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A Hunting Trip of a lifetime in the Wenaha Tucannon Wilderness! Order Jason Phelps Calls Here

Author Topic: Poll - skinny public land access  (Read 1770 times)

Offline Stein

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Poll - skinny public land access
« on: March 22, 2018, 01:11:33 PM »
In the past, I've felt comfortable hunting up to 200 yards or so from a boundary when I am using On X and know exactly where the boundary is.  This situation is a bit different, I found a potential new honey hole in a unit that has difficult access.  I happened to notice that a very small sliver of public land intersects a county road and one could potentially park on public and walk a narrow public corridor to a much larger piece of contiguous public land to hunt.  The parking and access corridor are the only concern, once you get in there you are hunting a very large piece of contiguous public land.

So, the question is how narrow of a corridor would you park and walk through without worrying about trespassing?  Post a number in yards below.  Assume you have On X and the phone app and no other issues other than you want to be sure you are parking and walking on public 100% of the time.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 01:17:55 PM »
I do it without onx. its where a corner piece of state intersects a county road.  I know the fence corner is state and it is accessible from the easement of the county road.   

I also do it with a duck photography spot.   Wildlife section is about 20 feet wide. About 100 yards in it widens to a much bigger piece of land

Offline bobcat

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2018, 01:21:41 PM »
I would think you'd need at least 30 feet but even then there's no guarantee the GPS and/or the parcel lines on your map are accurate enough to ensure you're not trespassing. But I'd probably still do it because if it's not obvious where the boundaries are how would they even prove you weren't on the strip of public?

Offline SkookumHntr

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2018, 01:24:07 PM »
Sounds exactly like a spot I hunt! Theres like a 5 foot section that gets you into a mountainside of state land, without huntonx you would never find it!
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Offline idaho guy

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2018, 01:30:28 PM »
Ten yards but I would probably do it with a yard or two of public.  :chuckle: As long as you have good evidence(onx maps etc) of public land and its not marked in any way I would go for it!

Offline Special T

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2018, 01:35:41 PM »
I would have at it with one yard.

Trespass only occurs if you don't leave when asked. If you have any kind of credible evidence it would make it pretty hard for a Leo to charge you with trespass. 2c

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Offline npaull

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2018, 01:40:02 PM »
 :yeah:

It's either public, or it's not. If it's public, you're fine.

Offline Stein

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2018, 01:45:24 PM »
All right, I guess I am being a wimp.  I have plenty of room to park and hike so I'll check it out.  I just hope there isn't a cliff I can't get around halfway up the corridor, it's only about 200 yards until it opens up so I should be able to get through.

Offline fireweed

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2018, 03:18:50 PM »
How wide is your boot?  Timberland has to be conspicuously posted against trespassing, or the owner has to personally communicate to you that it is closed, or fenced.   
But don't be surprised if the "no trespassing" signs slop onto public land.

Offline Stein

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2018, 03:21:45 PM »
Yeah, I have seen plenty of fake or wrong trespassing signs.  I was really surprised to see the shape and location of this slot.  I’m now going to look for more.


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Offline syoungs

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2018, 03:26:39 PM »
Im pretty comfortable with most situations being 10 yds wide or so. if the area is marked off in any fashion (fenceline or something) a few feet and im doing it.

in Wyoming this year we had a spot roughly 20' long, along the side of a road, where we could access 400 acres. saw lots of trucks pass it up, made the onx system worth every penny.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2018, 03:29:09 PM »
Turn tracking on with the GPS. It will record where you walk. If the map shows you were on public ground the entire way you would have a solid defense if challenged.
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Offline cougforester

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2018, 03:52:10 PM »
Turn tracking on with the GPS. It will record where you walk. If the map shows you were on public ground the entire way you would have a solid defense if challenged.

I did this during last fall when I was hunting south of Spokane. An adjacent landowner to the parcel I had permission on thought he saw me walking around his fields, but I knew this could be an issue so I had my tracks on the entire time. He apologized, wished me good luck and we went our separate ways.

Offline Shawn Ryan

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2018, 04:05:46 PM »

Trespass only occurs if you don't leave when asked. If you have any kind of credible evidence it would make it pretty hard for a Leo to charge you with trespass. 2c

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That's not great legal advice; no offense meant.

