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Be easy on me please. I was visiting another site and some one from Pa put up a post about how in Pa you can hunt any land that isn't posted. If you do post it, it has to have the owners name and signs have to be so far apart for the signs and so on other wise anyone can hunt it.

Before I get into a peeing match with him and set the post right I need to know if this is true or not. It was always my believe that even if there are no signs stating no trespassing a hunter doesn't have the right just to walk onto someones property and hunt.

I always hunt public land so it doesn't matter to me but maybe I could set this guy straight if he is wrong and prevent some one from getting into trouble. Thanks
 

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Your question is going to get a lot of good answers, so I will keep it brief.

No!!! You can not go on someone's land without permission. Doesn't matter if it is posted or not.
 

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You are correct....he is wrong.

Now, having said that, there are some landowners that will look at you like you're from outer space if you ask to hunt their property that isn't posted....these are almost always old school farmers/timber guys though. Just my experience growing up in a small town.
 

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He is wrong. Rather than get into a skunk match with him, just ask him to cite the law that says you can trespass on on posted property, make him prove what he says.
 

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The problem is where is the enforcement of these laws? John S, have you ever cited anyone or had them arrested for trespassing in your years as an officer?
 

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WCOs can only arrest for trespass if the trespasser was violating the game and wildlife code while trespassing, there must be a game law violation first.
 

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I know the game commission does there best John, but the police do not enforce the law correctly. Go to Texas, Montana, or anywhere out west and see what happens when someone crosses a boundary line and hunts. It is called trespassing with a deadly weapon in many states.

That is why people say you you can hunt not posted land like North Dakota. There is no enforcement and when someone legally tries to post their land and prosecute, there are loopholes that allow the offender to get out of the charges.
 

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Spunky,

The law seems pretty clear to me. I believe the other posters are incorrect, and in fact, your friend is correct.

The breakdown of states that require posting to exclude
hunters/fishermen/outdoorsmen is as follows:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana,
Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont,
Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
I have been told that a trespass violation cannot be enforced in
Pennsylvania, unless a land owner has placed NO TRESPASSING signs at
intervals not to exceed 50
feet around the entire property. The signs must be signed, dated, and
replaced annually. Signs must be placed on their own standard, not on
trees or posts.


Read in its entirety here: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Misc/misc.legal/2006-12/msg00181.pdf
 

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There is alot of gray in your article. He led into some of his statements with "I Heard" which draws me to believe he really doesn't know.

Trespassing in PA and the laws are a joke when it comes to enforcement. Until there is a firm line drawn in the sand like other states, it will always be a complete mess. It should not be the requirement of the landowner to post his property if he want to keep people off land he maintains, pays taxes, and etc.
 

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This has been hashed over on here numerous times. You CAN NOT hunt on private property posted or not posted without permission period.
 

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Did you bother to read the link I posted? It's pretty clear to me that you are incorrect.

Pennsylvania's statute, 18 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. § 3503 (West 2000), is
based on the Model Penal Code's trespass provision, which does not
specifically mention hunting but requires posting (or fencing or
enclosing) to exclude all trespassers from land (posting is not
required for buildings and occupied structures).

Pennsylvania courts generally hold that posting is required to exclude
hunters. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Sweeley, 29 Pa. D. & C.4th 426, 433
(C.P. 1995) ("Open lands that are not posted or fenced off are presumed
open for recreational use by the public, especially in rural counties
where hunting and outdoor activities are common."). Various secondary
sources provide general insight about whether and when landowners must
post to exclude hunters. The Model Penal Code's criminal trespass
provision, on which Pennsylvania's trespass statute is based, \l "F88"
requires landowners to post nonfenced land [*pg 565] (excluding
buildings and occupied structures) to exclude any would−be trespassers,
including hunters. \l "F89" The Restatement (Second) of Torts states
that,
f. . . it is the custom in wooded or rural areas to permit the
public to go hunting on private land . . . , anyone who goes hunting .
.. . may reasonably assume, in the absence of posted notice or other
manifestation to the contrary, that there is the customary consent to
his entry upon private land to hunt or fish." \l "F90"
 

