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Thread: Road hunting etiquette. Land owner and Hunter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    170

    Default Road hunting etiquette. Land owner and Hunter

    The age old subject of road hunting tolerance. The reason I bring it up is to get current opinions on reasonable and not from both sides of the fence. It's something I rarely do much of but this season I ran into a jerk who went way out of his way to come hassle me almost to the point of criminal. This was mid season and yes it was the week before deer season but I was on a remote county road by myself walking the ditch edge right next to the road. I have enough sense and common courtesy to avoid walking anywhere near a visible stand/blind or whatever but as I get older road hunting unimproved type out of the way roads (well away from buildings or livestock) has some appeal.

    There is always a jerk or two to be found but my question is in this day are most SD landowners tolerant of a law abiding road hunting or am I likely to be met again with anger and resentment.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jones County, SD
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    I have found landowners who don't like road hunting are of two different minds. One mindset is the type who don't want anyone around unless they are padding the landowners pocket. You run into these types in the areas where commercial pheasant hunting is prevelant. I always remind these types that all the subsides they get come from somewhere, and that somewhere is my pocket. So, I am in fact paying him for my presence. Their response is always something like (in their fiercest independant voice) " I don't take a damn penny from the Government" . Of course this is easily documented on the Ag Depts website. I have taped a printout on a guy's mailbox that showed he took over $900,000 in recent years. I did this just to let him know that I am not a fool. You can't do much about their intolerance, except to purchase their tolerance.

    The other mindset is the rancher who just needs to go about his/her daily business without the hassle of people shooting in his yard, near his livestock, etc. They need to get the haywagon down the road and don't need your truck blocking it. Also, one of their legitimate bitches is litter. Most guys don't litter intentionally, but things blow out of your truck when you open the door, etc. Also, and this is something I need to do better at, that is shotgun hulls littering the roads and ditches. I had a landowner bring this up just this fall. I told him I will be back this spring to do litter patrol. Of course he was like "ya, right". I sent him a Christmas card thanking him for his tolerance and reiterating that he will see me in the Spring.
    There's lots of things along the road, I'd surely like to see
    I'd like to lean into the wind and tell myself I'm free......Townes Van Zant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    204

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    Yes most landowners are tolerant but it only takes one bad guy to ruin your day. Sounds like that kinda happened, or am I wrong? And yes I think you will run into that problem again if you do it enough especially around the preserves.

    From what you described is hunter harassment and is punishable by any SD State Co. You will need to sign a complaint so the state can prosecute. You may need to show up to court and testify but it rarely happens. Bad guy name really helps, but a plate number and vehicle description will be needed at a minimum with a location. More than likely the state already is going to know the landowners that are famous these complaints.

    My experience with this type of harassment is that those type of angry landowners have been getting away with this type of crap for years because no one ever calls the GFP or signs a complaint.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ranchodeluxe View Post
    I have found landowners who don't like road hunting are of two different minds. One mindset is the type who don't want anyone around unless they are padding the landowners pocket. You run into these types in the areas where commercial pheasant hunting is prevelant. I always remind these types that all the subsides they get come from somewhere, and that somewhere is my pocket. So, I am in fact paying him for my presence. Their response is always something like (in their fiercest independant voice) " I don't take a damn penny from the Government" . Of course this is easily documented on the Ag Depts website. I have taped a printout on a guy's mailbox that showed he took over $900,000 in recent years. I did this just to let him know that I am not a fool. You can't do much about their intolerance, except to purchase their tolerance.

