did. They told me if I was stopped again, and they found I had not replaced the fire ext.... I would be cited. I went straight in and bought a white marine fire ext. I was looking at my flare kit, and noticed the flares were expired by about 3 months....they did not notice that. I also replaced all flares. The flares are only good for 39 months. It's a good idea to check these items every 6 months or so, I never thought about the fire ext. losing it's pressure or the flares only good for 39 months.
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Rocknet , you were lucky in a couple of ways . Lucky the coast guard was kind enough to let you know about your fire extinguisher and you were able to get some new flares while getting the ext. and lucky the game wardens didn't stop you because you would have been written a ticket too !
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   Prohound
The Coast Guard is a Federal Law Enforcement Service, the are not department of defense. They are the department of Homeland Security, same as FBI, Customs, ICE, Secret Service and they don't have to ask you to board your boat. They might do it being courteous, and they are doing what they are paid to do. They are not looking to write tickets, they are there to make sure as many people as possible is safe on the water. Those guys will come out and get you in any weather, Remember Hurricane Katrina?
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I think if the body of water is over two miles wide you need them. Like Raccourci. IMO the Coast Guard needs to find a suitable replacement for them. They are expensive, have a predetermined shelf life, and worst of all they can cause a fire and, I am guessing, they could be explosive. Any thoughts? Have a safe Fourth!
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   rocknet
The Guardsmen who checked me couldn't have been nicer. They made sure to tell me they were more concerned about people's safety than writing a ticket. I never considered a fire ext. would lose pressure if never used, so I am glad they saw that. I took it on my own to check my flares and saw the date on them. I am willing to bet 95% of the fishermen out there have never looked at the dates on them, or at their fire ext, thats why I mentioned looking at these items. It does little good to have them if they won't work when you need them.
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