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Old October 21, 2011, 07:49 AM   #1
Deja vu
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What to do? Property lines.

I was hunting white tail around my property (unfortunately none where close to my house) when I saw one about 75 yards out behind some brush. I had my 45/70 with me so I felt safe taking the shot through the brush. For what ever reason The shot was not an instant take down, the deer ran a ways but there was an obvious blood trail. I followed it for a short distance until I reached the edge of my property.

Fortunately I know the owner very well (he is family) and so I kept following the trail and found my deer about 180 yards from where I shot him. He has a bullet hole through the engine room but I guess he really did not want to die. I told the owner and he was ok with it (He invites me to bird hunt there a lot... on the far end how ever where the fields are... the side adjoining my property is mostly brush with a few small trees.) and said as all ways I am free to hunt his land if I cant find any thing on mine.

Any way this incident got me thinking, my question is this: If I was not on good terms with a property owner and the deer crosses property lines is there any thing you can do? Do you by law have to let the animal go? I guess I am unsure of the law. That does not seem very humane to me.
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Old October 21, 2011, 08:08 AM   #2
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Here in South Dakota, there is no un-armed retrieval laws to protect hunters. At least for the west river season. If you lose a deer across a property line, and the land owner wants to deny you access, there's nothing you can really do.

Now, in the BH National Forest, if private property isn't posted, it can be accessed and hunted. Laws are a little tricky here in SD, you just have to know what they are for the season and location you are hunting.

But to answer you question, no it's not ethical. I wish we had a full un-armed retrieval law here and everywhere.
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Old October 21, 2011, 08:22 AM   #3
PawPaw
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I'm sure that the law varies from state to state and you might be well counseled to research those laws for your area.

In Louisiana a hunter is not allowed to cross property lines to retrieve downed game without the permission of the landowner. The state makes certain provisions in the trespass law for retrieving livestock or dogs that have crossed a property line, but the law makes no provision for retrieving game animals.
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Old October 21, 2011, 08:44 AM   #4
Chaz88
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The law varies greatly, because in Colorado you can cross property lines to track and retrieve a wounded / down animal. If we did that we would always make an effort to inform the land owner and sometimes would end up with permission to hunt the land. Courtesy goes a long way.
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Old October 21, 2011, 09:20 AM   #5
warbirdlover
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In Wisconsin you have the right to retrieve your animal (I believe) but you might have to get a warden to go with you. Not exactly sure but that's how it used to be.

Just found it in my "rules book".....

Remember: although hunters are required to make a reasonable effort to retrieve
game they have killed or injured, hunters may not trespass to retrieve such game,
even if the game was shot from outside the posted area. Ask first for permission.


I think you have to get a warden if they won't let you on the land to retrieve your deer.

Last edited by warbirdlover; October 21, 2011 at 09:42 AM.
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Old October 21, 2011, 11:59 AM   #6
rickyrick
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I had a friend that shot a deer legally on his property and it jumped the fence, he made a wrong decision to go get it. He was arrested and all weapons seized. That was three years ago and still has legal issues.
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Old October 21, 2011, 12:06 PM   #7
Doyle
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Paw Paw has it right - the law varies greatly from state to state. Here in FL, a hunter has no right to trespass to trail an animal. However, the game wardon does have legal right to trespass. If someone here has the need to trail a wounded animal across ground he doesn't have legal access to, the proper procedure is to call the game wardon.
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Old October 21, 2011, 12:09 PM   #8
buck460XVR
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Quote:
I think you have to get a warden if they won't let you on the land to retrieve your deer.

