First of all, I’m sorry that I’ve created quite a stir with this. Yes, you who have mentioned that leaving decoys on hunting property is not the smartest idea. I agree with you and I don’t generally leave my decoys anywhere. I didn’t actually make the conscious decision to purposely leave my decoys on the property. I accidentally left them there. The reason they got accidentally left there is because of my current duck and goose decoy set-up. I have an ATV with a 4x8 enclosed trailer attached to it, that also has ATV tires on it…it’s not a road-worthy trailer. I put all of my goose decoys and lay-out blinds in this trailer. This trailer is packed completely full. I pull this whole set-up onto a 16 foot flat-bed landscape trailer. I always leave my duck full-body dekes in the bed of the landscape trailer, underneath the ATV trailer. I leave them there so I can use them in areas where we kill ducks and geese in the same field. .If we are hunting an area where we are only gonna kill geese, I leave them on the landscape trailer. So when we get to our spot, before I off load my ATY and its accompanying trailer, I have to take my duck dekes off so I don’t run over them. After I pull the ATV/trailer off the landscape trailer, I throw my duck dekes back into the landscape trailer while we’re goose hunting. If I’m parked in an area where passing drivers can easily see the dekes in the landscape trailer, to avoid them getting stolen, I’ll hide them somewhere…..this was the case on the day that I left them at the farm accidentally. When we were done hunting, I pulled my ATV/Trailer back onto the landscape trailer, and forgot to grab my duck dekes out of the brush where I hid them (on private property).When I got home and realized that I had left them at the spot, I figured it wasn’t too big of deal because we have exclusive duck-hunting rights to this property and that I had hid them in the brush anyway. I just figured that I’d grab them when I went back to hunt the next time there…which is quite often. The property is at least a 40 minute drive one way and I didn’t want to take anymore time away from my wife and kids during the day. If it was public land, I would’ve most definitely driven back to the spot. Again, I made a simple mistake of leaving my dekes there. But I didn’t think the chance was very good that they would be stolen from private property with my name visibly inscribed on each decoy.
There is absolutely nothing in the law that indicates property left, especially property inscribed with an individual’s name on it, that it is abandoned. Frank, in as respectful as a manner as I can put it, you unfortunately had to deal with lazy and/or unknowledgeable law enforcement officers. And for that I feel bad that you received that poor information.
The bottom line is that I really just want my dekes back. It also bothers me that by trying to get my dekes back, that it got us thrown off of a good hunting spot and possibly severed a friendship. However, I was able to learn a few things from this whole incident. One important thing to remember is that people are more important than things. I’d give up all of my waterfowl hunting equipment and all of my private hunting spots for my family and friends. I never made the conscious decision to try to get my dekes back for the purpose of severing a friendship and trust…I just wanted my dekes back.
Thanks to all who have given me their support. If any of you are ever in Albany, send me a PM, and I will put you on an excellent duck and/or goose hunt, even you Frank.
JoKen's Sir Lucas Bartholomew - "Lucas"
Tallmadge's Miss Eloise Lucia JH - "Ellie"
HR Tallmadge's Spirit of Light SH - "Boggs"