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North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legislativ

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:39 pm
by redlabel
From an article in the Grand Forks Herald:

A bill to establish a trespass law in North Dakota stands to be among the more prominent pieces of outdoors legislation on tap when lawmakers convene Tuesday.

Terry Steinwand, director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, said a trespass bill hasn't been pre-filed, but reliable sources have confirmed a bill is coming.

Steinwand said he doesn't know how the legislation will be worded.

"I can only speculate," he said. The Dakota Access Pipeline protests apparently prompted calls for new legislation, Steinwand said.

Currently in North Dakota, private land that isn't posted is open for hunters and others to access without permission. Hunters must gain landowner permission to enter posted land except in rare circumstances.

"We haven't seen a trespass bill in the Legislature for a number of years," said Mike McEnroe of Bismarck, president of the North Dakota Wildlife Federation. "That could be a big issue, one North Dakota sportsmen have been concerned about for a number of years."

Among the outdoors bills to be pre-filed is SB 2056, which would allow archery hunters older than 65 to hunt with a crossbow throughout the archery season. Current law requires archery hunters to obtain a doctor's certification confirming a disability before they can hunt with a crossbow during archery season.

Sen. Ronald Sorvaag, R-Fargo, and Rep. Mary Johnson, R-Fargo, are listed as the bill's authors.

Steinwand said the department's budget isn't in line for 10 percent cuts like other state agencies because it is entirely funded by users, including hunters, anglers and federal allocations from the sales taxes on hunting and fishing gear.

McEnroe said the Wildlife Federation will lobby on behalf of maintaining the department's budget proposal.

"The money is solid, so we'll try to hold that," he said.

Also pre-filed was HB 1025, a bill covering licenses that given to nonprofit groups as special allocations or fundraisers. The bill grandfathers in groups such as the Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Midwest chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation, North American wildlife enforcement museum, and Hunter Education Association, Steinwand said.

"This bill if passed as written would mandate we develop administrative rules as to how we give out those" licenses to other groups, he said. The number of licenses could not exceed 2 percent of the general lottery allocation, and eligible nonprofit groups would have 501c3 tax-exempt status, Steinwand said.

Gone are the days when nonresident hunting issues dominated the outdoors agenda at the Legislature, McEnroe said. During the last session in 2015, lawmakers introduced about 40 bills related to hunting and fishing, McEnroe said, down from about 55 outdoors-related bills during a typical session.

"All kinds of one-constituent bills get introduced to help a particular district or corner of the state," McEnroe said. "I'm sure there'll be any number of those.

"There'll be surprises. There always are."

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department again this session will provide daily updates on outdoors legislation. The updates will be available on the Game and Fish website at

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:09 am
by Habitat Hugger
Thanx for the update Redlabel. One of the toughest thing for the modern hunter, IMO, is finding a place to hunt and hunting access. A No Trespass bill will only add to this. Yet sportsmen soundly voted down Measure whatever-it-was a few years ago which might have earmarked more money for a state type CRP, more Plots, etc. Somehow, organizations like DU, PF and other alphabet outdoor groups got labeled as nasty, greedy,out of state groups, bent on bad stuff, blah, blah, blah.......Though the measure wasn't perfect, I predicted that sooner or later we sportsmen would suffer "the law of unintended consequences' and that vote would return to bite us in the butt! In this day of 50K pickups, multithousand dollar optics and firearms, boats and i e houses in the tens of thousands, Im afraid sportsmen will have to soon learn to pay for access or quit. Yes, hunters/fishers voted in the Pittman Robertson Act way back, b ut would sportsmen consider voting in something similar today? I have my doubts. We all spend tons of. Only on hunting/fishing related toys, but so many complain bitterly when tag prices and licence fees rise a little! A rant - I get tired of seeing the phrase on on the local web titles "its always about money with the G & F,etc." Accusing and intimating them of screwing us sportsmen, ad nAuseum.
Crossbows - Minnesota already allows crossbows for anyone over 60. However I predict a tough fight from the bowhunters o. This one. Being an old fart, I'd be for this one.....
Keep us updated Redlabel! Appreciate it!

