Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
winniewalleye777

Hunting the Tracks

Recommended Posts

In the past, my family and I would hunt the railroad tracks on opening day before hitting our private land. We recently heard that hunting the tracks is now illegal (an obvious liability for the railroad). We decided that no rooster is worth a trespassing fine. What is the law on this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also heard it was illegal but I seen many people walking the tracks this past weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been doing a little digging. So far I have not found anything with regard to railroad right-of-way accept one case in which someone was found guilty of discharging a firearm toward private property from a right-of-way. In this case, the railroad did not object to the use of firearms on their property. They didn't file the charges, the farmer did for the shooting toward his private property. This seems to suggest that the railroad property is private and there may not be any laws that prohibit the use of firearms other than the same tresspass laws for most anyone else in MN. If the railroad wants to restrict us they would have to post the property just like we do, with the exception of ag land. I have written to the DNR to inquire and will pass along the reply I get.

I figured I'd research the Central Lakes Trail that runs from Fergus Falls to Osakis as well as the Lake Wobegon Trail that runs from Osakis to St. Joeseph among other places. These are former railroad properties, which are now used for bicycling, hiking, etc.

The Lake Wobegon Trail is off-limits to firearms, period. The Central Lakes Trail however, which is managed by the DNR, is open to hunting and firearms use but only from September 15 - March 30. This would seem to suggest that these trails we have scattered around the country may differ in this regard.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As was posted already, it has been illegal for quite a few years. However I see many hunters doing it, have never seen it enforced, and I have a few areas where I hunt the tracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bnsf has signs up on their tracks in a few places between benson and appleton. "property of bnsf no hunting/tresspassing". ive seen tickets get written out to pheasant hunters 2 separate occasions in the last 5 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from what i have been told by a CO...railroads fall under "private land ownership" if its posted, dont hunt it, if it isnt...go ahead.

a railroad is not responsible for any hunting accidents that occur on its property just as a landowner isnt responsible if a hunter he/she allows on her land has an incident. as long as the railroad/landowner don't charge a fee to hunt they are not liable for any injury on the property.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hunt RR tracks all the time. When a train comes by we just move to the side and the engineer usually waves to us. I would think if it was illegal there would probably be somebody on the road waiting to chew some butt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most railroads are indeed private property. For the most part they are no different than other private properties. Some railroads beds have been abandoned, vacated, etc. Like in the case of Bob's instance above referencing the Central Lakes Trail, the railroad bed was once Burlington Northern's and has since been abandoned. I believe it is now state land that can be used for public use, including hunting. FYI, Bob, I've shot pheasants off this trail! grin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Tim Hage at the DNR.

"Active railroad beds are private property. You will need to get permission to hunt them."

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is Illegal. The legislature passed the law approx 5-6 years ago. Many people do still walk the tracks but one can get taged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is illegal, and if it is a union pacific line and you get observed on the track by any train personel I can assure you will get ticketed, and if an oncoming train or track service operation has to stop due to you being on the track I can almost assure the union pacific will prosecute. Big railroad operations such as UP and BNSF are very strict against it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the research I have done:

It is illegal if it isn't allowed by the railroad but they must post their property just like any private property. If there is a state mandate similar to agricultural trespass laws, I'd like to see it. I have not found any such law as you refer to Harvey...yet.

Abandoned railroads that have been converted into nature/bicycle/hiking/snowmobile trails may be regulated independently. Some allow hunting while others do not. Case in point is my reference to the Wobegon vs. Central Lakes trails. The Wobegon does allow hunting (Sept. 15 - Mar. 30) however the Central Lakes Trail is off limits (no firearms at any time).

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • It might be better to buy a small second unit and link them.    My guess is what you want is not something enough people want to justify implementing.   Personally I have a hard enough time watching a bobber.
    • Welcome to the Forum.  What brand gun is it? Would help to pick choke tubes out.  Size 6 shot should do the trick, but I'm sure more folks will chime in here. 
    • I upgraded my electronics this year to a Humminbird Helix 10. I love it so far with the exception of not being able to split the screen into 4 separate screens. The max that you can do is 3. I would really like to be able to have the map, sonar, down imaging, and side imaging on the screen at the same time while trolling. I emailed tech support and they said it's not something that is an option at this time. Right now when I'm fishing I switch back and forth between map, sonar, and DI and sonar, DI, and SI. Is there anyone else that thinks this should be an option? I don't know see why you can't customize the screen to show whichever features you prefer instead of only using the preloaded options that Humminbird decided on. I have thought about emailing the company weekly asking if they have that ability yet but wanted to see if anyone else thinks it should be an option. 
    • I just purchased a used 20 gauge for my 14 year old daughter. I hunt mostly state land for pheasants. It is a 2 3/4 auto with interchangeable chokes. What size steel shot and choke tube would you recomend for her?
    • I just got back from a work trip to MI. I could not believe the difference in ground cover. We traveled all the way from Dearborn back to Bemidji heading through the U.P.  Most of MI had very little ground cover but WI was flush, green everywhere! I only got to check a few spots at rest areas but I never saw a thing. The ground was dry at most spots on the way home. I'm gonna go hit my spot tomorrow, hopefully it hasn't been picked yet!
    • love those when ya see them!!!
    • Took the kayak crappie fishing opening weekend and when calm always bring with the DSLR with. These turtles are glad the weather has finally consistently warmed up. I always find it funny seeing turtles stacked on top of each other and found a few along with multiple species which was nice.     
    • I was going to hunt wi this weekend but fishing musky with my fly rod is what I will do instead.  Good luck!!!!!!!
    • Anyone still at it?   not sure that i will get Isaac out anymore, will still ask these last few days.   Good luck everyone.