Agree that using the tracking on your GPS will likely persuade an LEO not to move forward with a citation, but if a landowner wants to bring an action, the GPS will be good evidence, but not determinative.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2018, 04:29:30 PM »
While not definitive, use of a GPS with current maps and tracking on shows a concerted effort to be legal
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Offline Stein

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 04:40:12 PM »
That and I know that at least the warden in the area I am hunting uses On X on his phone to settle disputes.

Offline Ghost Hunter

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2018, 09:17:58 PM »
I've made some new discovery with onyx.  I've also hunted small parcels years ago by studying the right maps before I had a gps.  A few of those in Okan. Co.
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Offline gee_unit360

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2018, 02:19:13 AM »

Trespass only occurs if you don't leave when asked. If you have any kind of credible evidence it would make it pretty hard for a Leo to charge you with trespass. 2c

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That's not great legal advice; no offense meant.

Agree that using the tracking on your GPS will likely persuade an LEO not to move forward with a citation, but if a landowner wants to bring an action, the GPS will be good evidence, but not determinative.


Also, “A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another...”

Offline BPturkeys

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2018, 05:39:24 AM »
When in question I check the county assessors online parcel maps. When you choose imagery you can usually pinpoint your location and ownership right down to within a foot or two. Much more accurate than your GPS or huntmaps on your cellphone, which at times can be many yards off. A good photo copy of the county assessors map can show detail as small as individual trees and rocks!

Many states, Wyoming being one of the worst, have laws that say "you are always guilty of trespass" unless on public land or private with written permission. The land owner NEVER has to post or in any other way identify the land as private. It is TOTALLY up to you to know the boundaries. Wyoming and other states that have these types of laws are VERY unfriendly to DIY hunters...hunt in these states at your own risk.

Offline Special T

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2018, 06:32:22 AM »

Trespass only occurs if you don't leave when asked. If you have any kind of credible evidence it would make it pretty hard for a Leo to charge you with trespass. 2c

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That's not great legal advice; no offense meant.

Agree that using the tracking on your GPS will likely persuade an LEO not to move forward with a citation, but if a landowner wants to bring an action, the GPS will be good evidence, but not determinative.


Also, “A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another...”
If it's not fenced, posted or cultivated how are you gonna know you were purposely trespassing? Especially since we are talking about a pice of public land you have researched that does have access?

I've tried to have some one charged with trespass, and it's a joke. I'm not saying go hunt folks land trespassing, but I don't think it is the same deterent as you do.

This of course is in reference to Washington as I have no idea about how other states roll on this issue.

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Offline j_h_nimrod

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2018, 08:07:00 AM »
When in question I check the county assessors online parcel maps. When you choose imagery you can usually pinpoint your location and ownership right down to within a foot or two. Much more accurate than your GPS or huntmaps on your cellphone, which at times can be many yards off. A good photo copy of the county assessors map can show detail as small as individual trees and rocks!

I have found as many errors in the assessor GIS map sites as the hunt maps on my phone, which makes sense since many of these programs are based on the assessors maps and line up perfectly.  Some even give you land owner names n contact info directly off of the assessors lists. You also have satellite overlays that give you the same picture you can copy from the assessors maps. Most assessors map sites I have used have the same liability waiver to accept as mapping programs making them not responsible for errors in the maps and informing the user it is for informational purposes only.

It didn’t do me any good from a hunting standpoint, but I once found a place where a fence was ran ~50’ onto public land for 1/2 mile or so. I confirmed by actually finding monuments marking land corners. My phone gps and map program had it right on.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2018, 08:33:32 AM »
I do it without onx. its where a corner piece of state intersects a county road.  I know the fence corner is state and it is accessible from the easement of the county road.   

I also do it with a duck photography spot.   Wildlife section is about 20 feet wide. About 100 yards in it widens to a much bigger piece of land
Is that where that state land comes down to 97 or the one just outside of town on the backroad near to Pa's old place

Offline fireweed

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2018, 08:28:39 AM »

Trespass only occurs if you don't leave when asked. If you have any kind of credible evidence it would make it pretty hard for a Leo to charge you with trespass. 2c

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That's not great legal advice; no offense meant.

