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Podcast Episodes on Public-Private Property Rights at Intersecting Corners

@antlerradar, would love to hear your thoughts as well. I agree with @Cornell Cowboy that I don't think we're going to get anywhere by pointing fingers and having each side dig our heels in. I definitely want to respect landowner's rights, but also would like to see that reciprocated towards the public landowner as @Dirthog67 mentioned. As Tom stated in the podcast, "No one asks what the rights of the public are on these lands."

I'm a landowner as well, albeit in the Midwest, but I hunt the West every year. I'll admit that I wouldn't particularly love having just anyone come and cross at the corner of my property, but that has a lot more to do with the general stereotype of hunters as a group (i.e. I'd be more than happy to see classy, intelligent, hardworking hunters cross and would probably even help them out with info, etc.). We actually have a tangentially similar scenario on our land where a trout stream comes very close to the road right-of-way and people will park there and go fish. I don't really mind that they fish, but it would be nice if they asked first and it drives me nuts when garbage gets left on the bank or, worse, in the stream. I'm not saying that nicely asking a landowner to corner cross out West is going to magically open all kinds of access for a savvy hunter as I think those days are long gone. What I am saying is that I don't think the bad apples do us any favors when it comes to gaining access (not to mention public perception as a whole).
So I have a question about what your reasoning for not wanting any hunter to corner cross your corners to get to public land.

Is it because you think they will damage your land? I'm talking about a crossing where they do not physically touch your land.

Or is it because you would rather they not access the land on the other side? Like, are you OK with it if they come in from the neighbor corner? I'm just really confused about how stepping over your land damages it or hurts you in any way.
 
So I have a question about what your reasoning for not wanting any hunter to corner cross your corners to get to public land.

Is it because you think they will damage your land? I'm talking about a crossing where they do not physically touch your land.

Or is it because you would rather they not access the land on the other side? Like, are you OK with it if they come in from the neighbor corner? I'm just really confused about how stepping over your land damages it or hurts you in any way.
I didn't say that I wouldn't want "any hunter" to cross; I said that I wouldn't be overly happy about letting "just anyone" cross. Minor semantics in wording that perhaps got lost in the wash. Not that I wouldn't respect it if it were the law.

It has very little to do with crossing the corner and much more to do with hunter presence on an adjacent parcel. I think there are a number of factors that play into it. When I go to public land here in the Midwest there's always trash left about by folks who used the property beforehand. Based on pretty much all my previous experience I have to assume that would happen at the corners. Hunters here tend to assemble in large groups and undergo deer drives. Many of these parties hoot and holler and make loud noise during these drives, which would disturb the hunting on my private land.

Imagine yourself owning a piece of land that you pretty much exclusively use for hunting. Put yourself in the landowner's shoes. It really has very little to do with the corner crossing itself and more to do with the presence of others in proximity to my land. I have private land so that I can go hunting and avoid other people (which is also at least part of the reason why I go out West). In taking a step back and looking at it I suppose it's probably the same reason that landowners out West don't want others crossing at these corners. Does that make me a greedy asshole? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I guess my motivation is more for peace and quiet while hunting while their reason is perhaps more monetary as Cornell Cowboy mentioned.

To be completely clear I am entirely in favor of getting corner crossing allowed/legalized. The above thought exercise and many of my previous posts were more to put myself in Western landowner's shoes.
 
It really has very little to do with the corner crossing itself and more to do with the presence of others in proximity to my land.
Nobody has a right to keep the public off of public land due to "proximity."

Who's to say the public shouldn't keep the landowner off his own land because we don't want him in proximity to our public land elk spot?

Guess what I'd say to my neighbor if he tried to say I couldn't use my own house because he didn't want anybody living next door to him?
 
I didn't say that I wouldn't want "any hunter" to cross; I said that I wouldn't be overly happy about letting "just anyone" cross. Minor semantics in wording that perhaps got lost in the wash. Not that I wouldn't respect it if it were the law.