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:52 pm
by Plainsman
Thank you Redlabel.
HH I agree with you. I also have some of the same pet peeves. I see guys in $60+ boats complain about fishing license and hunters with pickups that cost just as much complain about hunting license. They can drop $100 on a Saturday night in the bar but cry a river over $30;xeer license.
We are going to loose hunters with trespass bill. Outfitters and those Making money off hunters will support it. Poor access means more people dependent on them. The Game and Fish benefits us all, ND an outfitter may improve some habitat, but he does it for business. A hunter voting for a trespass bill is like a chicken voting for colonel Sanders.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:00 am
by Sasha and Abby
this bill makes an appearance every few years. I hope the legislature will use the same thoughtful insight to table this bill and let it fade away again. ND is the only place that has a hunter friendly atmosphere. I'd hate to see that go away. There are MANY states that are much closer to visiting hunters than ND... this was the trump card that ND has always used to bring money into the state for gas, c store goodies, hotels. food and ALL the trickle down JOBS that support all these people that work there.

I understand the landowners position. I have to post my land too...

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:22 am
by Plainsman
Many landowners want this, but I know my relatives will get sick of a dozen cars a day asking permission on land they never have posted. A friend of mine who posts only within a half mile of his house said he will put a sign in his driveway that says "DON'T ASK". He don't care if people hunt now, but he isn't going to put up with cars coming in his yard.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:16 pm
by Habitat Hugger
when you add some of the current political enthusiasm to transfer Federal land to state or Native American ownership, the access to a lot of land shrinks even more.
I know a lot of people who don't think twice about paying to golf, softball, hockey, curl, bowl, and many other activities yet get hot under the collar when the specter of paying to hunt is raised. How many times have we all heard angry people say "I'll be damned if I'll ever pay to hunt, I'll quit first!" And I know several who have done just that! Or mentioned our "right" to hunt, and our "heritage' and on and on. We have our second amendment rights, but I've never seen any hunting amendment! To me, hunting is a priviledge that we have to work on yo keep. Maybe I'm wrong, but time will tell.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:25 pm
by Plainsman
I'll pay for hunting license, but the big difference between golf and hunting is that game animals are the property of the state. Like some of the people you know I will not pay to hunt. That is why I support keeping public land. I'll pay $1000 for a week in the Badlands before I pay $10 for access. For me it isn't about the money, it's about paying to hunt something the public owns. That's unacceptable to me.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:53 pm
by hydro870
I am all for the treaspass bill. I field hunt waterfowl. So sick of people sleeping in unposted fields to get their first. Far better to get permission and wake up at a desent time. I love posted fields because I don't have to worry about anyone else after I talk with the landowner. I think ND is the only state with this law, but I could be wrong. For sure one of very few. Guess what, people are hunting in the other states, getting permission, and not paying. There is so much overreaction to this. I do lots of waterfowl hunting in SD where you need to ask permission to get access on private land. Landowners are great and are very freindly to giving waterfowl hunters access. I don't see a problem with asking permission. Get a plat book and make a few calls. Reality is most land is posted anyway, so we are already living in the world of needing permission for many areas of ND.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:03 pm
by Plainsman
I can see where it may not bother waterfowl hunters. I wouldn't walk across the street for ten limits of waterfowl. I like big game and coyote. Here is my problem. I know people complain about road hunters, but I am 68 years old, three knee surgeries, polyneuropathy in my feet, scents in the heart, and I can't walk 15 miles in a day like I did at 50. So I like to go out at sunrise when it's 10 below zero, 10mph wind, and drive north south minimum maintenance roads and Prairie trails. I like to catch coyotes curled up out of the wind in sunlight sleeping. You drive 100 miles per coyote then try find a landowner before the coyote wakes up and leaves? This bill will kill a lot of hunting for older people like myself.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 8:17 am
by Ron Gilmore
To defeat this bill, the legislature needs to be aware of the economic impact this bill will have. Lots of people will simply stop going. Many non residents as well. I talked to a number of small town operators from food to fuel. None of them want to see this.