Agree that using the tracking on your GPS will likely persuade an LEO not to move forward with a citation, but if a landowner wants to bring an action, the GPS will be good evidence, but not determinative.


Also, “A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another...”

don't forget this part:
 "A person who enters or remains upon unimproved and apparently unused land, which is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders, does so with license and privilege unless notice against trespass is personally communicated to him or her by the owner of the land or some other authorized person, or unless notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner. Land that is used for commercial aquaculture or for growing an agricultural crop or crops, other than timber, is not unimproved and apparently unused land if a crop or any other sign of cultivation is clearly visible or if notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner. Similarly, a field fenced in any manner is not unimproved and apparently unused land. A license or privilege to enter or remain on improved and apparently used land that is open to the public at particular times, which is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed in a manner to exclude intruders, is not a license or privilege to enter or remain on the land at other times if notice of prohibited times of entry is posted in a conspicuous manner.

Offline boneaddict

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2018, 08:37:00 AM »
I do it without onx. its where a corner piece of state intersects a county road.  I know the fence corner is state and it is accessible from the easement of the county road.   

I also do it with a duck photography spot.   Wildlife section is about 20 feet wide. About 100 yards in it widens to a much bigger piece of land
Is that where that state land comes down to 97 or the one just outside of town on the backroad near to Pa's old place
Couple of them actually. The backroad is one of them

Offline birddogdad

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2018, 08:50:23 AM »
always do your homework. I have had people challenge me and even say if they catch me again they will have me arrested on some SDS lands down south.. They were simply wanting to have land all to themselves. I went to SDS hdqtrs and discussed with the land manager brining my GPS and ONYX chip. I was fine, he also gave me his direct line to contact him if I ran into those who were posing as owners or workers...  The SDS land manager was pretty hot over it. I guess I was not the first to have this issue in the area.  I think he will cause that group some pain if I get my eyes on them this fall...I am looking forward to next fall and catching those guys pulling this stunt again.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2018, 08:55:32 AM »
always do your homework. I have had people challenge me and even say if they catch me again they will have me arrested on some SDS lands down south.. They were simply wanting to have land all to themselves. I went to SDS hdqtrs and discussed with the land manager brining my GPS and ONYX chip. I was fine, he also gave me his direct line to contact him if I ran into those who were posing as owners or workers...  The SDS land manager was pretty hot over it. I guess I was not the first to have this issue in the area.  I think he will cause that group some pain if I get my eyes on them this fall...I am looking forward to next fall and catching those guys pulling this stunt again.
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Offline Stein

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2018, 10:03:27 AM »
Interesting, I thought there was not requirement to post the land, must have seen that in another state.  WDFW beats around the bushes, but you can read between the lines:

Quote
Does private property need to be posted in Washington State in order for trespass rules to be enforced?
No. If the land has indications of private ownership, such as buildings, fences, or signs, you cannot go onto the land without the landowner’s or tenant’s permission, if you go onto land despite seeing or being aware of No Trespassing signs, you can be cited for trespassing. If you trespass on private property that is not posted with signs or fenced, or is only sparsely posted with signs or fenced, and you refuse to leave the property when asked to do so by the property owner, you can be cited for trespass.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2018, 04:01:37 PM »
Turn tracking on with the GPS. It will record where you walk. If the map shows you were on public ground the entire way you would have a solid defense if challenged.

 :yeah:

GPS is typically accurate to +/- 5 yards, so if the private on both sides is VERY stringently protected, I'd do it with a 10 yard sliver of public.  If it's unused/unwatched private on either side, I'd walk a 1 yard stripe of public. 

Sounds like you've found a great spot  :tup:

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2018, 04:05:06 PM »
always do your homework. I have had people challenge me and even say if they catch me again they will have me arrested on some SDS lands down south.. They were simply wanting to have land all to themselves. I went to SDS hdqtrs and discussed with the land manager brining my GPS and ONYX chip. I was fine, he also gave me his direct line to contact him if I ran into those who were posing as owners or workers...  The SDS land manager was pretty hot over it. I guess I was not the first to have this issue in the area.  I think he will cause that group some pain if I get my eyes on them this fall...I am looking forward to next fall and catching those guys pulling this stunt again.

