Why do some people think they have the right to break the law and trespass wherever they please? Most law-abiding property owners can’t imagine why these unethical “hunters” (for lack of a better term) would break the law and take the chance of losing their hunting privileges, or why they would steal from the property owner.
Protect yourself from this and prevent trespassing and poaching from ever happening in the first place.
That Dog Bites
You must prosecute! You must let it be known that there are consequences. Once the word gets out that trespassers will be charged, this will have a significant impact. Use trail-camera photos of trespassers for evidence. In most states, to prosecute a trespasser all you need is a clear, identifiable photo of the trespasser in the act.
Can You Read?
Clearly, legally post your property with signs every 50 yards along your borders. Make sure there is no excuse. Every so often you’ll get obtuse offenders that are bold enough to violate your markers regardless, but that’s exactly why it’s important to prosecute.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Plant screening borders so people cannot see into your property. Use a combination of trees, shrubs, and warm season perennial grasses. It’s important to put some thought behind this because certain plants lose their foliage during various times of the year and as things grow they may elevate tall enough so they are no longer a visual barrier after a few years. So make sure that you consider both seasonally and for the long term.
Keep your mouth shut!
Everyone likes to brag about harvesting a nice buck or all the deer feeding in one of their food plots. Be careful who you boast in front of. Word of a huge buck travels fast. For some reason “antlers” can make normally principled people do stupid things.
Hi, how’s it going?
Carry a disposable camera in your hunting pack or with you whenever you travel your property. Your trail cameras are stationary monitors, but if you run into someone, walk straight up to them and say “hello” and snap their photo.
Now you have proof! This and a name or license plate is all you need to prosecute. Gather and document as much information as feasible. Then prosecute them! No excuses, no exceptions.