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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a thought for us all: How many of us actually end up trespassing onto private property without even knowing it? I mean, just because the land isn't POSTED doesn't mean it's not private property.... Do most of us even actually know who's land we hunt on half the time?
I ask this because thanks to a discussion on Facebook yesterday, I went on the site www.onXmaps.com just to try and find out who the landowners are to some of the areas that i'd like to hunt. Amazingly, it shows property lines and even gives you the landowners names.
After looking for a few min. I decided to take a look at what I thought was just state owned land that I've hunted for a few years. And holy cow, The truth is, I've actually been hunting on over 6 different properties! Granted, these properties have been open to hunting for as long back as anyone can remember - but it truly is information that I feel all hunters should know.
Use the 7 day free trial and look up your hunting areas. You may just be surprised what you find.
 

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I pretty much hunt all public ground for deer. I make it a point to know where I'm allowed and where I'm not.
 

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I hunt co-op property and flood control property. Signs are everywhere so I always know the ground I am on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
True. But being "Allowed" to hunt a location isn't always the same as knowing who owns the land.... I know that i'm allowed to hunt the areas I've always hunted, I've actually spoken with many landowners (while on their property) without even knowing it. But it just amazed me to realize that I wasn't hunting where I thought I was!
Here's an example: My one location is in the ANF, and I've hunted it for years. I park outside a gated road that has signs that say "Welcome and Hunt Safely" - What I never realized is that once you walk back that road a quarter mile, it crosses into someone's private property. No signs, Nothing......
I'm not suggesting that anyone is doing anything wrong, It's just something that I found to be shocking when I checked it out yesterday. And I thought i'd share it so others could see their areas as well. Because up till yesterday I never even knew that any sites like that even existed. So perhaps this can help out other hunters as well.
 

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Last year at the Harrisburg sport show, I bought the Pennsylvania micro sd card for my garmin gps from onXmaps. Used it for the first time this year and I have to say that a most of the info on it is correct, but there was some areas that im familiar with that weren't right or up to date like they claim. Now my buddy has about 18 acres, and when I used it, most of it was real close to the boundaries they show, but some spots weren't so close and I was actually trespassing. Overall I am very satisfied with it, but when I go back this year I do have a few questions for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I doubt that any GPS devise will be perfect... and i'm not using it to find the exact boundaries. I'm mostly using it just to find out who owns some of the different land that i'm interested in hunting. So now I can contact them about getting permission to hunt there.
For most I figure i'll try and look up their phone #'s and call them first: basically introduce myself and let them know that i'd like to speak with them about the possibility of gaining permission to hunt their property. ( that way i'm not some strange guy just driving up to their home ).
I figure that if they grant me permission, then I can speak with them about the exact property lines.
 

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Maybe once technology like this becomes more accurate and common, it could shift the responsibility from the land owner onto the land user. Maybe it could even become a tool that law enforcement could use in their enforcement of trespass.

Good luck, Tony
 

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I walk up a power line to access the back side of the private property I have permission to hunt. I grew up right across the street on the front side of the property. I've hunted on this property for 45 years. This year (first time in 45 years) a guy is standing on the power line and stops me. No signs anywhere and there have never been any signs. He said I was trespassing. I told him I thought the power line was an easement. Guy gets smart because I asked a question and said the owner has given the power company the easement not me. The owner was paying him to run people off, and because I questioned him I could be arrested for defiant trespass. After I told him he better quit swinging his gun around using it as a pointer, because I felt threatened, he started talking like a normal person. I didn't have a dog in the fight the guy was right. I backed out and walked in through the woods on the other side of the power line. Only took 45 years for someone to tell me I was trespassing and I didn't even know it. I'll walk the woods in or front side from now on.
 

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Due to a suggestion on another thread, I checked, and my county has a map with the same info. Property lines and owners listed. The only info not there is the owners address if they don't reside on the listed property. Still, a lot of good info for avoiding conflict and gaining permission.
 

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I walk up a power line to access the back side of the private property I have permission to hunt. I grew up right across the street on the front side of the property. I've hunted on this property for 45 years. This year (first time in 45 years) a guy is standing on the power line and stops me. No signs anywhere and there have never been any signs. He said I was trespassing. I told him I thought the power line was an easement. Guy gets smart because I asked a question and said the owner has given the power company the easement not me. The owner was paying him to run people off, and because I questioned him I could be arrested for defiant trespass. After I told him he better quit swinging his gun around using it as a pointer, because I felt threatened, he started talking like a normal person. I didn't have a dog in the fight the guy was right. I backed out and walked in through the woods on the other side of the power line. Only took 45 years for someone to tell me I was trespassing and I didn't even know it. I'll walk the woods in or front side from now on.
I know a lot of people think that power lines are open to all, but what you said is correct; the easement only applies to the power company. That said, perhaps you could simply ask the owners permission to use it to access the area you already have permission to hunt? I ran into a very similar situation this year, and the owner graciously is allowing me to use a trail on their property to access the SGL I want to hunt. While not giving me permission to hunt his property, he also will allow me to retrieve a deer on his ground should the situation occur. Respect all around works wonders.
 
