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Skull Mounts And Virginia Law

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January 29, 2010
Skull Mounts And Virginia Law - 37

Here at the Newshound, we’re continually supportive of the tireless efforts put forth by those men and women who enforce state and federal game and fish regulations. And, for the most part, we promote respect and strict adherence to state game and hunting-related laws.

But an incident occurring in Virginia this week has us scratching our head in confusion and bewilderment, to say the least.

On Wednesday, a conservation officer with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries officially charged Martinsville Police Chief Mike Rogers with practicing taxidermy without a permit—a class 4 misdemeanor.

According to the charges, Chief Rogers was guilty of performing taxidermy on his recently taken whitetail buck without first obtaining an annual state license, which costs $40. The chief’s “taxidermy” consisted of removing the fur and flesh from the skull of his deer—resulting in what is commonly referred to as a European mount.

Chief Rogers did not contest the citation and has already paid a $121 fine to the Henry County General District Court.

The Martinsville Bulletin newspaper reported that citing VDGIF officer Matthew Silicki stressed the offense was neither criminal nor purposeful.

“There was not any type of (criminal) negligence,” Silicki said. “It was genuinely an honest mistake.”

In the meantime, Chief Rogers was both confused and surprised by the citation—as are we here at The Newshound.

He said he does not consider himself to be a taxidermist but he would have gladly paid the required  $40 fee if he had known it was necessary for a self-done skull mount.

“In nearly every dictionary I have looked at, taxidermy is defined as the art or operation of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of dead birds and animals for exhibition in a lifelike state,” said Rogers.

A European mount looks “anything but lifelike,” he said.

So, what do you think?

Comments (37)

Top Rated
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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Mike Rogers, thanks!!! I didnt want to say anything but I know people pass threw here & leave bogus information thanks for straightening things out. We have alot of game wardens working 1.4 million acers of reservation land & to ask them to protect the whole 1.4 would be insane but people do expect them. I myself think they do the best they can & thank them for there services!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from victorycruiser wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Being in law enforcement you of all people should realize that there is always more to a story than what is printed in a news article. By reading Cheif Rogers' own statements, he tells you that the officer was looking for others, that were his friends, that were conducting taxidermy as a "business" and in his own words "ignorance of the law was no excuse, no one is above the law and I insisted that he charge me just like he did two of my friends." Let's not judge someone without having ALL the facts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mohician wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Being in Law Enforcement myself, it would seem that VDGIF officer Matthew Silicki does not know how to apply the concept of 'discretion'.... and NOT just because of Chief Rogers' being in Law Enforcement. It goes first to Chief Rogers 'intent' in producing the mount and then to the 'spirit of the law' vs. black and white 'letter of the law'. I guess it helps to throw in a dash or two of common sense.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Chief, thank you for the rest of the story. Also thank you for your service to your community.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Rogers wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

You are welcome Pineywoods.

To be honest, if I had anticipated so much being made of the incident, we would have provided more information and details in the press release. I really did not anticipate so much being made of the incident. Much to my regret, I have recently learned this incident has brought on a lot of undeserved criticism for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, at a times when game officials were meeting with members of our General Assembly.

As you mentioned in your post, our conservation officers (game wardens) are definitely a very dedicated bunch of law enforcement officers. One of the saddest things about our Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)is the fact that our citizens interest in the great American traditions of hunting and fishing is dwinding. Sadly, that is also a reflection of those who we elect to the General Assembly. Because the VDGIF is such a small agency their voice is seldom heard over the strong lobbying efforts of the Virginia State Police Association, Virginia Sheriff's Association and Virginis Chiefs of Police Association. There is absolutely no excuse or reason why members of the VDGIF should not be compensated at the level our State Police personnel are. When you are a game warden assigned to work one to three counties all by yourself, constantly being called out at all hours of the night and day, backing up your local police on their dangerous calls for service, and confronted armed people all of the time, for VERY MINIMAL pay, it can and does become very depressing. The sad part about all of this is the fact that until our legislators fully realize the injustice to these officers, nothing will change.