SDS is a client of the company I work for.  Their mgmt team has always been great to work with, so this is what I would have expected from them.   :tup:

Offline Stein

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2018, 05:08:16 PM »
Turn tracking on with the GPS. It will record where you walk. If the map shows you were on public ground the entire way you would have a solid defense if challenged.

 :yeah:

GPS is typically accurate to +/- 5 yards, so if the private on both sides is VERY stringently protected, I'd do it with a 10 yard sliver of public.  If it's unused/unwatched private on either side, I'd walk a 1 yard stripe of public. 

Sounds like you've found a great spot  :tup:

Who knows, it looks prime but there may be four rigs parked there when I show up.  So far, I have found a few spots like this and they have been golden so I hope that keeps up.

Offline GBoyd

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #30 on: March 28, 2018, 07:35:58 PM »
I disagree with the people saying that the GPS will be accurate enough to be certain that you're not trespassing. The GPS chips in cell phones can't be trusted to be more accurate that 50 to 100 feet.

That said, personally I would just go with the phone if there were no signs posted or other indications that the landowner is sensitive. However, if you get there and it's posted, you'll need to go to with a more reliable system. The best thing would be some other landmark to confirm the GPS on your phone. I'm going to be really certain of things before I ignore no trespassing signs.

Offline dvolmer

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #31 on: March 28, 2018, 09:09:49 PM »
Its either public or private!  If it is wider than the width of your shoe you are good to go!  Yes a GPS has room for error but so do property lines.  especially large farming parcels.  If it shows it on the GPS its good to go and they can try to prove otherwise.  There isn't a Sheriff or a Warden that will give you trouble if you can show him or her your GPS and where you are standing.  Absolutely no brainer as far as I am concerned!  But don't talk to my wife!  she will concur on the lack of brain matter in my case!!!
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Offline W_Ellison2011

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2018, 09:51:41 PM »
Its either public or private!  If it is wider than the width of your shoe you are good to go!  Yes a GPS has room for error but so do property lines.  especially large farming parcels.  If it shows it on the GPS its good to go and they can try to prove otherwise.  There isn't a Sheriff or a Warden that will give you trouble if you can show him or her your GPS and where you are standing.  Absolutely no brainer as far as I am concerned!  But don't talk to my wife!  she will concur on the lack of brain matter in my case!!!
I think that's all of our wives when they start hearing about us going out to chase elk and bears lol!

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2018, 12:39:44 PM »
I disagree with the people saying that the GPS will be accurate enough to be certain that you're not trespassing. The GPS chips in cell phones can't be trusted to be more accurate that 50 to 100 feet.

That said, personally I would just go with the phone if there were no signs posted or other indications that the landowner is sensitive. However, if you get there and it's posted, you'll need to go to with a more reliable system. The best thing would be some other landmark to confirm the GPS on your phone. I'm going to be really certain of things before I ignore no trespassing signs.

Not disagreeing with you -- you should definitely be sure.  But I'd trust my GPS and onX over a stingy land manager's placement of no trespassing signs.  Track your path on a GPS and you've typically got the law on your side. 

Common sense applies, of course.  Don't go walking through someone's garden because your phone says you can.  But out in nature? 

Offline outdooraddict

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2018, 01:38:38 PM »
id like to add to this question. I found a piece of land that comes to a four corners of fence and the two public parcels are diagnol to eachother. Am I legal to hop the shared center fence post of the four corners

Offline Stein

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2018, 01:52:09 PM »
I believe it is not legal in most western states to corner cross, but hard to look up.

Offline Bob33

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Re: Poll - skinny public land access
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2018, 02:50:48 PM »
id like to add to this question. I found a piece of land that comes to a four corners of fence and the two public parcels are diagnol to eachother. Am I legal to hop the shared center fence post of the four corners
It's a hotly contested and legally vague issue in many Western states.
http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/HTML/articles/2014/Accessingpubliclands.htm#.Wr1fEWbfNaQ
http://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/01/27/jumping-the-corners/
https://www.outdoorlife.com/blogs/open-country/cornered-western-sportsmen-trapped-arcane-regulation-prohibiting-public-access
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