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Why is this still happening? Trespassing. If anyone has a phone or computer, if they spent some time and a tiny bit of money, they can find out where they are at. The tools are there. If you're not computer literate, ask someone to help you to educate yourself

I don't trespass onto private property because I research where I'm going to be. I've said it before, with all the technology and Plat maps online, there is no excuse to be 'off course'
 

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OnX maps is a great service. I have it on my iphone for both Ohio and PA. Takes the guesswork out of where you are and it is sometimes surprising what is actually public land. You don't need cell service for it to work either as you can save maps to your phone.
 

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Maybe once technology like this becomes more accurate and common, it could shift the responsibility from the land owner onto the land user. Maybe it could even become a tool that law enforcement could use in their enforcement of trespass.

Good luck, Tony
Responsibility has always been on the land user not the landowner, just as it should be. Its simple if you haven't actually had the landowner show you the property boundaries in a particular area don't hunt there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did not post this for people to cast stones at each other... It's true that one should always try to know who's land they are on, however it is not always that simple... For myself, I live in the ANF where most of the land around here is State Forest. But it's also where you can walk in on State Forest land - walk a half mile in basically any direction - and you could end up on someone's private property. And unless the land owner doesn't allow hunting, the boundaries aren't always clearly marked!
See, in this area it's not just private land owners and the ANF, there are also SEVERAL lumber companies that own a lot of land. And most land is open to hunting ( even the private land )....
And YES, some of us aren't as "computer literate" as you guys seem to be. I began this post because up until yesterday - I didn't even know there was a site like that.... And since I also DON'T have a smart phone or a gps, I guess that makes me a bad hunter.
But this post wasn't meant for you PERFECT hunters. It was placed to try and help out all of us FLAWED hunters who would love to know who's land is who's, and who would love to actually be able to ask the landowner's permission - but till now, couldn't figure out how to find out where the property lines are - or who owns the land.
I've seen it time and again on this site: there are always those hunters who think they are PERFECT, and they always bash on any other hunter who asks a question or tries to share their knowledge. When all we're trying to do is become more responsible outdoorsmen!
 

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Majik it has nothing to do with computers etc. All you had to do is some research, visit your counties courthouse and call the lumber/ coal co etc. I agree that property lines can be confusing, but that's not an excuse to trespass. Its simple, do not hunt in an area that you do not know who owns it. ( You know that you don't and that's all you need to know until you find out who does) My dad taught me that when I was 12.
 

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I did not post this for people to cast stones at each other... It's true that one should always try to know who's land they are on, however it is not always that simple... For myself, I live in the ANF where most of the land around here is State Forest. But it's also where you can walk in on State Forest land - walk a half mile in basically any direction - and you could end up on someone's private property. And unless the land owner doesn't allow hunting, the boundaries aren't always clearly marked!
See, in this area it's not just private land owners and the ANF, there are also SEVERAL lumber companies that own a lot of land. And most land is open to hunting ( even the private land )....
And YES, some of us aren't as "computer literate" as you guys seem to be. I began this post because up until yesterday - I didn't even know there was a site like that.... And since I also DON'T have a smart phone or a gps, I guess that makes me a bad hunter.
But this post wasn't meant for you PERFECT hunters. It was placed to try and help out all of us FLAWED hunters who would love to know who's land is who's, and who would love to actually be able to ask the landowner's permission - but till now, couldn't figure out how to find out where the property lines are - or who owns the land.
I've seen it time and again on this site: there are always those hunters who think they are PERFECT, and they always bash on any other hunter who asks a question or tries to share their knowledge. When all we're trying to do is become more responsible outdoorsmen!
I did not post to be a stone thrower. It doesn't matter if you're computer litreate or not. There are ways and means to figure out who owns what land out there. Some of it is 'new school' and some us old school by going to the courthouse.

If you're trying to be responsible, the responsible thing to do is find out who owns the land you intend to hunt and obtain permission.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ShedSeeker, I do agree with you. And as I've stated, the place I hunt is in the ANF and is State Forest. My surprise was when I looked at the area and found that by going so far back into the forest, I had actually crossed over a couple property lines! When you walk into the State Forest, you don't expect to come across a chunk of private property a half mile back in! (Especially when it's surrounded by the ANF on all sides).
But anyway, I posted the site for anyone wanting a way to find out who's land is who's. And if I have helped even One person by doing so; then it was all worth it!
 

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Responsibility has always been on the land user not the landowner, just as it should be. Its simple if you haven't actually had the landowner show you the property boundaries in a particular area don't hunt there.
If you read the actual Pa. trespass code it clearly puts the responsibility on the land owner to give notice.

Title 18 - PA General Assembly

Good luck, Tony
 

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If it's state forest land then that app is way off. My grandfather has a state forest camp LEASE and the app shows him and others owning 100's of acres when they do not.
 
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