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There is a huge difference between civil trespassing and criminal trespassing. According to the Pa appeals court, in Jones vs Wagner, (1993) it is civil trespassing to enter into, onto, over, under, or to even throw anything over, into or on the land of another without permission or legal right to do so. An example they give is just waiving your arm over the property line. (There is an exception for some air craft)

However, criminal trespassing is not so broad. The type of trespassing that can get a person into trouble is more limited. And signs are not required in several instances. (a) where the property is fenced to exclude trespassers (b) where fenced to enclose livestock, (c) where the actor starts a fire on the property (d) where the actor enters to harrass the occupants (e) where the actor does damage to the property and (f) where the actor has recieved a written or verbal demand to stay off or to leave. See 18 Pa C.S.A. section 3503. In addition, certain other actions are considered trespassing without signs. Operation of any ATV or snowmobile on private property without the consent of the owner, is trespassing. Operation of any motor vehicle in a cultivated field, on other land if tearing the sod or breaking branches on shrubbery and any non-emergency driving on private road or driveway without permission of the owner. (ATV/snowmobile trespassing and motor vehicle trespassing. under the Transportation code.)

The other bizarre ironic affect of PA's law, is that it is only a summary offense to enter a property to harrass the owner or light a fire, but a misdemeanor to crawl over a fence and walk through a pasture. Even stranger is that a person busted twice for motor vehicle trespassing, loses his driver's license for 6 months. That is probably a worse penalty than most get for intentional trespassing
 

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Zimmer50cal said:
Spunky,

The law seems pretty clear to me. I believe the other posters are incorrect, and in fact, your friend is correct.

The breakdown of states that require posting to exclude
hunters/fishermen/outdoorsmen is as follows:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana,
Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont,
Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
I have been told that a trespass violation cannot be enforced in
Pennsylvania, unless a land owner has placed NO TRESPASSING signs at
intervals not to exceed 50
feet around the entire property. The signs must be signed, dated, and
replaced annually. Signs must be placed on their own standard, not on
trees or posts.


Read in its entirety here: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Misc/misc.legal/2006-12/msg00181.pdf
Since Zimmer posted this link, I spent a few minutes doing a google search on the subject. The law is written to protect the hunter and not the land owner. In the state of Pennsylvania, it would be difficult to prosecute a trespasser if your land was not posted in accordance with the requirements of the law.

I don't agree with it and certainly would not want to try to explain the law to a PO'ed land owner.

This is one of several reasons why I spent my money on land in Ohio and not PA.
 