I would imagine its the same situation in many other states and it's something you need to keep in mind the next time you meet a game warden who is doing his or her job. You need to thank them for doing such a dangerous, thankless, and underfunded job. And if you really want to help them, tell your elected state officials how you feel and encourage them to do more for our game officials.
Mike Rogers

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from pineywoods wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Thank you, Chief Rogers, for giving us the real story. I applaud your honesty and integrity in insisting on being given the ticket.

There just had to have been more to the story than was reported and it appears that the person who wrote the original story dropped the ball in not getting in all the facts, or he/she was following the old journalism axiom, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

I fully agree with your assessment of the game warden's job and that it is one that requires a high degree of dedication.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Rogers wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

This is Mike Rogers and I hope to settle a few of the questions raised in this blog, which was just sent to me by a friend. First and foremost, I have always respected the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries and I always will. My contact with the game warden came about when he asked for my assistance in locating a taxidermist friend of mine who had a pretty good taxidermy business going and who had not secured a required license. During my efforts to assist the warden (who was following up on a citizen complaint), I mentioned the fact that I did European mounts (5 to 10 a year) for $75 each (compensation)and asked him if I needed a license. When he stated "yes" and explained the code section, I advised him that "ignorance of the law was no excuse, no one is above the law and I insisted that he charge me just like he did two of my friends." If you mount a skull or antlers on a board or plaque, I would argue you need a license and I have no problem with it. It may be the statute needs to be amended to specifically address a skull mount, but the intent of the law (I think) is to assist our game wardens in tracking down illegal deer that may be taken to taxidermist and that should definitely apply to someone doing skull mounts. Virginia requires licensed taxidermist to obtain the name and information from people who bring them deer and I think that is great, afterall, if you harvested the deer in a legal manner that should not be an issue. The bottom line in all of this is the fact that I learned that I had made an honest mistake, I accepted responsibility and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the Va. DGIF to followup on their citizen complaints and enforce all of their game laws in a fair and impartial manner like their code of ethics requires them to do. I've been in law enforcement for 30 years and am constantly getting complaints because we write speeding tickets instead of doing other things more serious. No matter what you do or how ard you try you cannot please everyone but have the utmost respect for all our game wardens. They are some of the most overworked, understaffed and underpaid law enforcement officials I know of. On top of all of that, they face the never ending threat of running up on an armed violator, who may be drunk,on drugs, or plain mean as hell, out in the middle of no where who doesn't want to get arrested. I would like to close out my comments by asking the question, "How would your trophy fishing & hunting be if we didn't any game wardens?" The only problem with our game wardens in my opinion, is the fact that we don't have enough of them.

Mike Rogers
Chief of Police
City of Martinsville
Virginia

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from redbeard wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

It's a recession and the Commonwealth is taking in less money in taxes. So they pull bull**** like this.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahomike wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Do you need a manufacturing license to make your own fishing tackle or reload your own ammunition. Typical C.O. just write em up. You have a better chance of getting off if you rob a convience store than if you catch the wrong fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from speakmymind wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I guess I'll need to get a restaurant licence now. I cooked dinner last night and ate it. Oops! Liqour licence too. Had a beer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pittster wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Knowing the ilk of our Attorney General, he would probably recoomed the chair for the guy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from toroscope wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

If the chief was (as Whitetail Fanatic stated), making European Mounts and selling them to his friends, there is still missing information.

Virginia has a set limit (like all states) on number of deer taken and how many can be Bucks (can't see any market for "doe" skulls)...selling ONE of these (harvested by the chief) to a friend each year wouldn't be a bad thing...or making one for himself from his own harvest.

To have a business doing these mounts out of deer harvested by friends, and being paid for it, irregardless of what definition Daniel Webster (and others of his ilk) assigned to the "word": taxidermy, I would have to side with the CO on this one...it would have to be considered a "form" of taxidermy and if the game laws rule against making a profit from the carcass/harvest of game animals, the CO was right.

