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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to know what the law is for recovery on posted/private property.

I have a neighbor who won't allow recovery on his property under any circumstances(and he's a hunter). Does this mean he can keep any deer that end up on his property?
 

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I concur. I'm fairly certain, a WCO (or deputy), has the right to enter private property to recover/trail game. Post this in the Laws/Regs forum.
 

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Have you talked with your neighbor? Make sure to leave your bow/rifle behind, so it does make it seem that you intend to continue hunting while getting your deer. It doesn't make sense that a hunter wouldn't allow you to go onto his/her property to recover your deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's just the way my neighbor is. There's no reasoning with him especially after I got my land surveyed and found he was posting 500 ft of my property. He also timbered part of my property but before I bought it 3 years ago.

I've talked to 4 neighbors who have had deer go onto his property and he wouldn't allow any one of them to go on his land for any reason so I wanted to know the law in case I decided to return the favor.

If a mod can move this to the hunting law s and regulations forum, I'd appreciate it.
 

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Notta. Deer belongs to the person who establish control over the animal. If it runs onto neighboring property or across neighboring property, it isn't under the person's control. WCO's are instructed not to get into any conflicts about retrieval. Sure the WCO can ask and I'm glad they do. However, the landowner can't just keep the deer, unless he legally tags it. Seems a waste to just let it lie. But I've encountered trespassers who claimed they were tracking a deer as they put on a drive through my hollow one end to the other. That is also BS. Last fall in fact, Two guys were out with flashlights wading through my creek 120 feet behind the house at 1:00 am They claimed they were tracking a deer. They clearly knew the house and barn was there, didn't come and ask or call, and couldn't show me where any blood was they were also real fuzzy about where the deer was shot originally. I think they were just scouting the creek for furbearors/trapping season, and thought maybe no one was home.
 

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You have no right to recover game on his property or any other without permission. A WCO can go on the property in the performance of his duties, getting your deer isnt one of them.
The landowner may NOT recover the deer, unless he tags it.

If you look in your digest there is a section that tells you that (paraphrase) "you need permission to go on a landowners property to recover deer, a hunting lic. is not permission to trespass".
 

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We all know that a person needs permission to enter on to private property (even in the under penalized trespassing state of PA), but the issue is in the recovery, or trailing of wounded game. I would be quite shocked if a WCO would state they have no right to enter private property to retrieve wounded game, or continue a trail that happens through private property. This needs to be moved to Laws/Regs to get qualified answers.

Oh, and knowing it is a game-law regulation that all reasonable efforts need to be made to recover wounded game, I would think a WCO would be all the more empowered when it comes to game retrieval.
 

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A reasonable effort is trying to get permission to go on to recover, which should happen pre-season. Breaking the law (trespassing) to recover is not reasonable.

Just because a animal is wounded or falls somewhere other than where you want it to, does not make the law void. You MAY NOT enter another persons property without permission.
 

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If it was mine, I'd be removing my FO and heading in to retrieve it. What and idiot of a neighbor. You even give this guy the time of day?
 

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And now you are breaking the law and the game law.

PA ethics at their best.
 

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You MAY NOT enter another persons property without permission.
YOU are missing my entire point I think. I suggested contacting a WCO, or Deputy. It is my belief that THEY do have the ability to recover a wounded animal on private property. Just because a person owns a little bit of land doesn't make them Lord of the County when it comes to all things wildlife. Trust me, I own land and know.


And Zimm, WCO's being told to stay out of property disputes, and the recovery of a game animal are 2 different issues.
 

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Let's play scenario. I'm Joe the Hunter (Joe the Plumber's cousin :D), I mortally wound a Deer on MY farm in rifle season. I trail it to my property boundary with my neighbor Farmer Nasty. Farmer nasty is not a hunter, but is chopping wood on our boundary. We both see the Deer 20 yards inside his line, lying with it's head up looking at both of us, he says let it die and rot. I get on the cellphone and place a phone call to the PGC Regional, explain the incident, and that me and Farmer Nasty are face to face woth this dilemna, and at odds. What happens ?
 

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(a) General rule. - The carcass of game or wildlife lawfully killed or taken shall be the property of the person who inflicts a mortal wound which enables that person to take possession of the carcass.


(b) Officer not to arbitrate disputes. - No officer whose duty it is to enforce this title shall be called upon to arbitrate any dispute concerning the ownership of game or wildlife or to testify concerning any such dispute.

While a WCO may attempt to recover a wounded animal for a hunter on private property if they have time, sub section (b) is clear that an officer may not arbitrate the ownership of game and that is just what this situation would be. If the landowner says the WCO may not retreive it he dosen't have the authority to remove it. And there is no madte for them to do so. I did it a few times when the landowner allowed me to remove the deer but if they would have said no, I would not have done it.
 

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No, I get your point.

However you are mistaken. A WCO does not have the right to enter private property to settle a dispute over ownership of a animal, or recover the animal for you, without the landowners permission.

The thing about it, is the recovery of a animal is a property dispute. It isnt yours until you tag it, and you cant tag it without breaking the law.

You want a WCO to act as your agent and remove a untagged deer from someone elses property.
I think that you are putting the WCO in a bad situation.

First, he has only your word that you shot the animal.
Second, it is a game law violation to move a untagged deer.
Third, it is trespassing to enter someones property without permission. Even with a badge, a WCO needs a legal reason, he doesnt have a open ended authority. He would be in violation of the law to enter the property to retrieve your deer.

The neighbor is a tool, but he is correct.
 

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I wouldn't be hunting on private property, just retrieving that which doesn't belong there (dead deer). Kinda like speeding, if you get caught, you deal with it, if not you don't. I'd sleep better at night knowing a deer I mortally wounded was recovered.
 

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You are still in the act of hunting. You pull your orange, you are violating the game law.

You do not have permission to be on the property, you are violating the crimes code.

Who says the deer doesnt belong there? You cant tag it legally so it doesnt belong to you.
 

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This boils down to two choices, if the landowner doesn't allow you on his property, trespass and face the consequences or let it lay, the landowner wold have to tag the deer to legally possess it. If the landowner got your hunting license number and called the police they would call the PGC and get your identity and address for charges to be filed. A bad situation, but that is how it is.
 

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Keep in mind that this is a neighbor. Neighbors do neighborly things. I would call his bluff and attempt to reason with him.
 

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(a) General rule. - The carcass of game or wildlife lawfully killed or taken shall be the property of the person who inflicts a mortal wound which enables that person to take possession of the carcass.


(b) Officer not to arbitrate disputes. - No officer whose duty it is to enforce this title shall be called upon to arbitrate any dispute concerning the ownership of game or wildlife or to testify concerning any such dispute.
John, It's not a matter of you mediating a dispute beteween 2 folks arguing over who put a fatal shot into a Deer. It's you, as an agent of the PGC, having the ability to recover property owned by the commonwealth. Not sure those two regs. you've cited apply to my scenario. Based on what you've stated, it appears you have no authority if Farmer Nasty tells you and I both to pound salt. This needs to change. You guys can obtain warrants to enter homes, search outbuildings, etc... to procure a poached Deer, but have to sit and watch an animal slowly expire 20 yards over Farmer Nasty's property boundary because for no other reason than he's a mean-spirited person.
 
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