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§ 3503. Criminal trespass.
(a) Buildings and occupied structures.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so, he:
(i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or
surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied
structure or separately secured or occupied portion
thereof; or
(ii) breaks into any building or occupied structure
or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.
(2) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the
third degree, and an offense under paragraph (1)(ii) is a
felony of the second degree.
(3) As used in this subsection:
"Breaks into." To gain entry by force, breaking,
intimidation, unauthorized opening of locks, or through
an opening not designed for human access.
(b) Defiant trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in
any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(i) actual communication to the actor;
(ii) posting in a manner prescribed by law or
reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders;
(iii) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed
to exclude intruders;
(iv) notices posted in a manner prescribed by law or
reasonably likely to come to the person's attention at
each entrance of school grounds that visitors are
prohibited without authorization from a designated
school, center or program official; or
(v) an actual communication to the actor to leave
school grounds as communicated by a school, center or
program official, employee or agent or a law enforcement
officer.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense
under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third
degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally
communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other
authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v)
constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it
is a summary offense.
(b.1) Simple trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in
any place for the purpose of:
(i) threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant
of the premises;
(ii) starting or causing to be started any fire upon
the premises; or
(iii) defacing or damaging the premises.
(2) An offense under this subsection constitutes a
summary offense.
(b.2) Agricultural trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so he:
(i) enters or remains on any agricultural or other
open lands when such lands are posted in a manner
prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the
person's attention or are fenced or enclosed in a manner
manifestly designed to exclude trespassers or to confine
domestic animals; or
(ii) enters or remains on any agricultural or other
open lands and defies an order not to enter or to leave
that has been personally communicated to him by the owner
of the lands or other authorized person.
(2) An offense under this subsection shall be graded as
follows:
(i) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) constitutes a
misdemeanor of the third degree and is punishable by
imprisonment for a term of not more than one year and a
fine of not less than $250.
(ii) An offense under paragraph (1)(ii) constitutes
a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by
imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and a
fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase
"agricultural or other open lands" shall mean any land on
which agricultural activity or farming as defined in section
3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism) is conducted or any
land populated by forest trees of any size and capable of
producing timber or other wood products or any other land in
an agricultural security area as defined in the act of June
30, 1981 (P.L.128, No.43), known as the Agricultural Area
Security Law, or any area zoned for agricultural use.
(c) Defenses.--It is a defense to prosecution under this
section that:
(1) a building or occupied structure involved in an
offense under subsection (a) of this section was abandoned;
(2) the premises were at the time open to members of the
public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions
imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
(3) the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the
premises, or other person empowered to license access
thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.
(d) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "school
grounds" means any building of or grounds of any elementary or
secondary publicly funded educational institution, any
elementary or secondary private school licensed by the
Department of Education, any elementary or secondary parochial
school, any certified day-care center or any licensed preschool
program.
(June 23, 1978, P.L.497, No.76, eff. 60 days; Oct. 27, 1995,
P.L.334, No.53, eff. 60 days; Dec. 3, 1998, P.L.933, No.121,
eff. imd.; Oct. 2, 2002, P.L.806, No.116, eff. imd.)

2002 Amendment. Act 116 amended subsec. (b) and added
subsec. (d).
1998 Amendment. Act 121 added subsec. (b.2).
1995 Amendment. Act 53 added subsec. (b.1).
1978 Amendment. Act 76 amended subsec. (a).
Cross References. Section 3503 is referred to in sections
2710, 3311, 6105 of this title; section 2314 of Title 34 (Game);
section 3573 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
 

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In the state of Pennsylvania, it would be difficult to prosecute a trespasser if your land was not posted in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Posted in accordance with what law, exactly?
 

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Dale Sholder said:
Try it on our non posted property. You willl end up in court.
No need to get your feathers ruffled, simply trying to interpret legislation and answer the OPs question.
 

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Interesting Zimmerstutzen.

How does the legislation I posted come into play?
 

