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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A posting on duckhunter.net forum has diverged to discussing road hunting in ND. I rarely if ever road hunt in ND anymore, but road hunting was a way of life when I was teen growing up in ND.

We still let the kids hunting with us to road hunt if the quarry looks good. I may follow them without a gun to help teach sneaking lines and to stay low.

Anyway: Questions or Comments
In North Dakota

I have always heard there is no issue road huning along ND state and federal highways since both government agencies own the road and the ditch to the fence line.

Counties may or may not own the ditch along their roads or gravel roads and thus the ditch may be posted if the adjacent land is posted.

This then puts us to Section Lines. Huntable or not. :huh:
 

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PH, I'll take a stab at this one but you're not going to like my answer.

With respect to any Federal, state, county or township highway or road ditches, your ability to hunt them depends on two things. First, how was the road created? If by deed conveying to a governmental body full fee title, then the ditch is open to hunting unless prohibited by the gb. If the road was created by only an easement in favor of the gb, those easements were typically for roadway purposes only and do not include a right for the public to hunt within the roadway ("roadway" almost always includes the ditches). So, if originally created by easement, and not deed, the adjacent owner retains all other uses of the ditch, and you also need to check whether the adjacent land is posted. If the adjacent land is posted, so is the ditch.

I know that seems like mumbo-jumbo, but the bottom line is that if the adjacent land is posted, you're taking a huge risk hunting the road ditch, because the vast majority of public roads were established by easement and not deed.

Section lines are much clearer. The ND Constitution reserves to the public the right to TRAVEL 33 feet on each side of all section lines. There is a process whereby an owner can have section lines "closed", but almost all section lines remain open to public travel today. The right of travel, however, does not include the right to hunt, so if land adjacent to section lines is posted, so is all land up to the section line. If land adjacent to a section line is not posted, have at 'er up to the section line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Actually you confirmed most of what I already knew or at least believed to be true. No surprizes.

Most ND and US owned highways are open to hunting in the ditches. Same can not be held true for county highways and gravel roads.

Section lines closed to hunting if adjacent land is posted. This is a conflict area that pops up every fall. Section lines not only attract a lot of upland birds, they can make for great waterfowl and crane pass shooting lanes.

Strange concept, that you might (?) legally road hunt down much of hwy 2, hwy 83 and hwy 200, but turn down the next gravel road and you have to ask permission or risk arrest.

Fetch made a comment on another site and I will repeat it here. Number one rule of hunting private land or near private land is stay away from occupied farm buildings and areas were cattle are standing near the fence. Simply wrong. Confrontation likely to occur and hunters in general take it on the chin.
 

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PH, your point about occupied farms is a great one. I'll add one more twist. I pulled a real boner a number of years back when I assumed (wrongly) a farm was unoccupied. The buildings hadn't seen paint for decades. No vehicles around. It was late season, and there were no tracks in fairly old snow in the driveway or on the steps and no smoke coming from the chimney. We rousted some roosters from cover pretty close to the farm house, and got our butts chewed by an understandably ticked off older woman who poked her head out one of the doors.

I set my gun down and walked to the house and apologized profusley, but the damage was done, and she slammed the door in my face. I felt rotten, personally, but more for the impression I had left of hunters generally. I had hunted a hundred other places just like it that were actually abandoned, but I should have knocked on the door to be absolutely sure. You know what they say about assuming anything......

Also, not trying to pick a fight, but I'm not sure most US or ND highway ditches are open to hunting. Most of the documents I've seen creating even these highways are more in the nature of easements than deeds. As such, they'd also be off limits if adjacent land is posted.
 
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