Hunting private property

Hunting private property

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
Respect for private land by hunters is critical to ensure continued access to private property.

Often, big game hunts require hunters to cross private land to reach their hunt unit that is usually on publicly-owned land. Many private landowners allow the public to cross their land, because they are often hunters themselves and support providing access to others so they can hunt on public lands and pursue the wildlife that lives there.

Responsible hunting ethics on private land.

To ensure that private landowners and their land are respected, ultimately resulting in private lands remaining open to hunting access, hunters are reminded to:

- Always ask for permission to hunt on private land, and, if you're unsure if it is acceptable to cross private land to access public land, ask first! Idaho trespass law specifies that, "no person shall enter or remain on private land to shoot any weapon or hunt, fish, trap or retrieve game without written permission or other lawful permission."

If access is granted by the landowner, hunters should stay on designated roads and trails.

- If you must open a closed gate, legally, the gate must be closed once you've passed through it. Leaving a gate open can allow livestock to escape into areas where they don't belong.

- Never cut a fence or remove fence rails or wires. Destroying or damaging improvements on private land is illegal and is punishable by law.

- Know your target. Many landowners are running livestock both on private and public lands. Never shoot unless you are absolutely sure of your target and what lies beyond.

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