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PA-Joe said:
§ 3503. Criminal trespass.
(a) Buildings and occupied structures.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so, he:
(i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or
surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied
structure or separately secured or occupied portion
thereof; or
(ii) breaks into any building or occupied structure
or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.
(2) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the
third degree, and an offense under paragraph (1)(ii) is a
felony of the second degree.
(3) As used in this subsection:
"Breaks into." To gain entry by force, breaking,
intimidation, unauthorized opening of locks, or through
an opening not designed for human access.
(b) Defiant trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in
any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(i) actual communication to the actor;
(ii) posting in a manner prescribed by law or
reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders;
(iii) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed
to exclude intruders;
(iv) notices posted in a manner prescribed by law or
reasonably likely to come to the person's attention at
each entrance of school grounds that visitors are
prohibited without authorization from a designated
school, center or program official; or
(v) an actual communication to the actor to leave
school grounds as communicated by a school, center or
program official, employee or agent or a law enforcement
officer.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense
under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third
degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally
communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other
authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v)
constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it
is a summary offense.
(b.1) Simple trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in
any place for the purpose of:
(i) threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant
of the premises;
(ii) starting or causing to be started any fire upon
the premises; or
(iii) defacing or damaging the premises.
(2) An offense under this subsection constitutes a
summary offense.
(b.2) Agricultural trespasser.--
(1) A person commits an offense if knowing that he is
not licensed or privileged to do so he:
(i) enters or remains on any agricultural or other
open lands when such lands are posted in a manner
prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the
person's attention or are fenced or enclosed in a manner
manifestly designed to exclude trespassers or to confine
domestic animals; or
(ii) enters or remains on any agricultural or other
open lands and defies an order not to enter or to leave
that has been personally communicated to him by the owner
of the lands or other authorized person.
(2) An offense under this subsection shall be graded as
follows:
(i) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) constitutes a
misdemeanor of the third degree and is punishable by
imprisonment for a term of not more than one year and a
fine of not less than $250.
(ii) An offense under paragraph (1)(ii) constitutes
a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by
imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and a
fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase
"agricultural or other open lands" shall mean any land on
which agricultural activity or farming as defined in section
3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism) is conducted or any
land populated by forest trees of any size and capable of
producing timber or other wood products or any other land in
an agricultural security area as defined in the act of June
30, 1981 (P.L.128, No.43), known as the Agricultural Area
Security Law, or any area zoned for agricultural use.
(c) Defenses.--It is a defense to prosecution under this
section that:
(1) a building or occupied structure involved in an
offense under subsection (a) of this section was abandoned;
(2) the premises were at the time open to members of the
public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions
imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
(3) the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the
premises, or other person empowered to license access
thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.
(d) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "school
grounds" means any building of or grounds of any elementary or
secondary publicly funded educational institution, any
elementary or secondary private school licensed by the
Department of Education, any elementary or secondary parochial
school, any certified day-care center or any licensed preschool
program.
(June 23, 1978, P.L.497, No.76, eff. 60 days; Oct. 27, 1995,
P.L.334, No.53, eff. 60 days; Dec. 3, 1998, P.L.933, No.121,
eff. imd.; Oct. 2, 2002, P.L.806, No.116, eff. imd.)

2002 Amendment. Act 116 amended subsec. (b) and added
subsec. (d).
1998 Amendment. Act 121 added subsec. (b.2).
1995 Amendment. Act 53 added subsec. (b.1).
1978 Amendment. Act 76 amended subsec. (a).
Cross References. Section 3503 is referred to in sections
2710, 3311, 6105 of this title; section 2314 of Title 34 (Game);
section 3573 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure).
This seems to apply to buildings, posted or fenced property, agriculural lands, and situations when the actor has been asked to leave. I see no mention of unposted rural property.
 

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In the state of Pennsylvania, it would be difficult to prosecute a trespasser if your land was not posted in accordance with the requirements of the law.
NOT!!!!!!! In fact it is a myth that land must be posted every 50 ft, that signs must be signed by the owner etc.

It is difficult to get LEO's to enforce the law. Not difficult to prosecute it where it fits the statutes.

It is a myth, that signs are required in PA to exclude hunters, etc. Signs are not required in every instance. For instance to enter a fenced pasture. If you enter property without permission, the landowner can sue you for civil trespass if nothing else.

There is no law that says hunters have legal access to non-posted property. The state of the PA law, is that a person entering non-posted property may, depending on the circumstances, be safe from criminal prosecution but not from being sued for civil trespass.

In PA the crimes code sets forth what acts are criminal and mmay be punished by fines and imprisonment. But the statutess still don't cover eveeryything. The Common Law still exists in PA and the most recent court case I am aware of is Jones vs Wagner (1993) in which branches of tress were permitted to grow across the property line. The land onwer climbed up annd cut the tress branches back to the property line and the owner of the tres sued. The Appeals court indicated that landowners possess from the centerof the earth to the heavens above (except for air craft passing over) And that under the common law, even waiving your arm over the property line is trespassing. A landowner can sue for the intrusion into his exclusive right to use his property. After all that is the purpose of owning property. That no physical damage is required, but merely the taking of the use of his property without permission is the damage. Even Sir William Blackstone wrote about this very concept in 1767 in Blackstone's Commentaries on the Common Law and Statutes of England. That common law was expressly adopted as the law of PA in 1777 by the Colonial legislature and again in 1972. 1 Pa. C.S.A. section 1503. So there is a vast area of law that is not contained in the statute books that applies in PA.
 
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