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Discussion Starter #1
Local guy is charged with "trespassing while hunting" and damaging a tree. If convicted will he lose his license?

Long story short, guy put up a treestand & screw in steps on posted land.
 

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thought the pgc had nothing to do with trespassing......it is always said on here to call the psp if you have hunters trespassing.....if so how does it affect his license.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It's my understanding there has been a change in the law, if there is a game law violation they can also enforce the trespassing violation.

This happened not far from where I live, the guy charged has a history of going on posted ground and archery hunting. I guess he didn't hear about the change either
 

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What would of been the game law violation than. If it was private property the damage tree would be personel property damage. Now i could care less who does the citing because someone should, but that would be more civil than game law.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Check your digest, I think it's page 31, under restrictions, about tree stands, written permission and tree damage
 

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outofstater said:
What would of been the game law violation than. If it was private property the damage tree would be personel property damage. Now i could care less who does the citing because someone should, but that would be more civil than game law.
kind of what I was thinking
 

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outofstater said:
What would of been the game law violation than. If it was private property the damage tree would be personel property damage. Now i could care less who does the citing because someone should, but that would be more civil than game law.
You can't put a treestand up on private without the owners consent, especially if it damages the tree. So if he did not have permission to be there, he certainly did not have permission to put up a treestand
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I thought the same way till this happened close to home, got to checking out the digest and found the info. Landowner put me onto it.
 

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Yep ... damaging trees

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Title 34, Sec. 2511. Damage to trees.</span>
(a) General rule.--It is unlawful while hunting or while preparing to hunt for any game or wildlife:
(1) To cause damage to any tree or trees located upon any public or privately owned lands as a result of constructing any tree stand, platform or any other manmade support of any description or as a result of using any portable tree stand or any other implement or device of any description to climb any tree.
 

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Thats what i was getting at. It was on private ground should of had permission but, game commision doesent enforce treaspassing and the damaged tree belongs to the landowner. So wouldnt it be more of a civil matter than a game violation?
 

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the laws state that if a person is violating a game law,(damaging the trees), then they can also prosecute for trespassing. I've personally used that law to have a local scofflaw cited, for trespassing, by the WCO
 

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Most hunter trespassing is already a misdemeanor under the crimes code, but the game violation while trespassing irrationally reduces the charge to a summary offense. So a landowner can get the WCO to write the citation, but the violator gets a slap on the wrist instead of the misdemeanor. If the WCO catches the person in the act, he can write the misdemeanor trespass under the crimes code, but seldom does. It makes no sense to make something a misdemeanor under the crimes code, but a summary offense under the game code.

Damage to trees with out consent is already summary trespassing under the crimes code, even without posted signs.
 

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So im a property owner and there is a game law for damaging my tree's? I figured since it was my tree damaged it would be up to me as prosecution, what i call a civil thing here in Md.
 

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outofstater said:
So im a property owner and there is a game law for damaging my tree's? I figured since it was my tree damaged it would be up to me as prosecution, what i call a civil thing here in Md.
Yes ... as I posted above, a PGC WCO can get involved and cite the appropriate persons for your tree damages, AND trespassing.
 

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Out of stater. in Maryland, WCO's do enforce the Maryland game law about having written permission to hunt private property.

In addition, in Maryland it is a misdemeanor under Criminal law Article 6-301 to damage trees. (personal property)

In PA we have overlapping statutes with different penalties depending on who writes the citation and under what section. Damage to a tree can be summary trespass under the crimes code or a summary offense under the game law, but trespass on posted agricultural land is a misdemenaor under the crimes code and trespass while committing a game law violation is a summery offense. So the slob hunter gets off with a lighter charge from the WCO than if a police officer writes the citation.
 

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The game Code also provides for the landowner to recieve monetary restitution for tree damage and also provided for the defendant to pay for the damage appraisal if convicted. If the damage is high enough, the defendant could wild up paying more than if charged under title 18.

Damage to trees.
(a) General rule.--It is unlawful while hunting or while preparing to hunt for any game or wildlife:
(1) To cause damage to any tree or trees located upon any public or privately owned lands as a result of constructing any tree stand, platform or any other manmade support of any description or as a result of using any portable tree stand or any other implement or device of any description to climb any tree.
(2) To use or occupy any tree stand, platform or any other manmade support of any description which, when constructed, damaged any tree or trees. This section shall not apply to a private landowner upon land which he owns or to any person to whom he has given written permission in advance.
(b) Penalties.--
(1) A violation of this section is a summary offense of the fifth degree.
(2) Upon summary conviction, the defendant shall be sentenced to remove the tree stand, platform or any other manmade support or climbing device of any description.
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(3) In addition to any other penalty imposed, the defendant shall be liable to pay to the one in control of a tree the amount of any damage done by the defendant to the tree. The amount of the damage to the tree shall be determined by the magisterial district judge. If a reasonable settlement for damage to the tree is not reached, the magisterial district judge may appoint a competent appraiser to determine the amount of the damage. The amount of the damage determined shall be assessed against the defendant and paid to the magisterial district judge for disposition. The magisterial district judge shall deliver the amount collected to the person or governmental agency having legal control over the land where the damage occurred. The appraiser appointed by the magisterial district judge shall be entitled to a reasonable fee for services rendered which shall be assessed against the defendant as additional costs.
 

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Thats a good law looking out for the landowner never new that.
Zim you are correct Md. DNR officers does enforce treaspassing big time. In Md. you must have written permission on you to produce if asked or you will be fined $400.00. If i was to give you permission and you got checked and didnt have that slip it would be up to the officer to cite you. I was talking to a DNR officer one day about that and he stated a big problem was that a lot of people will give permission verblly and mean it but didnt want to commit to paper work thinking they could be held liable if some one got hurt. In our regulation book they even have formal permission slips and one part states that the hunter is holding the landowner harmless for any incidents that might occur.
 

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Which is no different than restitution under the crimes code. So the slob still benefits by being charged under the game code. IIRC 18 Pa CSA section 1106. Simple agricultural trespass carries up to one year in jail. A slob who refused to leave or stay off after being told to faces $500 to $5,000 and up to two years. Not to mention having a misdemeanor on the record. The game law as written is still a gift to slob hunters.
 
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