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Release # 09-20


Landowners who post their properties now have the option of using purple paint rather than signs to alert others that lands are private and trespassing isn’t permitted.

House Bill 1772, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in November, and took effect this week.

The bill adds language to the section of state law dealing with criminal trespass.

Under the law, a person is considered a “defiant trespasser” – which carries enhanced penalties – if he or she enters or remains in any place where notice against trespassing is given by actual communication, lawful posting or fencing.

House Bill 1772 makes the use of purple paint on trees or posts a lawful posting method in all but Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

Vertical purple lines must be at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. The bottom of the mark must not be less than 3 feet or more than 5 feet from the ground. And painted marks must not be more than 100 feet apart.

Now that the “purple paint law” is effective, hunters should know they might encounter purple markings on trees and that these marks are meant to define the boundary of an adjoining private property that’s posted against trespassing.

The new law also authorizes unarmed persons to go onto private property for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog.

In Pennsylvania, defiant trespass is a third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines. And if trespassing occurs while hunting, additional game-law violations – and additional penalties – also might apply.

A recent legislative act has provided the Game Commission the authority to investigate trespassing complaints and enforce trespassing violations as a primary offense, even if game-law violations aren’t alleged and the agency will enforce trespassing aggressively.
 

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So if a hunter mainly hunts hunter access cooperator lands, can he spend $2 on a can of purple spray paint and keep anyone else from hunting near his chosen location?
 

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And now if a farm is posted with the purple paint, if the owner wants to sell it to someone who will allow hunting do they need to take a scrub brush to all of it?
 

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Wonder if EVERY one knows this law? I encounter people on side x sides every yr on game lands and private property, when I approach them it’s always the same story, “ I didn’t know this was game lands “ or “ I’m lost “
 

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You "might" get away with a chewing when caught on private property. But you get caught on game lands your "going" to get that and big fine! Don't do either. Who sells purple paint in a can? It can't be cheap.
 

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It won't take long for word to spread about this. I use purple paint to mark my Missouri land, and think it's a good, cheap and easy way to mark the perimeter and make it clear, beyond a doubt, that someone is crossing into a place they aren't supposed to be. With known trespassing and poachers in my area, the game warden was adamant that I take the extra step of posting the boundaries with this stuff, as the laws there - like the new PA provision - amplify the penalties to the misdemeanor level when someone willfully crosses onto my land.

Given that I caught 2 guys speeding into the place in a truck in a rush to remove a deer they poached on my south field, just after I went on contract to buy it, you'd better believe that he didn't have to tell me twice.

Yes, they do make and sell rattlecan stuff specifically for the job. This is what I use:

https://www.krylon.com/products/no-hunting-purple/
 

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what i dont understand is why purple. a hunter would have to come right up to the trees to see it. why not use something like floresent lime green that can be seen from a distance.
Yeah....would like to know how in the world the color purple was chosen? Prince "Purple Rain" influence!!:grin2:
 

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You "might" get away with a chewing when caught on private property. But you get caught on game lands your "going" to get that and big fine! Don't do either. Who sells purple paint in a can? It can't be cheap.

My wife's favorite color is purple, so when she wanted one of those five pointed stars painted that color for the house, I just stopped in Home Depot and picked spray cans of purple paint.
 

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And now if a farm is posted with the purple paint, if the owner wants to sell it to someone who will allow hunting do they need to take a scrub brush to all of it?
Hunters are able to gain permission on some land that has posted signs....why would anything be different if it's purple paint?

The only instance I could see this being an issue is when a new landowner wants anyone and everyone to be able to hunt his/her land...which I would imagine is a fairly slim chance. Even so, the purple paint could be covered by another color of paint on the trees and/or posts.....I imagine that would be about the same labor involved as walking around removing previous posted signs.
 

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The paint law works well in Illinois. This HOPEFULLY will eliminate those excuses when they are caught trespassing. Some of my favorites were: The poster was not signed...my grandmother used to own this land...and the oldie but goodie... I know the owner when the owner is standing there and they try to kick them off their own land...
 

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The paint law works well in Illinois. This HOPEFULLY will eliminate those excuses when they are caught trespassing. Some of my favorites were: The poster was not signed...my grandmother used to own this land...and the oldie but goodie... I know the owner when the owner is standing there and they try to kick them off their own land...

I like the "You mean this isn't Gamelands?" While sitting on a quad???
 

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Find it funny that so many are dreaming up scenarios and posing "what ifs" on this new law?

Apparently it has worked well in many other states over a long period of time, but took years for it to be adopted here.

Okay, that last part isn't funny, because the mindset here in PA, is that we're different and don't care how many things have worked just dandy in other states - dang it, we don't want that here!

:p

Posters get torn down, according to what I've been told. Bit harder to deface or remove a painted tree or post. The new law including purple paint, now allows Game Wardens to cite for trespass, moves ignoring posters/purple paint to defiant trespass.

It also relieves land owners from constantly replacing posters that were torn down, or weathered and in need of replacement.

In my travels about the state, I've seen many areas along major highways where posters are mere yards apart on trees. Tells me the owners of that land regularly have issues with people parking and invading their properties.

Otherwise they wouldn't have gone to the trouble of climbing steep banks and plastering trees with hundreds of posters? Now all they have to do, is paint trees a hundred yards apart and hope people get the message, instead of maintaining hundreds of posters.
 

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Yeah the color sucks, but it was easy for the hardware store to mix up. Don't need a stupid spray can. Put some paint in a screw top plastic jar and slather the trees along the property lines. Even heard some folks paint a white blotch on the tree so the purple stands out against the white. There ought to be a minimum fine.

As for those who pull stunts like unauthorized painting of lines, that would be a form of trespass itself. Like anything else, they have to be caught, or the law doesn't mean crap.
 

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The paint law works well in Illinois. This HOPEFULLY will eliminate those excuses when they are caught trespassing. Some of my favorites were: The poster was not signed...my grandmother used to own this land...and the oldie but goodie... I know the owner when the owner is standing there and they try to kick them off their own land...
My all time favorite, as I paddle my canoe up to one fishing on my property the guy says "who are you"? That didn't end well!
 

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My all time favorite, as I paddle my canoe up to one fishing on my property the guy says "who are you"? That didn't end well
Had that happen to me too.

I had one guy demand to see the deed. I called the PSP and the trooper told him he could leave on his own or ride in the back of the cruiser. He left on his own.

I like the defiant trespass and the WCOs aggressively enforcement parts.
 
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