That won't work either. By law, even the Warden needs permission to enter private land unless he sees or suspects an illegal activity. The land owner does not HAVE to allow you to retrieve your game, no matter what. It's not his problem you made a bad shot or used bad judgement. That's why you should ask permission before you take a shot that might put you in this situation. By law in Wisconsin, it is also considered trespassing if your arrow/bullets/shot land on private property you don't have permission to hunt, even if fired from outside the property. Same goes for your dog. Both can be prosecuted the same as if it was you personally entering without permission.
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Old October 21, 2011, 12:14 PM   #9
mete
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It's a poor assumption to think a 45-70 can't be deflected in brush .I've heard that comment hundreds of times but ANY bullet can be deflected , just some more than others. I have had 44 mag and 45-70 deflect !!
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Old October 21, 2011, 12:47 PM   #10
Doyle
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Quote:
By law, even the Warden needs permission to enter private land unless he sees or suspects an illegal activity.
Nope, again it depends on the state. In many states, Game Wardens have tremendous authority to go anywhere they want. They can do that because the animals themselves are considered to be state property.
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Old October 21, 2011, 12:53 PM   #11
MLeake
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Look at it from the land owner's perspective.

I don't know you; you are on my property "retrieving" game that ran in from some other property.

Of course, there is no chance you are actually hunting on my property, without my permission, is there? Nobody would do that... except for all the morons who do.

I think that's the basic nature of the problem. If hunters were just allowed to cross property lines at will, it would make it much easier for unethical types to poach on private land.

As it is, we don't take our horses out on trails during deer season, for fear of idiots who will shoot at brown movement - though one would think a 1500-1700lb horse couldn't be mistaken for a deer...

If I had to worry about people thinking they could come on property at will, I'd be worried about having horses in fenced paddocks.
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Old October 21, 2011, 01:02 PM   #12
Pahoo
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Get current on the laws.

Quote:
Here in South Dakota, there is no un-armed retrieval laws to protect hunters.
That is how it is in our midwest states. I'm sure you will find that all states laws, address this situation. The best thing to do, is to contact your local DRN officer. I know that retrieval is "always" a concern and priority.

This brings up an interesting point and that is that every year each state's DNR publishes a set of laws and guidleines. As hunters, it should be our responsibility to get current on the laws. As and example, two years ago, we are required to wear blaze orange while hunting upland birds. That first year, DNR officers gave the hunters a pass as too many were not aware of the new law. I fact, some got kind of irrate when confronted by the officer. ...


Be Safe !!!
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Old October 21, 2011, 01:03 PM   #13
SDShooter79
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Quote:
Game Wardens have tremendous authority to go anywhere they want.
Same here in SD. The game warden actually has more authority and can confiscate more stuff than the deputy sheriff. During hunting season, they can take cars, guns, the clothes off your back if they wanted to. The have freedom to go anywhere they want to enforce the state laws governing the deer herd.
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Old October 21, 2011, 02:41 PM   #14
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In Illinois, you need permission to enter someone else's property regardless of the reason, and regardless whether it's posted or not. Game wardens DO have the right to enter private property with the purpose of upholding game laws (not just carte blanche) without obtaining permission.
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Old October 21, 2011, 02:42 PM   #15
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Nope, again it depends on the state. In many states, Game Wardens have tremendous authority to go anywhere they want. They can do that because the animals themselves are considered to be state property.
Doyle....My post was a response to a post about Wisconsin and it's laws about game retrieval and trespassing. It is obvious that different states have different rules. While many feel Wisconsin's stance on retrieving game on private land a bit tough, I respect the rationale of giving the landowner the choice. BTW...Wisconsin considers all wild game animals as property of the state. But feels that the rights of private property owners is more important.....and rightly so.
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Old October 21, 2011, 05:29 PM   #16
FrankenMauser
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Property lines can be a headache. It really just depends on the state ...or governing body.

When I was in Florida, I had a buddy send a broadhead right through the heart of a healthy doe (Florida Coastal Whitetail, so it was, maybe, 75 lbs, soaking wet). She ran from his stand, across a major access road, and dropped dead in a creek, about 20 yards from the road.

...But we were on Eglin AFB, and the edge of the road was the boundary for that sub-unit (also the boundary for a piece of land leased to another branch of the military). He had to wait almost 7 hours, for a Ranger to show up, and escort him to the carcass. By that time, it was spoiled (hot weather, and warm water). But, the Ranger was a nice guy. He actually helped cut the animal into large chunks, and they piled it in the woods, where the raccoons and bears would make use of the meat.
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Old October 21, 2011, 06:07 PM   #17
Steel Talon
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I once had a similar experience, but my animal traveled over into another country I shot a Coues whitetail who decided he wasn't dead yet and
"R U N O F T" I saw him fold up into a creosote bush about 85 yards from where bullet impact had happened.