I VERY strongly suspect that the purpose of having to have a permit to do taxidermy, is to ensure the taxidermist is aware of state game regulations and does due diligence in checking to ensure that game that he or she mounts was taken LEGALLY i.e. sees the tags, maybe registers with state that he worked on them or logs them into a log thus preventing possibility of making profit off of illegally obtained/poached game.

Being a Police Chief and well aware of laws and nuances, it sounds like Chief Rogers essentially had to agree (even though he cited the definitions in dictionaries to the media), paid the fine and got on with life.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wv trapper wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

The laws they enforce sometimes makes me wonder.The goverment has got to have their hand in everything, rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

So did the chief give someone a ticket in the past and this is retribution? Sounds both fishy and ignorant to me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

whitetail fanatic, What town are you from?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

And for everyone out there if you get a citation and think you are in the right go and fight it. Happened to me about 5 years ago and the county court threw it out right away and said that the C.O. should really learn the laws better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Too bad OL didn't do their homework on this story and get all the facts before you all got into a discussion. Thanks Whitetail fanatic for the details. But than again I believe these topics aren't researched news pieces. Just tidbits the editors find on line to share. Either way interesting story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

That sucks, something dose not smell very good about this story,would like to see more on it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Sounds like a new kind of "speed trap" to me !
He should have fought this one !

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from spneese wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

The DNR guy must be either as anal as all get out or very junior and not used to his authority. Kind of like a private with a gun or a LT with a map. Both will get you nothing but trouble.

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from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Sent a letter to the new Attorney General of Virginia asking about this crazy incident. Stay tuned, Sports Fans.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hey bo its really ok sir it was a bad day just leave to forget about it,dont want you upset or anyone else and you have a fine weekend bo!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Seeing the note by whitetail fanatic, in Oklahoma, selling any deer parts, to include mounts, meat whatever, like that will get you in significant trouble, I believe more trouble than the chief got into. There was more to the story and that sheds a whole different light on the matter. Thank you, whitetail fanatic, for the rest of the story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

No, I am not that social, I guess. I am way too provate to put that kind of info out there. Plus with a face like mine, I don't need my picture out there. I just want to talk to you, NOT RAG on you, I promise. We both got a bit heated and fed off of each other. We managed to hit all of the other's right buttons and I did not handle it as well as I could have. I apologize for my "kill them all, let God sort them out" approach. I have a tendency to go into an all out attack mode when I feel like I am a target, It goes back a long way in my life and I cannot explain it here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitetail fanatic wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I'm from the town where Cheif Rogers is from. Outdoorlife failed to mention that Cheif Rogers was making and selling the european mounts to his friends, which without a license is illegal in Virginia.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hey bo dont really do the e mail thing do you have a face book account we can talk there young man!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Patrick, please email me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

That's crazy. It seems like there's a government fee for everything we do today. Enjoy all that free air while you can. Pretty soon you're going to need to buy a license to breathe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jlduis wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Sounds like there was some conflict between the Wildlife Officer and Police Chief. I think there's more to this story...

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johnnie wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

What's next? Butchering without the proper tools, facility, or a butcher license?
I don't see where this mounting of a skull falls under taxidermy. Taxidermy is as mentioned in the article "the art or operation of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of dead birds and animals". There isn't any skin on a European mount, so where does this fall under taxidermy? Rogers should have fought the charges. A frivolous charge indeed.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from snagfish wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

look up virginia law (Title 29.1, chapter 4,Code of virginia.

if i'm not mistaken i believe thats if you sell or recieve compensation for it?

i'd really like to see a ruling on this case from the Attny General of this state on the case?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

does the virginia dnr need the money that bad!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hey bo i want to say im sorry young man for what happened yesterday lets just forget about it and move on.like to apologize to seadog and charlie elk also well guys you have a great day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Horn of the Hunter wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Dude. Thats messed up

