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Hunters warned to look for signs of pot gardens

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Chee-to, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Chee-to

    Chee-to Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Hunters warned to look for signs of pot grows, avoid confrontations

    Hunters warned to look for signs of pot grows, avoid confrontations | MailTribune.com

    By Mark Freeman
    Mail Tribune

    Deer hunters will be taking to the woods en masse next weekend during the middle of the marijuana harvest season, and police are warning hunters to steer clear of any suspected gardens for their own safety.

    Already this season, two bowhunters have reported confrontations with armed guards from suspected marijuana gardens on public land in southern Jackson County, which law enforcement officials say has become a growing area for Mexican drug cartels. Hunters who stumble upon features such as irrigation pipes, manually widened game trails, garbage piles or even the smell of cooking tortillas should steer clear and avoid confrontations that could prove dangerous.
    What to watch out for

    Here are some of the dos and don'ts for hunters and others who suspect they have stumbled upon an illegal marijuana garden in the woods.

    DOs

    * Know your location using GPS coordinates, a map or landmarks
    * Make a note of any vehicles, including license plates, or people in the area
    * Make a note of any guard dogs or alarm systems
    * Call local law enforcement

    DON'Ts

    * Don't enter the garden area
    * Don't confront anyone in the area
    * Don't look for more plants or garden sites
    * Don't return

    "You need to turn around and leave and consider yourself lucky," Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said. "If you push the issue, you might get yourself in a situation you'll regret."

    Hunters or anyone who believe they have stumbled upon a marijuana garden are urged to take notice of their location and leave quickly by retracing their steps.

    If there is immediate danger, call 9-1-1. If not, call your local sheriff's department. In Jackson County, call the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement Team tip line. MADGE can be reached at 541-618-1TIP.

    The Medford-based Oregon Hunters Association, the state's largest hunting organization, has offered a reward of up to $200 for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for marijuana gardens or other damage to public lands.

    Tipsters, who can remain anonymous, should call the Oregon State Police hot line at 1-800-452-7888.

    Oct. 2 marks the statewide start of rifle hunting for deer, and more than 180,000 hunters are expected to take to the woods. About half of Oregon is public land, with the vast majority of it federally owned.

    OSP Lt. Darin Lux said Mexican drug cartels have taken advantage of good growing conditions and water availability on federal lands in Southern Oregon and Northern California to cultivate large marijuana plantations, with a definite increase in activity the past three years.

    The plantations can contain thousands of plants that can potentially produce enough marijuana to fetch $5,000 per plant, police said.

    "There's a lot of profit, and it brings a greater need to protect that profit," Lux said. "That's when the arms come in."

    Medford police Lt. Tim Doney, a member of the MADGE team, said the confrontations between bowhunters and suspected garden guards occurred during the start of the bowhunting season in late August and the first week of September.

    In one case, a bowhunter told MADGE detectives he heard gunshots strike a tree just above his head, and then he was confronted by a man carrying an assault-type rifle who told him to leave, Doney said.

    "The hunter in this situation did the right thing," Doney said. "He backed out of the situation, took note of the location and called authorities when he got back to town.

    MADGE received a secondhand report of a similar confrontation in the same area, which Doney described as being in the south Jackson County area. Both cases remain under investigation.

    "Probably 99.9 percent of people won't have to deal with issues like this, but certainly they are occurring," Doney said.

    Two Jackson County SWAT team members shot and killed a man Aug. 11 at a marijuana growing operation deep in the woods. A Jackson County Grand Jury ruled the shooting was justified.

    Winters said authorities so far have pulled about 125,000 plants from 30 different gardens throughout a seven-county area of Southern Oregon and Northern California this year.

    In these cases, police have noticed that game trails were widened near the gardens and that PVC piping was used to irrigate the plants, Winters said.

    Some signs of nearby gardens included walls of cut brush on trails, the pungent smell of marijuana, piles of garbage and piping. Because the caretakers often live at the garden sites, the smell of cooking could be a warning sign.

    "There's no way to know until you're almost into one of these, so there's no preventative way to act," Winters said.
     
  2. Sawdust

    Sawdust Bull Mountain(Tigard), OR Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    I know this is a serious problem but this just struck me as humorous.
     
  3. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Most people that wander around the woods already know where they are/the signs of proximity and simply don't care.
     
  4. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    More reason to hunt with AR's in 6.8 or .308 with plenty of extra mags.
     
  5. spengo

    spengo GLORIOUS CASCADIA Active Member

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    Too bad you're stuck with 5-round mags while hunting though. Unless you're hunting squirrel or something lol.
     
  6. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    You can bring spare 5+, 30 round loaded mags, at least in Oregon, just don't have them in the rifle until you need to use them. I got this straight from a State Police officer that does the illegal hunting decoy stings, but YMMV and I accept no responsibility if you have troubles. ;)
     
  7. Scrammer

    Scrammer SW Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Poor people coming here to do the work Americans don't want do. :huh:
     
  8. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    It's complete BS that we have to worry about illegal pot farmers on public land in our own country, but if I'm out hiking around in the woods and smell someone cooking up some tortillas, I'm probably gonna stop by and get a bite to eat. And then I'll take a siesta.


    On another note, I have come upon numerous dump sites in the woods that mainly contain glass jars and bottles that look like they probably held chemicals or something at one time. Meth supplies maybe?
     
  9. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Very likely Meth cooks. DO NOT TOUCH THAT ****! The chemicals used in making meth are extremely hazardous. If you think it is an old meth cook site you should report the location to the police. There's a reason they wear hazmat suits when they clean up meth houses.
     
  10. Platt05

    Platt05 Washington Member

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    Do you need a separate tag for gang members?
     
  11. beezer66

    beezer66 Salem, OR Active Member

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    Daily limit on gang members is all you can shoot +2.
     
  12. spectra

    spectra The Couve Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Just remember you can get up to 200 dollars in reward money:laugh:
     
  13. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    Yes, small game license. Considered varmint.



    Damn Mexican drug cartels are ruining everything that is good about America. They aren't going to ruin my hunting this year.

    Luckily there is no magazine capacity limit in WA. I can hunt with a FAL loaded up with 20rds. I feel pretty secure about walking around the woods.
     
  14. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I could care less about pot farms.Let em have em,smoke all they want.There is very few violent crimes on record from smoking pot.
    Munchies and cotton mouth cause some shoplifting,but nobody gets rowdy.

    Now meth cookers are the ones I don't want to see.

    And if I smell tortillas? I'm looking for camp.
     
  15. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    That's all fine, but don't think that these guys are growing for their own use.:D
     
  16. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Oh I don't but I think pot should be legalized.
    Drunks cause WAY more problems than pot smokers.

    I don't think it would be a good idea for an individual to go walking into a grow operation.They won't trust your silence,so you wouldn't be safe showing yourself.

    If there was a few friends maybe,still not a real good bet.

    I heard some good stories from a guy that worked in Seattle for a major contractor and a major manufacturer that had executives funding huge grow operations.
    They told him it was just stupid easy to get started.
     
  17. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    You are missing the point, you may not care about the pot farms but the pot farmers care about you.


    Scenario, hunting alone you stumble onto a a large illegal grow attended by a group of Mexican nationals, how much do you think they value your life when compared to the cash from their crop?
     
  18. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    See my last post
     
  19. Carpenter98312

    Carpenter98312 Washington Member

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  20. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    i pack my standard CQB loadout when hunting.. LCE with 4 3-mag pouches, and they're all full of 30-round mags.

    the oregon supreme court has established that the ODFW does not have the authority to limit 2A rights. therefor they can regulate what you hunt with, not what you carry with you.