It has very little to do with crossing the corner and much more to do with hunter presence on an adjacent parcel. I think there are a number of factors that play into it. When I go to public land here in the Midwest there's always trash left about by folks who used the property beforehand. Based on pretty much all my previous experience I have to assume that would happen at the corners. Hunters here tend to assemble in large groups and undergo deer drives. Many of these parties hoot and holler and make loud noise during these drives, which would disturb the hunting on my private land.

Imagine yourself owning a piece of land that you pretty much exclusively use for hunting. Put yourself in the landowner's shoes. It really has very little to do with the corner crossing itself and more to do with the presence of others in proximity to my land. I have private land so that I can go hunting and avoid other people (which is also at least part of the reason why I go out West). In taking a step back and looking at it I suppose it's probably the same reason that landowners out West don't want others crossing at these corners. Does that make me a greedy asshole? Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. I guess my motivation is more for peace and quiet while hunting while their reason is perhaps more monetary as Cornell Cowboy mentioned.

To be completely clear I am entirely in favor of getting corner crossing allowed/legalized. The above thought exercise and many of my previous posts were more to put myself in Western landowner's shoes.
Thank you for being honest.

It has nothing to do with your property rights and everything to do with keeping people off public land that you use as your own.

If you didn't want the negatives of living next to public land you could give up the positives and buy land surrounded by privately owned land.




Nobody has a right to keep the public off of public land due to "proximity."

Who's to say the public shouldn't keep the landowner off his own land because we don't want him in proximity to our public land elk spot?

Guess what I'd say to my neighbor if he tried to say I couldn't use my own house because he didn't want anybody living next door to him?

Yup. Pretty much.
 
Nobody has a right to keep the public off of public land due to "proximity."

Who's to say the public shouldn't keep the landowner off his own land because we don't want him in proximity to our public land elk spot?

Guess what I'd say to my neighbor if he tried to say I couldn't use my own house because he didn't want anybody living next door to him?
You must have missed the part where I said, “Not that I wouldn’t respect it if it were the law.” The translation of that is that I would respect people crossing at the corner if that were the legal precedent (which I think it should be).

Dirthog just asked for my honest opinion, so I gave it to him.
 
You must have missed the part where I said, “Not that I wouldn’t respect it if it were the law.” The translation of that is that I would respect people crossing at the corner if that were the legal precedent (which I think it should be).

Dirthog just asked for my honest opinion, so I gave it to him.

You are missing the whole point.

This argument is all about respecting property rights of the private landowner, they say. Not about keeping people out of public land, they say.

You flip the coin and told the truth. It IS about keeping people out of public land, which is illegal, btw.

And really selfish and shitty.
 
Pretty interesting reading. I never go out west or really hunt beyond where ever I live at the time. I DO share a few property lines with federal ground here at home and on other private ground I hunt. It seems there are some significant differences in the laws between Indiana and some of these western states.
 
You are missing the whole point.

This argument is all about respecting property rights of the private landowner, they say. Not about keeping people out of public land, they say.

You flip the coin and told the truth. It IS about keeping people out of public land, which is illegal, btw.

And really selfish and shitty.
I get the point, which is why I took such an interest in the podcasts and sought out this forum to start a conversation (or join one, rather, as it were). I very much want people to be able to access their (our) public lands just as much as you do. However, there a lot of different ways to go about it; some might be better than others. There are tactful ways, respectful ways, and legally intelligent ways. There's also the usual, entrenched, ram-it-down-your-throat, over-my-dead-body approach that I often see the hunting community take up when it feels threatened by something. In my personal, humble opinion, pointing the finger at private landowners, deeming them greedy assholes, and calling them shitty and selfish falls into the latter category.