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

This sounds not just like an overzealous Wildlfe officer but a control freak who is out of control. Unfortunately when the guy paid the fine he opened the gate for more of these and thereby setting precedent, a very dangerous precedent. Bad call not to contest it.
I would be interested in seeing what the state definition is for taxidermy. I have never heard of European mounts falling under that definition. In Oklahoma years ago, I have gone to classes given by the wildlife Department to help us do our own taxidermy. I ended up doing a European mount becasue it was so much easier. And someone from the State Wildife Department helped me do it. I have a nice 6 point whitetail mount on the wall in my study I can look at as I read this.I don't understand this at all.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Here I thought the purpose of a taxidermy license was to protect the public from shysters who don't know a thing about it. If the chief wasn't marketing services or charging others, why the license. To bring up a gray area, at what point in the process of cleaning an animal have you crossed the line. First cut? Caping out?

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from cjohnsrud wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Just another Wildlife officer being overly zealous to make a point.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from jcarlin wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Here I thought the purpose of a taxidermy license was to protect the public from shysters who don't know a thing about it. If the chief wasn't marketing services or charging others, why the license. To bring up a gray area, at what point in the process of cleaning an animal have you crossed the line. First cut? Caping out?

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from snagfish wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

look up virginia law (Title 29.1, chapter 4,Code of virginia.

if i'm not mistaken i believe thats if you sell or recieve compensation for it?

i'd really like to see a ruling on this case from the Attny General of this state on the case?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from cjohnsrud wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Just another Wildlife officer being overly zealous to make a point.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johnnie wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

What's next? Butchering without the proper tools, facility, or a butcher license?
I don't see where this mounting of a skull falls under taxidermy. Taxidermy is as mentioned in the article "the art or operation of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of dead birds and animals". There isn't any skin on a European mount, so where does this fall under taxidermy? Rogers should have fought the charges. A frivolous charge indeed.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jlduis wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Sounds like there was some conflict between the Wildlife Officer and Police Chief. I think there's more to this story...

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

This sounds not just like an overzealous Wildlfe officer but a control freak who is out of control. Unfortunately when the guy paid the fine he opened the gate for more of these and thereby setting precedent, a very dangerous precedent. Bad call not to contest it.
I would be interested in seeing what the state definition is for taxidermy. I have never heard of European mounts falling under that definition. In Oklahoma years ago, I have gone to classes given by the wildlife Department to help us do our own taxidermy. I ended up doing a European mount becasue it was so much easier. And someone from the State Wildife Department helped me do it. I have a nice 6 point whitetail mount on the wall in my study I can look at as I read this.I don't understand this at all.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Horn of the Hunter wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Dude. Thats messed up

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

That's crazy. It seems like there's a government fee for everything we do today. Enjoy all that free air while you can. Pretty soon you're going to need to buy a license to breathe.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from whitetail fanatic wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

I'm from the town where Cheif Rogers is from. Outdoorlife failed to mention that Cheif Rogers was making and selling the european mounts to his friends, which without a license is illegal in Virginia.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hey bo i want to say im sorry young man for what happened yesterday lets just forget about it and move on.like to apologize to seadog and charlie elk also well guys you have a great day.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Patrick, please email me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hey bo dont really do the e mail thing do you have a face book account we can talk there young man!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

No, I am not that social, I guess. I am way too provate to put that kind of info out there. Plus with a face like mine, I don't need my picture out there. I just want to talk to you, NOT RAG on you, I promise. We both got a bit heated and fed off of each other. We managed to hit all of the other's right buttons and I did not handle it as well as I could have. I apologize for my "kill them all, let God sort them out" approach. I have a tendency to go into an all out attack mode when I feel like I am a target, It goes back a long way in my life and I cannot explain it here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bo wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Seeing the note by whitetail fanatic, in Oklahoma, selling any deer parts, to include mounts, meat whatever, like that will get you in significant trouble, I believe more trouble than the chief got into. There was more to the story and that sheds a whole different light on the matter. Thank you, whitetail fanatic, for the rest of the story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Big O wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Sounds like a new kind of "speed trap" to me !
He should have fought this one !

