Hunting Powerlines


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WhiteKnight
December 21, 2006, 06:35 PM
Hey guys,

Are powerlines considered public hunting ground? There seem to be a million running through the land around here, and I know people who pull over their trucks and scoot along down one to hunt. Is this legal? If landowners are on either side with "posted" signs, is it illegal then?

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22-rimfire
December 21, 2006, 06:50 PM
No. Power companies do not purchase the land over which the lines run. The land is generally private or consistant with ownership on both sides. Their substations are built on owned property though.

CowboyEngr
December 21, 2006, 06:54 PM
In general, I think that hunting on private land without permission is illegal, so I guess it depends if the ROW is private or public. In my area, the power line is typically allowed by easement from the private landowner. I strongly support a landowner's rights of granting or denying passage. Check with the courthouse to see who owns it and go from there. A hunt is much more enjoyable if you know you have the right (or privilege) to be there.

ArmedBear
December 21, 2006, 07:22 PM
A hunt is much more enjoyable if you know you have the right (or privilege) to be there.

Uh, yeah.:p

Still, there's probably a difference between what happens if you ping some doves with a pellet gun and get the hell out of there, and, say, you shoot at deer with a .30-06 towards a lakefront resort or something.:D

redneck2
December 21, 2006, 07:56 PM
Power lines are private land. Trepass laws apply.

The one a lot of people don't know about is railroad tracks. In Indiana at least, hunting railroads is an automatic ticket to jail if the CO sees you.

Car Knocker
December 21, 2006, 08:08 PM
In Indiana at least, hunting railroads is an automatic ticket to jail if the CO sees you.
Yup, most times the RR right of way is owned by the railroad. An exception might be if a government buys it for future commuter rail use. A new rail line across public property (a connection from a mine to a railhead, for example) might be a longterm lease.

eidsvolling
December 21, 2006, 08:44 PM
I had no understanding of the variety of state laws on this subject until I moved to NH, where the common law grants a hunter the right to enter and requires the landowner to post the land to prevent that entry. Other states have the opposite situation: a hunter is presumed to be trespassing unless the hunter has express (sometimes it must be written) permission from the landowner to enter.

A good summary of the law and its evolution on this subject is at "Hunting and Posting on Private Land in America," (http://www.law.duke.edu/shell/cite.pl?54+Duke+L.+J.+549) by Mark R. Sigmon, 54 Duke L. J. 549. (Yes, I know that the citation form here does not conform to the Blue Book or any locally-enforced variant thereof. :neener: )

WhiteKnight
December 22, 2006, 12:22 AM
They're considered private land. Got you.

I pose the following question: Here in Johnston County, the rulebook prohibits "hunting without permission using a rifle." A family friend interprets this to grant him free passage without permission as long as he uses a shotgun. This seems wrong until you read the law for Wake County that prohibits "hunting without permission." Based on the extra stipulation (using a rifle) that applies to Johnston County, it would indeed seem to me that hunting with a shotgun anywhere that isn't "posted" is fine. Right?

bernie
December 22, 2006, 04:02 PM
This is a very sensitive subject for me as a landowner so I will try to be as polite as possible, because I tend to rant about this sort of thing.

The law may state that it is okay as long as you are not carrying a rifle, but that does not make it morally or ethically all right.

If you are not paying the mortgage and or the taxes and it is not public ground or leased by you or a group you are a member of, you have no right to be there for any reason!

I went to my duck blind one day (on ground owned by my wife and I) and found a fellow in it hunting. Being in a nice mood I politely asked him if he would scoot over and make room for me and we could hunt together. He then proceeded to ask me who the %&*# I was and that I needed to get lost. Suffice it to say, I was not polite after that.

Gee, I just got on a rant, sorry.

Anyway, if you do not own it or have direct permission, just find another place to hunt.

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