Document your hunts, gentlemen. You will need to be able to prove who, what, when, and where you hunted. Keep the records for no less than five (5) years. Just ask the ___ Club in C___ County, NC. Some of their members learned the hard way recently.
According to the President, the Club is changing how it operates. They will maintain two distinct records. First, they will maintain an annual Member and Guest Registry. Every person who hunts with the Club will sign the Registry and provide contact information together with a copy of his state driver’s license or other photo ID and copy of his NC hunting license. The Club will maintain a copy of the driver’s license and hunting license.
Second, the Club will maintain a Daily Hunt Log for each day hunting occurs on Club land. In the morning, an officer of the Club or other delegated person will write in the Daily Hunt Log the details of who, what, when, and where the hunting occurred will be written. If there are different parcels of Club land, the Daily Hunt Log will indicate who hunted on which parcel, when those persons hunted that parcel, what game was taken, and other details will be recorded. The numbers of the relevant WRC game tags will be recorded. At the end of the hunting day, a Club officer or other delegated person will check the Log for accuracy and sign and date the Log. Daily Hunt Logs will be stored securely.
As members now recognize, had they maintained these records, they could have avoided a lot of trouble. A Registry can help spot troublemakers. With Daily Hunt Logs, they could have won cases brought by WRC officers for alleged offenses occurring over two years ago. Without details of when or where they hunted on dates listed on citations, the defendants were caught unawares. WRC slipped in undercover game wardens as visiting hunters. Because the Club was known to encourage visitors and welcome “outsiders,” the Club became the unsuspecting dupe of a WRC sting operation.
Had the Club kept a Daily Hunt Log beginning three years ago, they could have confidently testified and disproven many of the charges. As it was, their lawyer told them to plead guilty. Uncertain and afraid, many did what the lawyer advised, even knowing the charges were not true. But that’s another story.