If I ever have the opportunity to write full-time for my living, I plan to author a second column entitled “Only in America” about the idiotic, absurd and outrageous things I see and hear that leave me shaking my head and mumbling “Only in America!” My favorite category is stupid criminals, and recently I’ve stumbled across several examples from the outdoor world that I think will entertain you. By the way, these are all documented in periodicals I receive.
The first involves the outdoorsman’s favorite group PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.) PETA has asked that Spearfish High School in Spearfish, South Dakota change its name to “Sea Kitten High School.” A PETA spokesman says its part of a new campaign aimed at kids, theorizing that the “kinder, gentler name of sea kitten will help them see fish as individuals that do have friendships, resulting in fewer fish being killed for food or sport.” High school Principal Steve Morford replied “Obviously it’s nothing we’re taking seriously,” and one senior interviewed stated “It’s so illogical that it’s hard to imagine.”…Go figure! Even PETA should be able to come up with something better than “Sea Kitten.”
Continuing in the world of fishing, a Hancock County Ohio Wildlife Officer was following up on complaints concerning two individuals at a local reservoir fishing from a pink canoe (yes, a pink canoe.) Suspecting them of keeping over the legal limit of yellow perch, he watched as a woman met them at the lake, took a bucket of fish from them and sped off. Her license number led the officer to her residence where he indeed found a bucket full of yellow perch, but no one was home. A sheriff’s deputy notified him that the fishermen had left the lake, so seeing as he had no real evidence linking the fishermen, the woman and the bucket of fish, he figured he had nothing to lose by quietly watching the house for awhile. The deal was sealed when the two fishermen arrived at the residence towing… you guessed it, a pink canoe! I’ll bet the fine they paid would have bought enough spray paint to repaint that canoe.
Yet another fish story goes something like this. An Ohio Wildlife Officer was following up on complaints of fishermen taking more than their legal limit of Saugeye, (a cross between Saugers and Walleye) at a State Lake spillway. The officer observed one particular fisherman catch and keep several Saugeyes along with numerous other fish. As the man packed up to leave, the officer stopped him but found only a bucket of bluegills in his possession. Knowing full well he had seen the man catch several Saugeyes, the officer stuck his hand into the bucket, and there, buried deep beneath a heap of bluegills found a bag containing more than the legal limit of Saugeyes. Between a fine and court costs, the failed caper cost the fisherman $150; pretty expensive fish if you ask me!
Evidently the following deer hunter had a death wish (I’m trying hard to give him credit for not being just plain stupid.) Once again in Ohio, during the extra weekend of deer firearms season, a wildlife officer observed the hunter enter a woods wearing a red hat and dark clothing. He stopped the hunter, who was not wearing a stitch of hunter orange because (according to the hunter) he didn’t want to look like he was hunting! I don’t know what else to say about this one!
And finally, having saved the best for last, here’s a story that appeared awhile back in the Hutchinson News. On the evening of November 22, during the Vermont firearms deer season Marcel Fournier from Burlington, Vermont shot a doe. Now in VT it’s illegal to shoot an antlerless deer, so using epoxy and lag bolts, ol’ Marcel proceeded to bolt a set of antlers to the noggin of his prize, photograph himself with it then check it into Barnie’s Market as lawful game. Yup, you guessed it, his fabrication job earned him a $400 fine and jail time, plus he can’t get a Vermont hunting, fishing or trapping license for at least three years. What a guy! Three years should give him plenty of time to brush up on his fabricating skills.
While I’m glad that none of these stories took place in Kansas, I am sorry they are not local stories as I haven’t yet found a source for local screw-ups that are as funny as any of these. By the way, don’t be too hard on our brothers and sisters from PETA. I just fried me up a mess of those sea kittens and they are goooood…Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at email@example.com