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Don Mitchell wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

That sucks, something dose not smell very good about this story,would like to see more on it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Too bad OL didn't do their homework on this story and get all the facts before you all got into a discussion. Thanks Whitetail fanatic for the details. But than again I believe these topics aren't researched news pieces. Just tidbits the editors find on line to share. Either way interesting story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

And for everyone out there if you get a citation and think you are in the right go and fight it. Happened to me about 5 years ago and the county court threw it out right away and said that the C.O. should really learn the laws better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

So did the chief give someone a ticket in the past and this is retribution? Sounds both fishy and ignorant to me.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Rogers wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

This is Mike Rogers and I hope to settle a few of the questions raised in this blog, which was just sent to me by a friend. First and foremost, I have always respected the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries and I always will. My contact with the game warden came about when he asked for my assistance in locating a taxidermist friend of mine who had a pretty good taxidermy business going and who had not secured a required license. During my efforts to assist the warden (who was following up on a citizen complaint), I mentioned the fact that I did European mounts (5 to 10 a year) for $75 each (compensation)and asked him if I needed a license. When he stated "yes" and explained the code section, I advised him that "ignorance of the law was no excuse, no one is above the law and I insisted that he charge me just like he did two of my friends." If you mount a skull or antlers on a board or plaque, I would argue you need a license and I have no problem with it. It may be the statute needs to be amended to specifically address a skull mount, but the intent of the law (I think) is to assist our game wardens in tracking down illegal deer that may be taken to taxidermist and that should definitely apply to someone doing skull mounts. Virginia requires licensed taxidermist to obtain the name and information from people who bring them deer and I think that is great, afterall, if you harvested the deer in a legal manner that should not be an issue. The bottom line in all of this is the fact that I learned that I had made an honest mistake, I accepted responsibility and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the Va. DGIF to followup on their citizen complaints and enforce all of their game laws in a fair and impartial manner like their code of ethics requires them to do. I've been in law enforcement for 30 years and am constantly getting complaints because we write speeding tickets instead of doing other things more serious. No matter what you do or how ard you try you cannot please everyone but have the utmost respect for all our game wardens. They are some of the most overworked, understaffed and underpaid law enforcement officials I know of. On top of all of that, they face the never ending threat of running up on an armed violator, who may be drunk,on drugs, or plain mean as hell, out in the middle of no where who doesn't want to get arrested. I would like to close out my comments by asking the question, "How would your trophy fishing & hunting be if we didn't any game wardens?" The only problem with our game wardens in my opinion, is the fact that we don't have enough of them.

Mike Rogers
Chief of Police
City of Martinsville
Virginia

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

does the virginia dnr need the money that bad!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

hey bo its really ok sir it was a bad day just leave to forget about it,dont want you upset or anyone else and you have a fine weekend bo!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Sent a letter to the new Attorney General of Virginia asking about this crazy incident. Stay tuned, Sports Fans.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from spneese wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

The DNR guy must be either as anal as all get out or very junior and not used to his authority. Kind of like a private with a gun or a LT with a map. Both will get you nothing but trouble.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

whitetail fanatic, What town are you from?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wv trapper wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

The laws they enforce sometimes makes me wonder.The goverment has got to have their hand in everything, rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from toroscope wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

If the chief was (as Whitetail Fanatic stated), making European Mounts and selling them to his friends, there is still missing information.

Virginia has a set limit (like all states) on number of deer taken and how many can be Bucks (can't see any market for "doe" skulls)...selling ONE of these (harvested by the chief) to a friend each year wouldn't be a bad thing...or making one for himself from his own harvest.

To have a business doing these mounts out of deer harvested by friends, and being paid for it, irregardless of what definition Daniel Webster (and others of his ilk) assigned to the "word": taxidermy, I would have to side with the CO on this one...it would have to be considered a "form" of taxidermy and if the game laws rule against making a profit from the carcass/harvest of game animals, the CO was right.

I VERY strongly suspect that the purpose of having to have a permit to do taxidermy, is to ensure the taxidermist is aware of state game regulations and does due diligence in checking to ensure that game that he or she mounts was taken LEGALLY i.e. sees the tags, maybe registers with state that he worked on them or logs them into a log thus preventing possibility of making profit off of illegally obtained/poached game.

