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mudslinger

Claiming PRIVATE when public???

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So I am out hunting PUBLIC late season roosters the fun way. With two snow mobiles, a buddy, a dog (choc lab riding on dads lap), and a large PUBLIC lake surrounded by large sections of cattails. Needless to say the sleds are for transportation. Not for hunting! We are about to hunt a section of cattails (all which have ICE underfoot) and the first guy that pulls up (icefisherman) tells us that we are hunting private land. I kindly tell him this land is as public as it was a few weeks ago when duck hunters occupied it. Shortly after, a guy in a jeep came storming over and told us to get off HIS land. Like a sportsman, I showed him the ICE I was standing on and he still had a problem. I told him I had no intention of hunting on his private land and would remain on the PUBLIC ice area of the cattails. He swore and stormed off. I sat there and thought what should I do??? Then pictured the sign at the landing that read something about this land is cause of YOUR duck dollars. Shortly after, I proudly watched my friend (a new hunter) fold his first rooster.....into the cattails. Did I do wrong???

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Did I do wrong???

Not in my eyes. I've run into a couple of situations like that in the past. I just pull out the CO's card and say "call em, I'll wait". Nobody has yet. smile

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Thanks fellas. Confrontation is never welcomed in my world so its good to hear im not the (bar room chat) in this situation. Yup, its borderline hunting near private land but thats why lines are drawn.

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So you are talking about water that abuts private land? Not a wma that abuts private land, just water that does? I suppose if you can access it from the road, its technically public, but I would never hunt it like you did. You are just giving hunters a bad name pushing the edge of the trespassing laws like that.

Oh and if you shoot a rooster that goes over the dry land, and its posted which it sounds like this might be, you have no right to be on the property (neither does your dog), now what are you going to do? Also if your dog ventures on to that adjacent private ground (whether posted or not) did you know you can't go get him without leaving your gun behind on the ice? (See page 13 of the synopsis for the trespassing exceptions if you don't believe me). You following all these requirements?

Nothing like irritating the public and making anti's out of landowners huh???

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Lawdog where does it stop? I don't want to make the land owner mad,so I don't fish his dock. I don't want to make the land owner mad, so I don't hunt the fence line on a WPA that borders their property. I don't want to make the land owner mad so I don't hunt the ditch that borders their propery. I don't duck hunt in the cattails that borders private land because I don't want to make the land owner mad. I don't fish a shore line because I don't want to make the land owner mad. Public land is public land! The land owner in this case needs to inform himself of the law.

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Lawdog where does it stop? I don't want to make the land owner mad,so I don't fish his dock. I don't want to make the land owner mad, so I don't hunt the fence line on a WPA that borders their property. I don't want to make the land owner mad so I don't hunt the ditch that borders their propery. I don't duck hunt in the cattails that borders private land because I don't want to make the land owner mad. I don't fish a shore line because I don't want to make the land owner mad. Public land is public land! The land owner in this case needs to inform himself of the law.

Exactly!

The people that are going to be "anti's" have always been, and forever will be. It isn't gonna matter one bit if "someone hunts too close to their property. Same goes for the irritated public.

If it's legal go for it. You've got every bit of right to do so.

Oh, and if you shoot a Rooster and it falls on non-posted private property, you can go retrieve it(sans gun), unless the land owner tells you to get off.

I wouldn't go out of my way to tick anyone off, but there are those landowners that feel they own everything within 50' of their property, wild game included. If someone gives you a hard time and your in the right, you can always call the CO and test out the hunter harrasment laws.

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My buddy has some land that gets hit pretty hard by public hunters just like you described. We always go hunting after the public hunters push the birds up land for us.....

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So I am out hunting PUBLIC late season roosters the fun way. With two snow mobiles, a buddy, a dog (choc lab riding on dads lap), and a large PUBLIC lake surrounded by large sections of cattails. Needless to say the sleds are for transportation. Not for hunting! We are about to hunt a section of cattails (all which have ICE underfoot) and the first guy that pulls up (icefisherman) tells us that we are hunting private land. I kindly tell him this land is as public as it was a few weeks ago when duck hunters occupied it. Shortly after, a guy in a jeep came storming over and told us to get off HIS land. Like a sportsman, I showed him the ICE I was standing on and he still had a problem. I told him I had no intention of hunting on his private land and would remain on the PUBLIC ice area of the cattails. He swore and stormed off. I sat there and thought what should I do??? Then pictured the sign at the landing that read something about this land is cause of YOUR duck dollars. Shortly after, I proudly watched my friend (a new hunter) fold his first rooster.....into the cattails. Did I do wrong???

Sounds exactly like my hunt one week ago after work! Access a WMA, start working across it on the ice side, dog working the cattails. The ice goes about halfway into the cattails Guy motors up to me on a 4 wheel and says stay off my land and points across the lake. My partner calmly replies “we’re hunting the cattails.” Guy becomes irate, not exaggerating and says “I go through this every year, stay off my property! I warned you!” He then offers a few more curse words drives over my partners foot. No exaggeration. The property he pointed to was ½ mile across the lake. I tell partner to let it go, we’ll call the CO when we get back to the truck because clearly this pattern of behavior is unacceptable and hunter harassment.