I really don't want to start a fight here. We're all on the same team with this; maybe only disagree on the approach. I think that understanding how a landowner thinks will only serve to aid in deciding on the best approach towards getting access to checkboard lands. Maybe that best approach is forming a unified front and pointing the finger at private landowners, maybe it's something else. Whatever it might be, it's worth having the conversation.
 
I get the point, which is why I took such an interest in the podcasts and sought out this forum to start a conversation (or join one, rather, as it were). I very much want people to be able to access their (our) public lands just as much as you do. However, there a lot of different ways to go about it; some might be better than others. There are tactful ways, respectful ways, and legally intelligent ways. There's also the usual, entrenched, ram-it-down-your-throat, over-my-dead-body approach that I often see the hunting community take up when it feels threatened by something. In my personal, humble opinion, pointing the finger at private landowners, deeming them greedy assholes, and calling them shitty and selfish falls into the latter category.

I really don't want to start a fight here. We're all on the same team with this; maybe only disagree on the approach. I think that understanding how a landowner thinks will only serve to aid in deciding on the best approach towards getting access to checkboard lands. Maybe that best approach is forming a unified front and pointing the finger at private landowners, maybe it's something else. Whatever it might be, it's worth having the conversation.
Thank you. The entrenched warfare approach worries me. We have a lot of excellent landowners who are getting lumped in the same category as the few large “New Age” landowners who buy for the sole purpose of excluding the public.

I try to make the case that we seldom hear of these landowners, as they want to be good stewards and strive to be good neighbors by allowing access, often times across their deeded property to totally landlocked parcels or to checkerboard parcels. Being a good neighbor never makes the headlines as does neighbors fighting with each other, thus we get a steady stream of headlines about conflicts and not about the good relationships.

Lumping the good landowners in the same category of New Age billionaires hurts our cause. I can see why some of these working landowners who allow access would feel like “No good deed goes unpunished.”

It is easiest, and lazier, to lump hunters with poachers as it is to lump all landowners into the villainous category. I refuse to do that.

I appreciate you posting these thoughts and joining for this conversation.
 
Isn't there written law to address these issues?

Can't quote the code but I've been told in Indiana you can't sell land with out a means of access. Doesn't have to be easy access, the shortest access but there has to be some way other than jumping out of helicopters.

I've not found any federal or state hunt-able ground with out SOME means. An access right of way or in one case you have to cross a good size stream but it is still access from a public road.
 
Isn't there written law to address these issues?

Can't quote the code but I've been told in Indiana you can't sell land with out a means of access. Doesn't have to be easy access, the shortest access but there has to be some way other than jumping out of helicopters.

I've not found any federal or state hunt-able ground with out SOME means. An access right of way or in one case you have to cross a good size stream but it is still access from a public road.
If you haven’t listened to the podcast take a few hours and give it a go. They explained this pretty well.
 
When I went looking for independent opinions and circumstance I found this link and it was interesting enough I read most all of it. Just offering it, I'm sure you all know a lot more about the situation than I do. What few instances we have around me are all small potatoes by comparison but we do have a few.

 
If you haven’t listened to the podcast take a few hours and give it a go. They explained this pretty well.
Hours? No thanks. I'm not that committed to something that doesn't affect me and really none of my business. I got enough on my plate that I can see out the window from this computer. I should be doing all that instead of this. Lunch is over, even for retirees.

My position has been, and is right now, when you own ground with no written easements, you own it as deep as you can dig and as high as you can fly. If I made the laws in Indiana you could shoot trespassers with out warning and sue their estate for a $1000 a day useage fee for their theft of the use of your property at the land owner's desecration.

I'll do my best to ignore this thread now.
 
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Hours? No thanks. I'm not that committed to something that doesn't affect me and really none of my business. I got enough on my plate that I can see out the window from this computer. I should be doing all that instead of this. Lunch is over, even for retirees.

My position has been, and is right now, when you own ground with no written easements, you own it as deep as you can dig and as high as you can fly. If I made the laws in Indiana you could shoot trespassers with out warning and sue their estate for a $1000 a day useage fee for their theft of the use of your property at the land owner's desecration.

