It happens; most people don’t even realize they’re doing it. If you hunt private property, you will probably have to deal with a trespasser.
If you have private property that you hunt, eventually, you will have to deal with a trespasser. Most of the time, it won’t be an issue. Half the time, trespassers are lost or didn’t realize they were trespassing. Use these tips to handle a trespasser effectively.
1. Talk to Your Neighbors
I recently purchased some hunting property of my own, and this is the first thing I did. Inform your neighbors of your intent and that you’re planning on hunting. This accomplishes a lot of things: very importantly, we are now able to work together to keep people off all our properties. I know who they are, where the property lines are, and if and where they’re hunting.
My favorite part is that now we also have an agreement that if either of us has to recover a deer on the other’s property, there is an open invitation to recover the deer. We just extend the courtesy of letting the land owner know before we recover the animal.
2. Use Signs
Post signs on the edges of your property stating that it is private property. Do it right: high up, brightly colored signs, every 10 feet. This makes it obvious that it’s your property and helps deter people who might accidentally try to hunt your property. Another creative option is to post signs that the property is under surveillance.
3. Stay Calm
If you run into a trespasser, don’t overreact. Talk to the trespasser like an adult, and most likely they will be understanding. Don’t approach the trespasser and immediately start with an aggressive statement. If the trespasser is going to leave, let them. Odds are they are armed, and if they are willing to trespass, what else are they willing to do?
4. Get Trail Camera Pictures
So, you have warned the person trespassing and they keep doing it. Time to put your foot down. Use trail cameras to collect evidence of the trespasser on the property. If you’re leasing the property, verify with the land owner that they want to prosecute. Get pictures of everything you can. If you can snap a photo of their vehicle and license plate, do that as well.