Recently the US Supreme Court has turned down the opportunity to review a case out of California where it was ruled that those involved in hunting and fishing have fewer privacy rights as guaranteed in the Constitution. The lack of action by the highest court serves for now as a form of endorsement of this interpretation of the law.
I know this will raise a lot of hackles among certain groups.
Some of my thoughts are that hunting and fishing are both important tool of wildlife and fisheries management, but:
These are highly regulated activities requiring special licenses, permits, and in the case of hunting in many states the completion of Hunter Safety training to qualify for issuance. Licensed activities such as having a drivers license have long been considered by the courts as a privilege not a right. Even the Supreme Court has ruled in the past that operating motor vehicles and the licenses to do so entail a diminished right of privacy when law enforcement officers are investigating the reasonable suspicion that a crime or violation has occurred.
The holders of these hunting and fishing permits and licenses are being given permission to take wildlife and fish that belong to us all that I believe entails a higher level of accountability to society for compliance with regulations. Those who hunt or fish illegally are also stealing from those who follow the rules and try to take their game by the rules and have paid in some cases high fees for this privilege.
If additional limits were placed on Wildlife Offices and Park Rangers it would be near impossible to enforce seasons, protect specific species, ensure limits of wildlife and fish taken, preserve protected areas, etc.
In the case of hunters, when contacted by enforcement officers it is a known fact that they have weapons in their possession and it is necessary for officers to locate and secure those weapons for the safety of the public and themselves when making checks for possible violations. Remember, the Game Warden or Park Ranger that is contacting a person has no idea who they are dealing with, their past history, proclivity for anger and violence, or if they have indeed broken a law or regulation until after the contact is made.
You can learn more about the court ruling from this article: