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Hunting question for discussion

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by magnum338, Aug 25, 2013.

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  1. magnum338

    magnum338 Member

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    This is a question that constantly comes up n my HE classes. I've spoken with authorities in the fish and game department and get diametrically opposed answers. What does the forum think of this situation?

    You are hunting on public land. You hit that record buck you've been seeking, on public land but it's not a perfect kill. The buck jumps over a fence onto private land, lays down and dies. What do you do?

    One of the answers I get is to leave your rifle on the public land, so you are NOT hunting, and go onto the private land to retrieve your game. The primary directive is that the game not be wasted.

    Second answer: find the land owner and/or land manager and seek permission to retrieve the game. (Here in California deer season starts in August when the weather may still be hot).

    What is the opinion of the forum??
     
  2. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    Its happened to me...

    I go get it.

    Getting a downed animal is not the same as hunting on their land without permission.
     
  3. A-FIXER

    A-FIXER Member

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    Answer is #2 if owner is known and close.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, but it is still trespassing in the eyes of the law.

    And you better have a real good blood trail for the game warden to look at to prove you shot the deer on the 'right' side of the fence, before he lets you off with a simple trespassing charge.

    That's the way it works in this state anyway.

    rc
     
  5. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    I say get it the reason why is because it will be a huge story and ain't nobody going to believe you if you don't have the deer :cuss:. Case in point a friend of mine patterned this big twelve pointer game camera pics and all for three years found sheds anyways. He shoots it I get a phone call got him good following blood trail. Well long story short it jumped the fence and the guy owning the property just bought it a few months before deer season soooo said friend took rifle left his jacket at the fence line.(at this point he could see it saw where he shot it took a pic with phone) He went to Ask the owner and he said oh sure to get it. Well the owner asked to go with him as they are headed to it new owners son who is from a large city Kansas City to be extract fires a shot well they head to the sound. Low and behold he is standing over my friends buck he tried to hide the blood trial and moved his jacket 75 yards down the fence line :fire: :banghead: :cuss: and the owner father of said theif said wow Johnny his boys name that is one big deer you killed so my friend pleaded his case but by the time a game warden got there they had drove a truck and 4 wheelers over the blood trail so you couldn't see it and he lost his dream buck.
     
  6. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    In our state, you have to have written permission before going onto someone's property to retrieve downed game. Problem is that's not always easy if you don't know who the landowner is. Sometimes the landowner doesn't even live in this state. It's just old family land.

    My personal opinion is call a warden. If they don't answer, leave a detailed message of the circumstances. Wait 30 minutes, call again, wait another 30. If no one returns the call.... You might try calling the county sheriff. That covers you twice.
     
  7. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    I've had it happen, but 99.9% of my hunting occurs on my parent's ranch, and neighboring landowners are all known, and in most cases, family friends. In such cases, I have no issue crossing the fence and going after my deer. If I was ever "caught" the neighbors would most likely say " Hey, Dave, what'd you get?" and maybe help me look for it if I hadn't found it yet....and the same scenario would likely play out if they were discovered on our land under the same circumstances.
     
  8. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    It depends on the state. Some states allow tresspassing on private land to retrieve wounded game. The Fish and Game Department, Department of Natural Resources, or whatever it's called in your state should be able to give you an answer if they're competent.

    The way it is in Ohio is that you have to have written permission to hunt on another's property and you aren't allowed to tresspass for the purpose of retrieving wounded game. It doesn't matter, unlike some states, whether or not the land is posted. I wouldn't care what your excuse was; if you were on my property without permission, law enforcement would be called.
     
  9. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I also teach HE classes. In Gerogia you are tresspassing if you cross the line to get the animal without permission, but the landowner cannot prevent you from retrieving the animal. The proper procedure is to contact the landowner for permission 1st. If he denies permission then contact the Game & Fish Dept.. An officer will meet you and accompany you to retrieve your game.
     
  10. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Seems to me that checking with adjacent landowners before hunting would avoid a lot of problems. It's common in lease-hunting in Texas for a rancher to give appropriate advice on that issue when first setting up the lease agreement.
     
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    I too help with HE classes. Here in Wisconsin the law is, you need permission to enter private property anytime, unless you are a LEO in active pursuit or you have reasonable suspicion a crime is being committed. Landowners do not have to give permission for you to retrieve the game animal, nor do they have to give permission for a warden or other LEO to retrieve your animal. Going on private property to retrieve something(even a animal wounded on the other side of the fence) without permission is considered trespassing and tagging an animal retrieved that way can be considered being in the possession of an illegally tagged/taken animal and lead to loss of the animal, your firearms, your hunting privileges plus a hefty $1800 fine. You the hunter are held responsible to put the animal down on property you have permission to hunt....public or private. Landowners adjacent to public lands generally have had many negative experiences with hunters trespassing and disrespecting their property rights and can be understandably stubborn. Know your state laws and know your limitations. If that buck goes somewhere you have no access to, it's no different than losin' the blood-trail in the rain. If you sit that close to the line that you are risking losing that animal to private property, you need to relocate your stand. More fights and arguments have been initiated over fence sitters during deer season than probably any other one single reason around here.


    BTW...In Wisconsin, it is also considered trespassing to shoot over a property line or even have your bullet fall onto land you do not have permission to hunt. Same with sending or letting your hunting dog work on property you do not have permission to hunt. We are very much in favor of landowner rights around here and have no love of trespassers.
     
  12. SC Shooter

    SC Shooter Member

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    First of all, look for posted signs and respect those signs even if the deer is visible. If not posted and the game is visible, go ahead and retrieve it, being careful not to disrupt the land or any fences. Field dress it back on public land. If you can't see the kill, find the property owner.
     
  13. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    In the state of Kansas if you are not hunting on that private land and have left your rifle on the public side. You have full right to retrieve that animal without asking permission first.

    However if the land owner tells you to leave his property you drop the deer and get off of their land. Trespassing is remaining on someone else's property in defiance of an order to leave. So if this happens call the local game warden and tell them the situation. They can speak with the land owner and try and grant you access to retrieve you animal. If the landowner refuses this then the deer is tagged out by the warden and neither you or the landowner can take the animal legally.

    I too teach HE classes and this was the answer given to a student two weekends ago. The question was directed to two fish and game officers whom were teaching to session on game laws.
     
  14. hipoint

    hipoint Member

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    I concur with art eatmans statement. as a landowner myself, I wouldn't begrudge someone doing this BUT I would be mighty skeptical AND a person walking around my place with a gun without my permission isn't going to get a warm welcome.

    Sadly, too many people are dishonest and have ruined it for the honest folks out there.

    Carrying a gun on someone else's property without permission is a big deal to me. Your best bet is to thoroughly scout your hunting area beforehand and speak with the landowners about this possibility. Think about how you would feel with some stranger carrying a gun through your yard.

    It's one thing if it is obviously dead and just across a property line, a whole other thing if it was shot and then ran off, at that point, you don't know if it died there or kept going onto adjacent properties...

    Keeping with the question of knowing that it is dead and just across a line, AND trying to be realistic, I'd go get it but leave my gun someplace else, if it's that close then there's no worry about someone stealing your gun since you'll be right there.

    Something else to consider is whether or not it's a big piece of wooded property or someone's yard...

    I may have different views since I don't trophy hunt, I own a farm with depredation permits and I am a landowner who has to deal with poachers... There are TONS of people who will lie right to your face about what they're doing and why.

    The other issue that I don't think has been addressed, is folks should NOT hunt that close to adjacent properties without going and seeing the landowners. They have no right to tell you not to hunt on the public land, BUT, they may want you to be sure of where their homes and other structures are at, without them telling you, how can you know?

    We had an issue just like this a couple years ago, a guy got permission to hunt the small parcel of land beside us, he set up a food plot and then set up his tree stand hunting over the food plot, with the food plot inline between his stand and our home. That was thoroughly unacceptable and I asked the neighbors to have someone that irresponsible to not come back, within a few days the tree stand was gone. It wasn't an issue of going and explaining to the fella that he shouldn't shoot this way, the fact that he didn't figure that out on his own told me enough to know that he should NOT be firing a gun anywhere around me and my property. Bullets do NOT stop in a deer and they can change angle dramatically upon exit. I would hope that the original poster wouldn't do something like that, but the point is still relevant either way, if you're hunting close enough to private land that this question applies, then you're hunting close enough that you should at least make an effort to talk to the owners as there may be things regarding that land that you don't know.
     
  15. hipoint

    hipoint Member

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    case in point, this did happen to me, one thanksgiving I lost a deer. tracked it for about a mile over land that was mine and a relatives land. When it crossed over onto an art schools land (private school for adults, not like a college or children's school), I wrote it off. There was no way I would get permission from the ultra liberals that run the school and no way I wanted them to catch me dragging the deer off of their land even though it's 300 acres and I'm sure no one would have seen. The fact remained that I had no idea where it was and if it was even still on their property. My bad for trusting a scope that I had fallen on and bent that morning.
     
  16. hipoint

    hipoint Member

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    I apologize for making so many posts, but relevant things keep coming to mind... when I was a kid, we didn't own any land and when my stepfather took me hunting it was always on public land. I thoroughly understand the issues facing folks who hunt public land, the biggest of which in my opinion is making sure you get a spot that isn't populated by other hunters, nothing is worse than getting geared up, leaving early and showing up to "your" spot and finding someone else's truck parked.

    I would suggest hunters use available resources to them now, the internet is amazing. Use google earth and local county GIS mapping maps to determine property lines. That way you can have a couple of spots lined up in case someone else beats you to 'yours' and not only will you have a good idea of where you're at, but also be able to plan before hand and if there are any private lands nearby, you will have time to attempt contact. Who knows, by doing so you may just get permission to hunt that private land and not have to worry about others being there. I for one would be impressed by someone who did this and would see it as very responsible and they would absolutely have my permission to hunt here as well.
     
  17. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    Yes, the laws do vary from state to state. If your state's hunting regs don't spell out what to do in that circumstance, then as stated above, call the folks who will be charged with enforcing the law. You might also add the county Sheriff to the above list. In many locations, that's who the landowner would call first.
     
  18. toiville2feathers

    toiville2feathers Member

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    In Minnesota you must have written permission from the owner to hunt on their land. If its agricultural land it don't even have to be posted. The only land that needs to be posted is woodland that isn't fenced. So basicallly if you don't own it, you need written permission to hunt.
    In the game laws it states that you do have the right to pursue wounded game and retrieve it. This rule gets abused by slobs quite frequently, they got a blood trail and they come with a gang basically making a deer drive across your property. Only the shooter is allowed to pursue a wounded animal in this case. If the owner tells you to leave you need to go and contact a warden.
    It is advisable to immediately contact the local warden and he will accompany you and if there is any problems he will speak to the owner on your be half.
    Two old unwritten deer camp rules in Minnesota are "first to draw blood, his deer at the end of the trail" sometimes they were shot by other hunters, but they weren't tagged till after dark. If someone shot your wounded deer or helped you get it the proper thing to do was offer him half.
    Hunting friends were made this way, people were reasonable and gentlemen about it.
    Today the hunting land is expensive, they plant food plots, set up cameras and take pictures, and begin to think that they own the deer on their property. They are putting way to much emphasis on big antlers but thats a whole nother rant.
     
  19. TattooedHunter

    TattooedHunter Member

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    If you are just retrieving a downed animal, and can prove it, I think the owner should be compelled (via game warden if necessary) to allow you to retrieve said animal, or face a ticket for "Interfering with hunting" or "Wanton waste" (especially if they don't havest it).

    I fully believe in property rights, but I also believe in ethical hunting and respect for game.