    The other mindset is the rancher who just needs to go about his/her daily business without the hassle of people shooting in his yard, near his livestock, etc. They need to get the haywagon down the road and don't need your truck blocking it. Also, one of their legitimate bitches is litter. Most guys don't litter intentionally, but things blow out of your truck when you open the door, etc. Also, and this is something I need to do better at, that is shotgun hulls littering the roads and ditches. I had a landowner bring this up just this fall. I told him I will be back this spring to do litter patrol. Of course he was like "ya, right". I sent him a Christmas card thanking him for his tolerance and reiterating that he will see me in the Spring.
    Well said.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    2,975

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    Iowa has similar law. Don't seem to have the same issue. I am not real whippy on the law, but it's been that way forever. If they want to make a change perhaps lobby the state legislature to change the law? Part of the issue is there is nobody to ask! We have no road hunting law in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska it is incumbent to find a landowner to ask. I have had written permission from the landowner and be subject from grief from the renter who rents it's for agriculture or cattle grazing! It seems like hunting anywhere is a polarizing topic. In the recent past you didn't need permission in North Dakota to hunt, if the land was un-posted. Hunting seems to be destined for death by thousand cuts. Most anti hunting devotee's don't distinguish between terrorists and legitimate sport hunters, and target shooters. I am sure the ASPCA consider hunting dogs as human cruelty. Our current population profiles in our country are making this more likely. Hunting with out pay to a small percentage of farmers is not worth the bother, because they belief they "own" the game. The idea that they don't because of archaic laws, might be a disadvantage for hunters. It's easier to eliminate the game and habitat, so no hunters will want to hunt there, rather have to police access to game lands. In S.D. the issue is that the landowner owns and pays taxes to the center of the road! If we had universal "hold harmless" laws to make the landowners harmless for accidents, with an insurance for any damages done, paid for at licensing by hunting permit, ( yes it will be expensive, so what!). Along with serious subsidies for water quality, soil conservation, air quality, and incentives to reduce chemical application, rotation of crops, and prop-up certain commodities to provide varieties, we might reverse this trend, if we were all on the same side, the landowners might welcome the inconvenience of a hunter here and there.....they did at one time!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    250

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    My crew have been going to SD for years. We hunt at Uguide and enjoy it very much. Some of us drive a long distance and go a day before our hunt starts. On this day we road hunt. It's a lot of fun. The problem we have in the last few years is finding ditches that haven't been mowed. This past season we drove around for 3.5 hours and only found two ditches worth hunting. Those ditches held birds . With the current farm practices I think it is just going to be harder to find huntable areas. Never had a problem with landowners but we won't hunt anywhere near buildings or live stock

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Jones County, SD
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    One thing I should have mentioned., I know this bothers a preserve owner that I talk-to. On the commercial operations that buy birds to supplement their wild bird population, they pay a lot of money for those birds and it rubs them raw when people come by and shoot the stupid things for free. My friend goes around on his four-wheeler with a spaniel and "beats-in" his released birds in the late afternoon.

    Local law enforcement is well aware of the problem landowners. I won't mention his name, ( Barry Vollmer from White River SD ), but I've been jacked-up by some clown with a bus full of paid hunters, feeling the need to act bad in front of his clients. The local Sheriff came down and you could see the disgust on his face. Wanted me arrested because my dog's footprints showed he walked on his side of the fence to avoid a washout at a culvert. He turned it in to the States Attorney with a recommendation of "do not prosecute". Never heard another word about it.
    There's lots of things along the road, I'd surely like to see
    I'd like to lean into the wind and tell myself I'm free......Townes Van Zant

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Well no surprises. I guess the conclusion I draw here as stated before is there will always be a jerk or two out there on both sides and they will sour the tolerance of some but the good news it seems is that where common sense, respect and courtesy are displayed the opportunity to road hunt may still be a viable option.

  9. #9

    Default road hunt

    Farmers seem to blend road hunters hunting from their vehicles with ditch hunters.

    In the past I have had even local women stop and tell me I was hunting a good ditch. I was surprised, as I expected a bashing. I have had farmers tell me where a good ditch was rather than allowing me to hunt on their land.

    In SD now, it seems the whole state has gone commercial. There are many more leases than 20 years ago. Also, ditch mowing is now prevalent. A good ditch is hard to find!

  10. #10

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    If you spend any time talking to locals who have lived in and around the small towns of SD most of their lives they grew up road hunting. Many a guy has told me in conversation that they used to get a 12 pack, a buddy, and go cruising for birds. It is a lot harder to do that now with the bird populations down.

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