Now couple this with the issue of absentee landowner and the problem becomes worse. Last fall a group I hunt with have secured permission to hunt from a landowner only to be harassed by the renter who did not give a rip the landowner said fine. I know this bill is in part to help deal with the pipeline issue, but whining about making it harder to hunt personally is not going to move any needles of interest.

Tax revenue is the only way.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:41 am
by Chuck Smith

YOu are 100%.... I have said this before with the NR vs R debate. If people wanted to get rid of the NR "pressure".... get a trespass bill. It will take about 2-3 years to see the decrease (because people wont be up on the laws)... but you will see the number of NR hunters cut in half. YOu will see the people who didn't cultivate a relationship with landowners not coming back out. That is good/bad... good because some of them were SLOBS... bad because of the $$$ brought in (license sales, Conservation stamp, PLOTS, etc). You will also see the land owners getting upset with all the people asking when before they didn't care... now they will care because they will be getting harassed.

Now on the R side of the fence on this one.... Think how this will change your hunting? YOu will have to track down land owners (some do already others don't), the college kids who are considered R hunters by state law... they will have to do more leg work (good and bad). It wont be as easy as to drive out and find a field and hunt next day/night.

Then want plainsman stated with the elderly hunting or the people who are used to "road" hunting. They will have to change technics. The deer hunters who did the drive around and spot and stalk.... anyone who did deer drives... etc.

You will see less people involved in hunting with this bill. R and NR... just because of the change of how they currently hunt. Just some stuff to think about is all.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:24 pm
by oldfireguy
I'd hate to see this pass, just because it results in loss of an era of hunting traditions I grew up with. It need not have a lot of negative actual effect however. Hunters can use plat books, knock on doors, or take advantage of Gps data such as NDTRAX. It shows many of the landowner names and contact information.
I use all, and have permission to hunt over 15,000 acres of posted lands (along with the 40,000 acres wpa within an hour.)

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:38 pm
by dakotashooter2
I think my biggest issue is that this makes it so much harder to get permission. Only a small percentage of farmers have landlines and listed numbers any more. Trying to get a contact number for the landowner or renter is near impossible. Sometimes even with a plat it is very difficult to track down the appropriate person to ask permission from. With some hunting asking weeks ahead makes it easier but for waterfowl hunting where the birds may only use a field for a day or two trying to get permission can be logistically impossible. Even if you locate where they live unless you want to camp out on their driveway for hours it can be difficult to catch them. If some type of trespass law has to be enacted I would like to see one that would only prohibit vehicular access without permission. That wouldn't have as much impact on hunters and would answer the issue of vehicular damage which seems to be the major complaint by landowners.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:50 am
by Dak
Joel Heitkamp is hosting three groups who are pushing to get this bill passed on his radio show at 0900 today. Call in comments will be taken. 701-237-5848. Call in about 10 to 9 to make sure your opposition gets registered. You know these groups will have their supporters lined up calling. KFGO 790 out of Fargo.

Re: North Dakota likely will see a trespass bill when legisl

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:04 pm
by Outdoor RN
North Dakota House shoots down 'trespass bill' after extensive debate, but study survives

JACK DURA Bismarck Tribune

Apr 26, 2019

As a hunter who travels to ND because the hunting opportunities are numerous, and land access is fairly easy. If it's posted you don't go on the land. I am happy about this outcome. I started my pheasant hunting in the mid 1994 in SD. SD then changed their trespass laws and the outfitters and their pen raised bird hunter clients took over. It is the reason I came to ND for the first time in 1999. I have been back every year since then with only a couple of years missed. ND>SD. It is ability to access land that allows decent hunting, not the ability to pay far too much $$$ to shoot pen raised birds and eat like pigs at some lodge. :D