    When I finally close the deal on my own hunting land, and again as long as you can prove it, I would make sure you could retrieve your animal (hell, if your polite enough about it, I'd give you a hand dressing and dragging it out).
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    My place in the woods is small, real small. There's small acreages around me. I have the permission of the surrounding land owners to retrieve game. Everyone bow hunts around here, so we all have this code, go get it on my land if you shot it on yours. Heck, I have permission to hunt small game off season on the place next door (no closed season on squirrel here), but for some reason, the squirrel hunting is better on my side of the fence. :D

    Answer number 2. Private land is private and trespass is not limited to a hunter with a gun. I THINK that drops it to a class A misdemeanor if you don't have a gun, in Texas, but with a gun, it's a felony now as I understand it. The King and Kennedy and other big ranches are fed up with outlaws and they aggressively pursue ANYone trespassing. I don't know how it is anywhere else. Cross that fence without permission at your own risk. If it's JUST on the other side, you might get away with it, your decision.
     
  21. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Without knowing the state and local laws governing trespassing, giving advice like this can get someone in serious trouble. In many states, land does NOT have to be posted to prevent access from those without permission. You the hunter are responsible for knowing the property lines(being lost or no fences crossed is not an excuse) and having permission for access. Believe me, private land owners adjacent to public land will not be new to trespassers or wounded game. The reputation of public land and a few of the hunters on it is well known. Sadly, these same clowns also hunt private land. Know where the property line is. Find out who the adjacent landowners are and talk to them BEFORE the season about the ability to retrieve wounded game. Some land owners will allow access, but want to be there or want their land disturbed only after hunting hours as not to interfere with their hunting. Crossing the fence without permission and disturbing the land owner's own hunt is not the best way to endear him to you. While it may not be the ethical decision to most of us when a land owner refuses entry to trail a wounded animal, in some states, it's his right. Agree with the law or not, you need to comply or become not only an unethical hunter, but a criminal one.
     
  22. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Another vote for know the law.

    For example, you are required to have written permission, on your person, when hunting in Maryland on private land that you don't own nor lease/rent. BUT..., you are not hunting if you are not armed. You are not tresspassing until you are told to leave by the owner or an official "agent" and not come back. The warden must have a complainant that has an interest in the land. Just because a passing motorist saw you in the field, and knows the owner doesn't like hunting so calls DNR, doesn't give the Warden the authority to enforce the game laws on that private property.

    The only way a warden could charge you for any violation on the person's property after getting a complaint from the landowner or agent, the warden would need to actually SEE you on the wrong side of that fence line and get the deer, and drag it back. A warden who looked at a blood trail that went over the fence, and drag marks back to the side where you were legal, and you were found, could not say he knew you were the one who crossed the fence and dragged the deer. (Unless through conversation you admitted to it) Otherwise, for all he knows your partner did it, and then left to get the truck, and you just happened to be there when the warden arrived, OR you came across a poacher who ran off, and left the deer, and you didn't want it to go to waste. Good luck matching your boots to the tracks you left.

    In the thread scenario, you don't know the land owner, and you can see the dead deer. It's not legal in many places to get it, but the odds of you getting pinched for that short trip back and forth across the fence are rather low. On the other hand an attempt to find a home that appears to belong to that piece of ground, and to ask the owner is a very good idea. On a chunk of property where the landower is an absentee..., you have to decide to waste the deer, or to get your game.

    This happened to me once. I couldn't see the dead deer but the blood trail that I could see from my side of the fence crossed a mowed field, and looked like the deer was heading to a small group of trees with heavy brush surrounding them. The land owner refused to let me check when I knocked on his door. I called DNR, and an officer responded and had a talk with the land owner, who said that he looked and didn't find my deer.

    OH, and in the time it took for me to be told no, and the DNR officer arrived, the land owner had used telephone check-in and just happened to have gotten a deer that morning as well, he had the paperwork and everything, and "his" deer was hanging up in his barn...

    Well, at least the deer didn't go to waste.

