Unfortunately, there are a few hunters who think they have the right to shoot from wherever they please. Some years ago, a hunter shot right down our driveway with a red pickup clearly visible.
A couple of years ago, a pair of hunters shot from the road into our property, entering ten feet from a “No Trespassing” sign, about 100 feet from an occupied building on the opposite side of the road, and less than 500 feet from our cabin.
Last year a pair of hunters shot into our property within 500 feet of our cabin and less than 100 feet from a cabin on the other side of the road.
I guess they have other priorities than knowing the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunting regulations:
On another person’s private land or a public right-of-way, a person may not discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a building occupied by humans or livestock without permission.It seems some bird hunters are more prone to ignore “property rights” than deer hunters. Many bird hunters cruise the roads looking for likely spots along the road and pay no attention to land use.
Many deer hunters occupy a stand and know exactly where they are. In fact, some of my deer hunter friends do not think much of bird hunters. Even if they hunt birds themselves, they have disdain for bird hunters who don’t respect property rights.
We’ve always assumed that we had to post our land with “No Trespassing” or “No Hunting” signs. We’ve found it annoying and time consuming. Why should we have to post our land? Shouldn’t the hunters know where they are hunting?
Many counties have plat maps available. St. Louis County had KMZ files that one could overlay on Google Earth. The KMZ files contain the property information for every parcel in the county. Now St. Louis county has gone one step further and has all this information online with Google Earth maps. See http://gis.stlouiscountymn.gov/planningflexviewers/county_explorer/. With this you can “fly” to any area of the county and know which land is private, county, state, or federal. If you have a computer, there is no excuse for not knowing where you are hunting.
Carlton and Lake Counties have information by parcel, but you need a street address to find this information. See http://www.parcelinfo.com/.
You can also get public hunting maps from major sports retailers.
The DNR regulations are a bit ambiguous. The 2014 regulations state:
“Always ask permission before entering private land. Any entry onto the private property of another without permission is considered trespass. Land owners may be able to pursue court action against trespassers whether the property is posted or not.”
Two notable exceptions are that a hunter may enter land that is not posted to retrieve a wounded animal or to retrieve a hunting dog. In the latter case the hunter may not carry a firearm. In both cases the hunter must be on foot.
But then after the second suggestion that hunters always ask permission to enter non-posted lands, the regulations state the requirements for posting! Signs must be posted every year, must have letters of a certain height, have landowner name or signature, and be posted at certain intervals. The intervals are at the corner of every parcel and in wooded areas every 500 feet or less. But if some hunters ignore signs, why even bother?
Those who ignore property lines or “No Trespassing” signs should be lucky they don’t live in a “Stand your ground” state. Consider that a cranky old man is sitting with a shotgun hidden among the trees, just waiting for you to step from the road. Blam! You’re dead! Does the cranky old man even have to to be in a “Stand your ground” state? A sympathetic jury may consider his actions self-defense.
To end on a positive note;
I don’t eat meat anymore, and when I did, I considered hunting an expensive way to get meat. Others disagree and enjoy hunting, fishing, and the food it gives them. If you are one of these people, if you know where you are, and if you have permission to hunt there, may you have a good hunting season. May you get your limit in the time you want to spend. May you enjoy each meal from your hunting.
Mel can’t complain too much about noise: He does operate noisy equipment. But so do his neighbors and all know where the sound is coming from.