You're sounding a little Unabom there, Matt.
Sort of hypocritical of me, actually, since I'm often accused of the same thing... :)
Some of my Soldiers even gave me a copy of the Unabomer's Manifesto as a PCS gift.
But... does an man in a life-or-death survival situation have a right to catch and eat a fish without a license? I'd argue yes. Does anyone who claims that they are "hungry" have the right to kill and eat any creature they come across?
Most definitely, no. And if you disagree then I'll be by your place shortly to shoot and stir-fry your dog...
As an outdoorsman I have no sympathy at all for poachers. None. Sorry. There are too damned many people to allow at-will hunting and fishing. We'd exterminate everything on this continent larger than a field mouse. Conservation, remember? That said, I like the idea of regulations like Alaska's, which makes allowances for subsistence fishing and hunting by some individuals.
From what I read about this guy he wasn't in any danger of anything, he's just an anti-government wingnut who didn't want to get a license. Did you WATCH the videos you linked? He talks about "oath and bond" and "British magistrates" and "titles of nobility" because the prosecutor has 'esquire' after his name. Am I not supposed to put MD and FACS after mine? (Because that's all 'esquire' means in the US- it's a professional designation.) He also calls himself The Living Man because the name on his driver's license is "owned by the government," not by him... WTF? That's wingnut unorganized militia Montana Freemen verbage if I ever heard it.
He did NOT get hauled away in handcuffs for the misdemeanor fishing without a license charge. He got hauled away for contempt of court. Of which, from what I can see, he is quite guilty. The link you gave makes some sort of harebrained diatribe about him not being allowed to call a witness- but he actually never tried to call a witness, he just wanted an opportunity to play games in court. And, frankly, he was allowed to speak his piece on the issue, but when he just started repeating himself over and over they decided that he was done and slapped him with contempt. I think that judge showed rather good self-restraint.
If he was engaging in civil disobedience, fine. Good on him. I agree that he seems harmless. But he should take his punishment and move on- a principle of civil disobedience. And I still don't want him poaching.
A Montana resident fishing license is $26. If he sells two muskrat pelts he can have a fishing license for a year. (Seriously- I googled the spot price of muskrat pelts.) And it's only $8 if he's over age 62, and in such a case one muskrat would net him two years of fishing licenses.
"The King's Deer?" You make me laugh. The US is actually almost unique in that it's wildlife is considered the property of The People, not the landowners- in Europe to this day hunting is still mostly an upper class perquisite. And I'll point out that The People instituted a government, and tasked it with managing their wildlife in a sustainable manner.
If someone forgets that their license expired, oops, y'know? But I've no sympathy for an unrepentant poacher. Not to mention that the American Taliban (aka the Christian Patriot and Militia movement) make me just as nervous as the Af-Pak ones.
Heck, I have to go. Hopefully this doesn't sound too confrontational without my usual re-re-re-re-editing.