    LD
     
  23. simonjester

    simonjester Member

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    In my state Option #2 would be the correct one.

    Second answer: find the land owner and/or land manager and seek permission to retrieve the game.

    In my class we asked what if the land owner opposes hunting and refuses to allow you to enter their property to retrieve the game?

    The answer was call the game wardens, they will arrive and explain the severe fines to the property owner.
    If the property owner still refuses they will be charged with wasting wildlife and even possible poaching.
     
  24. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    In Alabama a hunter is legally obligated to "make reasonable efforts to retrieve" game animals. It also clearly states in the same paragraph that "nothing in this regulation permits or requires a person to enter another's property.....". That last portion is paraphrased but basically says that you cannot legally come onto my property to retrieve game without my permission.
    Most of the neighbors are friends who hunt their own property or have relatives that hunt on that property. They have called me on numerous occasions to ask permission to look for a deer across the line and if they can't get me then they just leave a message that they went over the creek and found the deer. I am glad they did it and I trust them.

    There is one 80 acre plot that is owned by a family in North Carolina and my land wraps around it on two sides. When the parents were alive we had the same type relationship and they had permission to come on my land any time they wanted and vice-versa. I turkey hunted their land and they were allowed to fish in my ponds and hunt squirrels and rabbits by just letting me know they were going to be hunting. I had no problem with them following the dogs anywhere on my land.
    When the father died the land was split up among relatives. I tried to buy it from them for a reasonable price but the family members couldn't even agree on whether or not to sell it much less what was reasonable. They have leased it to some hunters out of NC the last 5 years and I have successfully prosecuted 2 guys in that time period. If I catch anyone coming off that property they are going to jail. Two years ago we caught a guy without hunter orange that was standing about 20 yards across the fence line leaning against a tree during deer season. When he saw us driving up the fire break he walked and stepped back across the fence.
    He did eventually get his rifle and his truck back but I think it cost him about $3500.
     
  25. BigBore44

    BigBore44 Member

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    Buck460,
    In our state if its not posted its accessible. That came straight from a warden friend of mine a couple weeks ago when I called him about some poachers. 3 weeks prior weeks prior I had some guys "very politely" run me off of some "private" land. When I was talking to the warden I brought this up and asked him since it wasn't posted as private or no trespassing could they do that. He told me it might very well be their land. But unless it's posted, it's fair game. Some states vary.

    The problem where I live is we have tons of public land. Some are large parcels, some only a couple hundred acres. And I've seen land owners charge $20,000+ for a couple hundred acre lease. But the public land is as good or better. However, those parcels of land may be adjacent to 6 or seven different private land owners. Some of them don't even live in this state. Some might have 20 different parcels from 10 acres to 2-3000 acres in different counties and knowing whose is whose is next to impossible. And private land here isn't in square mile sections. They have all kinds of shapes and fingers. Even the wardens get confused. I know several wardens btw. All on good terms, thankfully.

    I hunted a place down by the river a couple years ago. Big public tract. Well as it turns out I got turned around. I knew south was the river, east was a whole lot of woods, north in a few miles was a small town, and west was another small town. The problem was I had no cell service and it was a heavy overcast. It just so happened I walked up on a warden "hiding". After an akward introduction and the "where the hell am I?" He told me I was on a senator's from like Virginia or something like that land. He informed me that technically I was trespassing because the land was posted. I swore I hadn't seen a sign and never crossed a fence. I really hadn't. He asked where we were parked. I told him and he pointed me in the right direction, letting me go with a verbal warning. If you even want to call it that. Never saw a single sign on my way back. But I did cross a downed fence.

    That's why as far as retrieving game I still stand by my original reply to the OP's question. Call a warden. No answer, leave a detailed message. After 30 minutes? Call again. Wait another 30 minutes. Then call the sheriff and tell them. Wait another 30. Then your covered twice. Could you be cited? Maybe. But honestly I would be surprised. You made the effort. The wardens I know would respect that and would also appreciate you not letting the animal go to waste.
     
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