Being a Police Chief and well aware of laws and nuances, it sounds like Chief Rogers essentially had to agree (even though he cited the definitions in dictionaries to the media), paid the fine and got on with life.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pittster wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Knowing the ilk of our Attorney General, he would probably recoomed the chair for the guy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from speakmymind wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

I guess I'll need to get a restaurant licence now. I cooked dinner last night and ate it. Oops! Liqour licence too. Had a beer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idahomike wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Do you need a manufacturing license to make your own fishing tackle or reload your own ammunition. Typical C.O. just write em up. You have a better chance of getting off if you rob a convience store than if you catch the wrong fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from redbeard wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

It's a recession and the Commonwealth is taking in less money in taxes. So they pull bull**** like this.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pineywoods wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Thank you, Chief Rogers, for giving us the real story. I applaud your honesty and integrity in insisting on being given the ticket.

There just had to have been more to the story than was reported and it appears that the person who wrote the original story dropped the ball in not getting in all the facts, or he/she was following the old journalism axiom, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

I fully agree with your assessment of the game warden's job and that it is one that requires a high degree of dedication.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Rogers wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

You are welcome Pineywoods.

To be honest, if I had anticipated so much being made of the incident, we would have provided more information and details in the press release. I really did not anticipate so much being made of the incident. Much to my regret, I have recently learned this incident has brought on a lot of undeserved criticism for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, at a times when game officials were meeting with members of our General Assembly.

As you mentioned in your post, our conservation officers (game wardens) are definitely a very dedicated bunch of law enforcement officers. One of the saddest things about our Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries (VDGIF)is the fact that our citizens interest in the great American traditions of hunting and fishing is dwinding. Sadly, that is also a reflection of those who we elect to the General Assembly. Because the VDGIF is such a small agency their voice is seldom heard over the strong lobbying efforts of the Virginia State Police Association, Virginia Sheriff's Association and Virginis Chiefs of Police Association. There is absolutely no excuse or reason why members of the VDGIF should not be compensated at the level our State Police personnel are. When you are a game warden assigned to work one to three counties all by yourself, constantly being called out at all hours of the night and day, backing up your local police on their dangerous calls for service, and confronted armed people all of the time, for VERY MINIMAL pay, it can and does become very depressing. The sad part about all of this is the fact that until our legislators fully realize the injustice to these officers, nothing will change.

I would imagine its the same situation in many other states and it's something you need to keep in mind the next time you meet a game warden who is doing his or her job. You need to thank them for doing such a dangerous, thankless, and underfunded job. And if you really want to help them, tell your elected state officials how you feel and encourage them to do more for our game officials.
Mike Rogers

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from Bo wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Chief, thank you for the rest of the story. Also thank you for your service to your community.

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from Mohician wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

Being in Law Enforcement myself, it would seem that VDGIF officer Matthew Silicki does not know how to apply the concept of 'discretion'.... and NOT just because of Chief Rogers' being in Law Enforcement. It goes first to Chief Rogers 'intent' in producing the mount and then to the 'spirit of the law' vs. black and white 'letter of the law'. I guess it helps to throw in a dash or two of common sense.

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from victorycruiser wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Being in law enforcement you of all people should realize that there is always more to a story than what is printed in a news article. By reading Cheif Rogers' own statements, he tells you that the officer was looking for others, that were his friends, that were conducting taxidermy as a "business" and in his own words "ignorance of the law was no excuse, no one is above the law and I insisted that he charge me just like he did two of my friends." Let's not judge someone without having ALL the facts.

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 22 weeks ago

Mike Rogers, thanks!!! I didnt want to say anything but I know people pass threw here & leave bogus information thanks for straightening things out. We have alot of game wardens working 1.4 million acers of reservation land & to ask them to protect the whole 1.4 would be insane but people do expect them. I myself think they do the best they can & thank them for there services!

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