More stupid laws

Rudy Norman
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Last week we heard about the factional (fiction based on fact) misadventures of our friends Fred and Joe.

They got caught by the game warden while in moose hunting, where Fred shot Joe’s moose because Joe didn’t want to attempt it and miss, thus causing more harm than good to them and the poor animal.

Fred and Joe are home sat down watching TV for most of the day now – after being tried and convicted of the tremendous travesty for which they received a criminal record and steep consequences that amounted to great financial loss for the both of them.

This week, I wanted to talk a bit about Doug and Jeff – another factional pair that aren’t meant to imitate actual people or circumstances, except by pure coincidence.

Doug and Jeff are really good buddies. They hang out and watch hockey, they have a laugh every now and then, and they share a love for hunting that runs deep.

Jeff, however, is handicapped. In fact, he’s a quadriplegic, which deems him unable to do anything outside of the confines of his wheelchair.

Although a quadriplegic, Jeff is still eligible to obtain a moose license through the provincial government. Which, lets say, he does.

Now, Jeff knows that he’s probably not going to be unable to go moose hunting, because of his disability. So, whom does he call? Well of course, his friend Doug.

Doug is a licensed gun possessor and has a moose license of his own. Under the law, Jeff has every right to ask Doug to shoot his moose for him, because of his condition. Jeff gives Doug his tags, and asks that if Doug goes hunting, to down his animal as well.

The next day, Doug visits the cutover, and spots two nice animals across the way. He downs both of them – one for himself, and one for Jeff.

Now some of you that are familiar with this, are already thinking to yourself “Uh Oh – shouldn’t have done that Doug.” But let’s continue none-the-less.

Doug manages to get both moose out to the main road before he realizes that he’s going to need some help to get the big game home.

He leaves the moose in a safe place for a little while, and makes the short drive back to town to seek help. Upon his arrival, he sees his old friend Fred walking up the road. The same Fred from last week, now, just so you’re not confused.

Doug explains the situation to Fred, and says that his and Jeff’s moose is up on the side of the road. He asks if Fred can follow him in his truck and help bring out one of the moose. Fred agrees.

When they get to the location of the moose, the men begin loading them aboard. Soon enough, the game warden shows up. He’s after getting a call from someone who saw Fred go off with Doug on the road out of town, and suspected they were up to no good, because Doug had his hunting clothes on and Fred has a reputation around town since that time he wound up in court. Gotta love the Newfoundland logic, don’t ya?

The warden looks at Fred and Doug and sees two moose and two trucks. He checks the tags on Doug’s moose in the back of his truck, and discovers that Doug’s moose is clear. Tags are registered to Doug, it’s the right gender moose, and everything seems to check out.

Then he checks the tags on the other moose in the back of Fred’s truck, and realizes the person who owns it, Jeff, isn’t anywhere in sight.

When asked, Doug admits that he shot the moose for his friend Jeff, who’s disabled.

The warden informs Doug that while he’s allowed to shoot a moose for his buddy Jeff, Jeff still has to be with him when he does it.

Doug explains that he was unsure how to get Jeff and his wheelchair up over the cutover, but that, obviously, doesn’t matter.

So now, here’s the situation.

Doug has shot a moose illegally. That moose is now confiscated, which means Jeff isn’t having a feed of moose burgers anytime soon.

Fred, whose truck the moose was found in, is taken into custody because he has the illegal moose in his possession, and already has a record.

When the three men visit court, Doug and Jeff face a similar penalty to what Fred and Joe got a while before. They’re license less for a few years, and they’ve lost their moose, which is now going to be thrown in the garbage, since it isn’t allowed to be donated to needy organizations anymore. Doug lost his gun, and both men are facing a hefty fine.

But what about poor Fred?

Keep in mind, now, all Fred knew was that Doug and Jeff’s moose was on the side of the road. He was just a wheelman, helping out his friends. He had no specific knowledge that the moose he was about the transport was shot illegally.

And of course, our buddy Fred now has priors on his record. You know what that means, right?

You bet. Fred is put behind bars. He’s separated from society and his family for a couple years in a federal prison, where we, the taxpayers, feed, clothe, and look after him during his stay.

Why? Because the guy tried to help a few buddies get a bit of meat for the winter. And to be honest, I don’t think it gets much more stupid than that.

– Rudy Norman

Geographic location: Newfoundland

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