To finish the story, we run out of time as its late in the day so we never even get onto the PUBLIC WATER adjacent to his land. Get back to the access and the CO is waiting for us. The guy called the CO, on what grounds I'll never know. So we get checked, the officers do their job, look over our loads, licenses, vehicles, but basically we go back and forth on water issues. The officers start talking about where the water is, which is fine, but this is Minnesota, not the Dakotas, and ordinary high water is the rule on a public water body. Can I tell you where OHW is? No. Can a CO? No. Do cattails, an obligate wetlands species, tell you where OHW is? No. But if I’m walking on ice in December am I within OHW? You better believe it! They CO’s said they would let the landowner cool off rather than question him on his behavior, but I will not be harassed off public land…I will be back to hunt again.

I think in most cases these private landowners think they OWN the pheasants, and if they are motoring a half mile across the lake to aggressively and wrongly tell you where you can and can’t hunt, its harassment. I guess I'd like to see COs that support hunter rights, particularly in a WMA, than landowner rights...and we wonder why hunting is being lost through the generations.

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Public is public and should be utilized. I too would like to see CO's back hunters in these situations.

I would say most of the time they do.

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If someone ran over my foot after cursing me out - I would have TOLD the CO that I wanted to do a citizens arrest for hit and run.

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Mudslinger- YOu did the right thing and I would have done the same. I cant count the times a guy has told me im hunting private land and to get off(when I wasent) That goose season is not open(when it is). That I was hunting in a closed area(when it was an open area for hunting). Iv even had a CO tell me I needed blaze orange to predator hunt when I was 14(I corrected him and told the CO I dident need blaze orange, he dident believe me until he looked it up in the Reg book!) Yea long story short, people dont know what they are talking about. If you know you are in the law tell them to take a hike. If they keep harasing you, call the CO. Thats what I do, I tell them fine, im calling the CO and im geting you tagged for hunter harrasment. These are the same guys that would yell at your five year old kid for stepping on their lawn if they lived in the cities. Good job on standing up to the guy.

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So are you guys saying that if I am able to walk off a township road(public) into a ditch/pond that has walkable ice on it, along with cattails, I could legally hunt on the ice????

YES water is public if you can get to it without crossing privite land

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Well I guess I have a lot more places to hunt then I thought(a lot). How deep does the water have to be??? I guess I would always have the local CO's number handy and talk to him prior to going out in his area and letting him know-because I can guarantee a confrontation in almost every place. I suppose you could go tell the land owner what you are going to do but why when water is public. Do any of you have legal (statutes) to cite?? If I were to believe this I would need to see it in the law books and carry it with me at all times. Also, then since snow is water you can hunt on that as well????? I guess where does this logic stop???

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"Also, then since snow is water you can hunt on that as well????? "

I doubt that but all lakes that have public access to them are public. Im not sure if it says in the law book...just common knowledge. just like fishing... as long as you are on the water noone can make you leave.

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Some of these scenarios are real slippery slopes in my opinion. I can see debating a WPA or WMA that contains the major portion of a pond, but has a portion that is a private shoreline. However, accessing a pond from a road right of way to hunt the cattails adjacent to 100% private land. That is simply asking for conflict in my book. For me, some of the reasoning that is being use about it being "public" makes it very clear why it is so difficult to gain access to private land. I am not advocating shying away from hunting truly "public" land. However, good judgement is required for how far to push the "water is public" envelope. A lot of damage can be done and not just for the individual, but for all hunters.

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I would caution this as well. According to townships and tax assesments of property in rural areas, you actually pay taxes on property to the centerline of the roadway. This is one of those hairy deals. I would do as you stated and consult one of the CO's in your area. I will have a new post starting soon that will allow for these types of things to be answered. KEEP WATCHING!!!!

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From the hunting regs...

These are simple rules of thumb and are not intended to address all

water access and recreational use situations. If you have doubts about

whether you may be trespassing on private land, we recommend that

you ask the landowner for permission.

1. What is lawful access?

A stream or lake is lawfully accessible if there is a public access, or

if public land or a public road right-of-way abuts the surface of the

water, or if you have permission to cross private land to reach the

surface of the water.

2. What is recreational use?

Recreational use includes boating, swimming, fishing, hunting,

trapping, and similar activities. It includes walking in the water in

connection with such activities regardless of who owns the land

beneath the surface of the water.

3. What waters are open to recreational use?

A stream or lake is open to recreational use over its entire surface

if it is capable of recreational use and if it is lawfully accessible. Any

water that will float a canoe is capable of recreational use, but other

waters may also qualify depending upon the circumstances.

Now I would go with the "well it can float a canoe" route. I guess i stick with if I can get to it from crossing public land or it has a public access then I go. The road right of way can get iffy.

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I am not a hard core pheasant guy but with the way things are going with access I say go for it. A buddy and I drew a prarie chicken license last year and gaining access was brutal. We are in an area of the state (Northewest) that has very little upland hunting pressure and only one person of a dozen gave us access. I have hunted all over the U.S. and Canada and I have found MN to be the toughest state to get access to hunt on private property. I can imagine in phesant country gaining access to any property other than public is near impossible unless your check book is open. I would also geuss that the public land is pounded. Any scrap of land that is legal to hunt is fair game in my opinion.

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