As I was picking my way through the Spanish daggers, shale and generally rough terrain I came upon the International Border Boundary marker. So I glassed him a bit longer to make sure he was dead, pulled off my gear layed my rifle down and entered a country illegally to get my animal. Knowing at the very next step the Federales' where going to show up and take me away Haha Hoho Hehe..


If it was posted and fenced and my wounded animal crossed over. I'd politely go talk to the land owner,tell him what happened and ask if I could cross onto his land to retrieve,or finish off and retrieve the animal. This alone can go along way in developing a good relationship with the land owner.


If the owner or caretaker was not present /unavailable ie. owns the land but lives somewhere else I would retrieve the animal still. Making as little impact as I could while in the process.
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Old October 21, 2011, 06:35 PM   #18
bejay
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check your local laws on game retrieval and also check trespassing laws think most neighbors would probably give you permission to go retrieve an animal if you dont have permission not alot you can probably do.
if you dont know who the property owner is and its not posted or fenced to keep people out then I would probably go ahead and retrieve the animal also.
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Old October 21, 2011, 07:28 PM   #19
camper4lyfe
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In NY you have to get permission from the landowner if the property is posted. There are some sketchy grey areas that say if the property isn't posted with legible signs, it's "fair game" to hunt on the property.

A couple years ago some people hunting my family's land shot a deer and it went onto the neighbor's property. The neighbor and my family have an agreement that the neighbor can walk her dog on my family's property. This neighbor is also a bit of a tree hugger, and decided that the guys could NOT go get the deer that they shot, and forced them to leave the deer to rot or feed the coyotes. What a waste.
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Old October 21, 2011, 07:43 PM   #20
egor20
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And AGAIN check your local laws,

I have

NO HUNTING
NO TRAPPING


Signs all over my property, about every 100 yards in BRIGHT Yellow and Black, on 78 acre's

TBH I don't know if you just jumped over a fence to poach, or, if you're hunting down a wounded animal. All I know is you have a gun, On My property, that says:

NO HUNTING.


EDIT:

I may be an arse, but have 30+ horses to look after right now.
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Last edited by egor20; October 21, 2011 at 07:49 PM.
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Old October 21, 2011, 08:17 PM   #21
Deja vu
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I guess I can see the point. I am a land owner my self. I would not have a problem if some body was retrieving a animal from my land so long as they are not hunting on my land. But I do not want people "hunting" on my land. I use to let others hunt on my land and I ended up having a 308 round going through my house.
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Old October 21, 2011, 08:57 PM   #22
shortwave
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As a property owner, I don't get upset if someone wants to track a wounded animal on me after asking. What does upset me is if I've spent all morning freezing my tail off on my own property and over the hill comes a couple guys hollering back and forth to each other making enough noise to scare every deer off in the county. This very thing happened to me two years ago and when I stopped the guys(they own property two farms over), they explained to me they didn't need permission to trespass on me if they were trailing a wounded deer. My hunt was ruined so after we found their deer, I showed them the law and told them from here on out if they shoot a deer that runs on me, call my house and get permission.

If I shoot a deer and he crosses the line fence, I go home and call that neighbor before I go onto his property, even though I have an open invitation to hunt all my immediate neighbors property. I don't want to ruin their hunts.
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Old October 21, 2011, 09:17 PM   #23
taylorce1
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Quote:
The law varies greatly, because in Colorado you can cross property lines to track and retrieve a wounded / down animal.
Make sure you do a little research first before you make statements like that one. It is illegal to cross property lines in Colorado without permission from the landowner or representative first. Property lines don't have to be posted and it is up to the hunter to know where they are.

Quote:
Game shot on public but runs on to private and dies.

The following is a discussion to help one discern the proper course of action and steps to be taken to recover an animal that was shot on public but ventured onto and died on private property.

