A pheasant flying over a field of reeds.

Outdoors in RI: Wear Orange! On bad mushrooms, coyotes, poachers, freedoms, 2A – Jeff Gross

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

Photo: National Fish & Wildlife Service

It is apparent that civilians are refusing to wear the required fluorescent orange during hunting season on state lands. I am encountering this violation frequently. In my articles I indicate the encounters I have had including a Westport, Massachusetts woman who felt she was above Rhode Island law when I strongly informed her she was in violation for not wearing orange.

Even after making the violation fine clear to her, she still entered Simmons Mill management area without orange. That said I hunt at a number of state lands and encounter orange violators.  I am not a paid Safety Director for the RI DEM and I should not be put in the position to need to remind civilians to wear the orange to keep them from accidentally getting shot.

I understand DEM enforcement is spread thin chasing down all the poachers in Rhode Island. And enforcement is doing a great job at that. Back in the day I would have forestry people checking my creel of trout.  For safety’s sake it is time to employee other DEM staff to enforce the orange regulation. Giving a warning from a private citizen is ineffective as displayed by the Westport woman.

Some DEM personnel stated that the management area safety signs are always ignored, and they also stated the DEM has polluted the trees in the management areas with excessive signage. It is clear people do not read the signs. It is clearly time to issue the $103.25 fines ($100 fine and $3.25 court fee) to deter and hopefully eliminate the violations. When a number of people are fined, the word will get out to the rest of the civilians and that should eliminate the problem. 

I hope this matter does not get ignored like the use of marijuana on state lands did.  In all the towns cities and private venues that I worked with on the “pot” issue, the DEM was the only one that failed to prohibit its use. I encourage hunters to “shame” all violators of the orange regulation and also to contact enforcement to report same.  

Coyote Call

Coyotes take approximately one third of all pheasants stocked in a season. That correlates to approximately 2,000 birds. DEM pays $23 for each bird, using their 2019 price. That is $4,6000 of allocated pheasant funds that the Coyotes are dining on.  No wonder why there are so many coyotes – they are dining like Kings and Queens.  These figures are why it is imperative to shoot all the Coyotes possible, as well as Fox.  Less Coyotes and Fox now, are more pheasants later in the season.

Mushroom warning

Some veterinarians are encountering dogs being brought into their offices suffering from mushroom poisoning.  Be aware of what your dogs eat while out hunting.  Abby is in the stage of eating all kinds of “junk”.  Due to the fact that Rhode Island will have 17 of the last 19 weekends as rainy weekends – including this one – mushrooms of all kinds are flourishing.  Hens and Cow harvesters are having a banner year.  However, be aware that a new toxic mushroom has appeared here.  This mushroom is not native to RI.  Pay close attention to your pup.

Poaching problem

Poaching is always a problem in Rhode Island.  This writer encountered 2 hunters and their dog hunting at Eight Rod Management area on Monday, the 16th, at 2 pm.  They were driving a black GMC SUV with RI plates.  They claimed small game season started October 14th.  After giving them a lesson, they headed to their vehicle and left. In a court of law you are still guilty if you are unaware of the laws. 

RI DEM enforcement responded quickly to Colt State Park and arrested a Striper poacher that had killed a large number of Stripers and undersized Tautog.  With so many violations it is time to seriously consider incarceration as the criminal was hiding the Stripers in the woods. The culprit was well aware of the crime he was committing. Allegations are being made that the break waters late at night (midnight) are seeing large numbers of poachers.  Hopefully DEM enforcement can look into this.

3-D Purchasers get ready to be – fingerprinted?

As many of you know I am a model railroader.  As of this week, some New York senators are looking to pass a law requiring all purchasers of 3-D printers to undergo a background check with fingerprints.  This proposed law is asinine!  We model railroaders use 3-D printers to promote the hobby and detail our Model Train layouts. The New York legislators state that owners could use the printers to 3-D print firearms. With that insane mentality, if I have a block of stainless steel, I could manufacture that steel into a Berretta 92FS without a 3-D printer, in theory.  The governments in progressive states have lost their minds. 