I'll do my best to ignore this thread now.
Damn, hope all child doesn't chase their ball into your yard!
 
So if this case is decided against the hunters what might be the long term implications for corner crossing?

Could other landowners use this as an example to pressure DA's to cite corner crossers in areas where they do not currently prosecute?
 
Hours? No thanks. I'm not that committed to something that doesn't affect me and really none of my business. I got enough on my plate that I can see out the window from this computer. I should be doing all that instead of this. Lunch is over, even for retirees.

My position has been, and is right now, when you own ground with no written easements, you own it as deep as you can dig and as high as you can fly. If I made the laws in Indiana you could shoot trespassers with out warning and sue their estate for a $1000 a day useage fee for their theft of the use of your property at the land owner's desecration.

I'll do my best to ignore this thread now.
It scares me that you vote.
 
Thank you. The entrenched warfare approach worries me. We have a lot of excellent landowners who are getting lumped in the same category as the few large “New Age” landowners who buy for the sole purpose of excluding the public.

I try to make the case that we seldom hear of these landowners, as they want to be good stewards and strive to be good neighbors by allowing access, often times across their deeded property to totally landlocked parcels or to checkerboard parcels. Being a good neighbor never makes the headlines as does neighbors fighting with each other, thus we get a steady stream of headlines about conflicts and not about the good relationships.

Lumping the good landowners in the same category of New Age billionaires hurts our cause. I can see why some of these working landowners who allow access would feel like “No good deed goes unpunished.”

It is easiest, and lazier, to lump hunters with poachers as it is to lump all landowners into the villainous category. I refuse to do that.

I appreciate you posting these thoughts and joining for this conversation.
To this point, I have accessed lots of private land in Wyoming since moving here just a few years ago. Some through HMA and Walk-In, some through personal connections. I haven't heard no yet actually, just a few non-replies which I let be. Some of the ranches I've hunted on have worked in collaboration with WGFD and other agencies and groups to support wildlife management and have won awards for doing so. I can't really think of better examples of stewards of the land, especially that they own and allow public access on.

Most of my fear lays in that most of the landowners I know are in late stages of life, with no one in line to pass the property off to and me not being able to afford it, especially now. Also, some of the places Ive hunted in the last few years are now surrounded by houses. A fairly common story of the west nowadays I reckon. It leaves me hoping for the best but planning for the worst, and really advocating for access to the public land we do have and that could be being mis- or even worse, un-managed due to exclusion by the greedy landowners that do end up in the headlines.
 
I was thinking about this issue today. I have some friends that are surveyors and most of their stories about having to go to court over trespassing usually ended with the argument of touching private ground. As long as you didn't step on it you're OK. Might be useful in this case to dredge up some of those old rulings.

I miss the good old landowners and hunters. I cannot tell you the amount of wire I've restapled to posts, trees I've removed from fencing, coyotes I've ran off, gates I've fixed, on and on while hunting somebody's property. Even the neighbors who told me no got a little labor here and there. Ranchers are busy and if you helped them out at least you got their respect. Now I've had my head ripped off enough just for asking I kind of feel obligated to drive past every escaped cow I see. I'm almost afraid to help...
 
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In this case, specifically the civil case, this landowner is really pushing the envelope. I find this to the benefit of the public access crowd, as many of the civil claims are beyond outrageous. I suspect any property rights organization would ask this landowner to drop his civil claim, as he is risking their position in a big way.

This landowner is making claims under many legal doctrines, much of which would be settled under Federal law and precedent. That could cause the case to move to a Federal court, which I think is being requested by the defendants’ attorneys. That could be a big help for hunters by making any outcome much harder to circumvent by state legislatures.

Hopefully this landowner continues with this legal fishing expedition. Sometimes if you give a person enough rope………….
 
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