" ...The law in wildlife statutes (Title 33) says that a person who wounded game shall make a reasonable attempt to contact the landowner or person in charge of such land before pursuing wounded game onto private property. ...I would encourage a hunter to make contact with the landowner before entry onto private property without permission. If the landowner cannot be contacted after reasonable efforts have been made to do so by the hunter, he may try contacting the local wildlife officer. However, often times the wildlife officer is tied-up with another case or have a long response time during the busy hunting seasons."

[Source: CDOW - verbatim reply B.T. 9/29/10

Sometimes and for various reasons a hunter may not pursue an animal once he or she discovers that it has probably ventured onto private property. This is unlawful. CRS 33-6-119(1)(a) stipulates that "... it is unlawful for a person who shoots at, or wounds, or may have wounded game wildlife to fail to make a reasonable attempt to locate the game wildlife suspected of injury and take it into his or her possession."

Commentary. Be aware of the word "reasonable" when used in statutes. It can be interpreted to be more subjective than one may think. Err on the side of caution and put forth more than minimum and expected effort. Reason suggests that one may not get another chance at another animal. Hunting ethics dictates that one should lawfully pursue wounded game until all possible avenues have been exercised.

When wounded game goes on private property, the hunter "must" attempt to contact the landowner prior to trespassing. CRS 33-6-119(1)(b) says, "If wounded game goes onto private property, the person who wounded the game shall make a reasonable attempt to contact the landowner or person in charge of such land before pursuing the wounded game."

Commentary. This statute has two elements. The first element, which is subject to the second element, is that it implies consent to trespass for the sole purpose of attempting to recover wounded game. The second element requires a "reasonable" attempt to contact the landowner before the pursuit. Here we are faced with the subjective term, reasonable.

Here are some suggestions that coupled together should surpass the definition of reasonable. 1. Make three attempts from other local sources to find the phone number and address of the landowner. If you're unable to make physical contact, leave a notice at the landowner's physical location with the time of the notice, your contact information, as well as the "future time" and "place" in which you will attempt to enter the private property and recover the animal. Repeat this process for phone contact. However, phone reception in many parts of Colorado is nil. 2. Attempt to contact the wildlife officer in charge of the Game Management Unit you are hunting; leave the same information. 3. If you are not contacted by either party by the scheduled recovery time, pursue the animal. Once you are finished, repeat #1 and #2 and disclose the results of what you have done. 4. Make specific written notes of what you did, contact names, phone numbers, addresses, witnesses...everything. If possible, take the GPS coordinates of where the animal lay and provide that to the wildlife officer. If needed, you can put all that information as to the facts of what you did in the form of a sworn affidavit and submit that also to the wildlife officer.

Now that you have been given opinions and interpretations, here's one final tidbit. The 2011 Colorado Big Game brochure stipulates on page 7, #11: It's against the law to fail to make a reasonable attempt to track and kill animals you wound or may have wounded. It is against the law to pursue wounded wildlife that goes on private property without first obtaining permission from landowner or person in charge.
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Old October 21, 2011, 10:40 PM   #24
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No matter what the laws say here or there, there are universal laws all around the country regarding trespassing on posted property, or just plain old trespassing. The simplest answer is, NO. I don't know of any state that allows hunters to trespass with impunity, even when in hot pursuit. That may work with police leaving their home jurisdiction, but not a hunter following a gut shot deer while bowhunting.

You hit a deer that goes over a fence? you can't find a landowner? you have an ethical obligation to go get that critter, and if necessary, trespass, IMO, but do it knowing full well that you are in the wrong, and be prepared to apologize if caught.

Here in missouri, we have a new law. Land doesn't even have to be posted. Paint purple marks along the fence or tree line, and that is a legally binding "keep out: tresspassers will be prosecuted!" sign. if you go past a purple mark, you are in violation of trespass laws.
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Old October 22, 2011, 08:39 AM   #25
treg
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Here in MI land doesn't even have to be posted. It is your responsibility to know where you are and you need permission to track / retrieve wounded game on private land. A landowner would be well within the law to pick up game that someone else shot while they watched helplessly from across the line.
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