Laws and loss of freedoms

These are dark times we are in. People have no idea on how badly we are losing our freedoms. It’s a bipartisan thing – not just the Democrats, and not just the Republicans. People today only seem interested in getting their next fix of alcohol, tobacco, drugs or other habit-forming escapes, all the while as our constitutional rights – our inalienable rights – get trampled.  Our forefathers saw the future and enacted a number of safeguards in the constitution.  Safeguards like the electoral college. The electoral college was designed as the founders did not trust the general public to elect a worthwhile president by themselves. I agree with that sentiment.  Look around you on how dumbed down the public has become. Most feel it always was a two party system. This is incorrect as back in the 1800’s there were Democrats, the Whig Party, the Free Soil party, and others, and throw in the newly formed progressives of the Republican Party! The 1800 Republicans were the true champions of civil rights.

Going to US History class seriously, people would learn a great deal and would in fact shape the world into a better place.  The forefathers knew that we are our own first responders and as such did not write the Second Amendment to include only single shot firearms, but in fact “all bearable arms”  for offensive or defensive self-preservation. Ask the Israelis how not having a second amendment worked out for them two weeks ago. 1,300 died because they could not defend themselves.

If you are threatened you can use lethal force.  These rights of self-protection are being trampled at every corner as our government becomes more dysfunctional.  As this article is being written the Republicans are infighting as they cannot agree on a simple task of electing a house speaker.  The government is out of control all in the means for “Public Safety”.  Due to the number of searches at airports some women are wearing bikinis when they fly just to get thru check-in faster. All the while millions of illegal people are coming across the border, now including Chinese and Iranian nationals.  What are they up to?

Control is out of control

As of this moment all Gloucester state lands are closed to hunting and outdoor recreation due to some bugs having EEE.  With that mindset you might think shouldn’t all of the town of Gloucester be evacuated, then? No evacuation will happen as this is another test of how much control the government can get away with.  The government is moving toward insisting on digital currency, which will mean the potential to monitor and/or control all monetary transactions. Using cash today is often frowned upon and amounts in excess of $300 are reported to the government.  No, not $600, it is $300.  Also, if you have multiple yard sales getting rid of junk and deposit the cash – too many small cash deposits will have the bank fire you.

The powers to be are pushing electric vehicle (EV) use.  Digital currency and Electric Vehicles puts the potential for total control in the government’s hands.  Any crisis or health emergency and with the flick of a switch all financial transactions and transportation could be shut down.  Some will laugh at the above statements, but it is true. Tuesday night I found that “Big Brother” has an expensive security camera out in the woods on Nicholas Road in western Coventry, with the nearest home a half mile away.  Why on earth would there be a need for a high-end camera with infra-red capabilities, solar power back up and hard wired to the cable system? My home system is the little brother to this Nicolas Farm rig and this government model probably goes for about $1,000.  The camera is just down the road from Nicholas Farm Management area. Ever get the feeling you are being watched?

Breaking news: Judge Benitez rules CA Assault Weapons Ban unconstitutional

This case will go Enbanc to the 9th Circuit where the 9th Circuit will go the way they did for the California Mag Ban and sit on it until hell freezes over. Great job, Jared Yannis, as always. I would pressure FPC, SAF, GOA to go directly to SCOTUS for Summary Judgement on this case and the Mag Ban case and save 2 years of unnecessary delays in the 9th “Circus”. Justices Alito and Thomas stated they would be happy to perform a Summary Judgement for the NYSRPA v Bruen 3.0 if the 2nd Circus delays the case, so why not these CA cases as well? (this ruling occurred minutes before publication.)

Please share this article as so many good folks have no idea what is going on in the 2A and outdoor community.


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Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

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