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January 24, 2008

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Discussion Topic: On High-Fence Hunting in Colorado

According to this NRA press release, proposed Colorado House Bill 1096 would:

[E]nd all hunting behind "enclosures" in Colorado. Under the far-reaching and vague bill, every piece of fenced property would be off-limits to hunting, no matter how large the enclosure. As written, it could preclude a farmer or rancher who fences his or her property from allowing anyone, including family or friends to hunt, regardless of the size of the property.

The bill itself reads:

What do you think? Does this bill overreach? Would you support any bill restricting high-fence hunting?



I missed something. While there would be more public land to hunt, there would be less game to hunt.
Aside: Our 80 acres is not posted! There are 4 blinds on the 80, one of which is ours. Others are on our tract because of the cover and they shoot on to their clearcut land. Since we mostly still hunt, and sometimes drive deer, we need the public land.

Mike Diehl

We just don't agree, Yoop. I don't agree that a person who isn't a member of your private club gets any benefit at all from your arrangement if what they really want is to hunt deer on that land.

Your land might as well be on the moon, or paved over as the foundation for Barad-Dur, for all that a person wanting to hunt deer there gets out of it, even though those deer are as much theirs (or anyone else's) as yours. If a person who really values hunting can't hunt the deer 'cause you are restricting access to the deer, might as well let the timber companies have it.

Mike Diehl

"Aside: Our 80 acres is not posted!"

Then I can't see how anyone would complain about what you're doing.


Mike, I trying to get with your thinking but I need you to answer my above post.

Mike Diehl

"You are tracking the damndest buck you have ever seen. He walks on to my posted property. You feel you should be able to follw him onto my posted property because the deer belongs to the public? The buck is not wounded you are just following."

You're making it too complicated. I'll simplify it. You own land. There's game on it. If you restrict access to the game, you can't shoot the game. If you want to shoot the game, but don't want to let anyone else shoot the game, you must compensate the public, for taking their game for your exclusive use.


Im sorry Mike but that sounds like communism to me. At the very least socialism. maybe Im just thick but that like saying you could walk into my home if you wanted because the air is public and you wanted to breath it. Ill leave you alone now, thanks for trying to explain it to me.

Mike Diehl

Let me make (again) one other thing clear. I'm not saying that the way I view it is the way everyone sees it. The law at this point is pretty clear that posted land means no trespassing.

Thus, if I am tracking the damndest buck I ever saw, and it walks onto posted land, I regret the loss of access to the deer, and I turn around and walk away.

Mike Diehl

"Im sorry Mike but that sounds like communism to me. At the very least socialism."

Nope. Communism is when you post your land so that I can't hunt deer that belong to me every bit as much as they belong to you. That's why in the Soviet Union, the only people who got to hunt were party officials who had exclusive access to hunting grounds and the means to hunt.

Posting land so that you can have exclusive access to property that doesn't belong to you is as close to communism or theft as it gets in the US, in my view.

"maybe Im just thick but that like saying you could walk into my home if you wanted because the air is public and you wanted to breath it."

Nope. Once again, for maybe the 30th time, the law in most states is very clear that wild game are public property, not private property. Therefore, they are not of a kind with your house, your bed, your car, your barn, or your sheep, even when they are standing on your land.

As for the air we breathe, that is, frankly, a silly objection because no amount of signage prevents me from breathing air. Were it the case that air might wander onto your property, and at the same time suddenly be absent from public land, you n I would have a much more profound argument than about hunting.


You cant explain it to me but you do at least know the law and would not purposely break it. I think we can respectfully agree to disagree.

Matt Mallery

High fence hunting should be banned nationwide. It's a disgrace. but the bill should clarify what it means by "enclosure".


I apologise for the air comment, Mike.


Mike, I've met bullheads, but you ARE the best!
I don't want anything to change as far as deer hunting up here. Its a good time had by all.
However, things that start in trhe West, seem to migrate East, and it worries me! We all have our camp rules that are enforced at the owner's level. We don't shoot does. Other camps require 3 points per side. I don't agree with either rule, but I live with them. These "Camp Rules" would disapear.
I would hope that any laws passed in the future will increase the amount of hunters in the woods. Something tells me we're a dying breed.

Mike Diehl

No sweat.


High fence hunting should be banned throughout the United States. High fence hunting directly risks the health and integrity of wild populations of animals. These wild animals are public property, meant for the enjoyment of all. Wild animals like Elk and Deer were meant to be in the wild, not manipulated and exploited on farms. If the citizens of this country, sportsmen and non-sportsmen alike, don't take action now against high fence hunting and the dangers that it poses, then the health of our wild animals and wild lands will be damaged forever. Not taking action in the presence of such blatant disregard and neglect is just as bad as or worse than committing the crimes themselves. The good of the whole outweighs the interests of a selfish few.


I guess if your hunting preserve meets current state laws, I can't agree. Private property rights are an essential part of the American way. However, if the state wants to restrict these "Game Farms", I don't have a problem. They can be a can of worms, with CWD, invasive species, etc.


If you need a fence so that you can kill a game animal, you are a sad piece of work. Go hunting for real.

John R

I think we're trying to reconcile two divergent thoughts here; private property (land) and public property (native animals).
Private property I own. I can allow public access if and when I feel magnanimous or I can post it because it's my right. In my state I can post it AND hunt it and if it is my land and I stay on it I don't even need a hunting license.
The deer are a public property or trust or resource or whatever name you want to call it. I can post my property according to state guidelines and still hunt it all I want and I don't have to recompense anyone. As a matter of fact/law; if I have a working farm and said public animals are eating up my soybean crop, I can get depredation permits and shoot all the deer I want. Why, it's my compensation because the public resource is coming onto to my land and destroying my livelihood.
The deer may be on my land one day and gone the next. That's what hunting is all about.
I can understand the mixed feelings about the Ted Turner scenario where a landowner owns so much land that the public resource never wanders off that land. Especially so if the public land around said private property was less desirous to the public resource. I also understand the fact that public land can be landlocked and effectively rendered unhuntable. I don't know how to respond to this dilema without jeopardizing everyone's (the little guys like us) private property rights.
I do know this; if all public land someday disappears, then one will only be able to hunt on private land. The unlanded will be taxed to support management of a resource that they can't use which will become in essance public management of private herds. We do not want to ever see that scenario either.

Mike Diehl

"I don't know how to respond to this dilema without jeopardizing everyone's (the little guys like us) private property rights."

Offer 'em a fair trade. Land for right of way, or use public money to buy right of way. If they won't bite, step on their heads with eminent domain takings.

Mike Diehl

"if I have a working farm and said public animals are eating up my soybean crop, I can get depredation permits and shoot all the deer I want. Why, it's my compensation because the public resource is coming onto to my land and destroying my livelihood."

Yet another reason why my pov seems valid to me. If a person posts their land against public accessing publically owned animals, so that the public can't use those animals, the landowner should not be compensated for the damage the animals do. If you don't want public animals overrunning your crops, don't post your land to hunting. Simple as that.

John R

Well despite my long winded post, I have to defend private property rights. If I want to post my property and lease it for hunting it's my property and therefore my business. As long as I don't restrict the natural ebb and flow of game animals I am perfectly within my rights as a landowner.
If I want to give Joe Blow permission to hunt my property that is my perogative also.
The same philosophy applies to duck blinds. Duck blinds in our state-county are permitted by a game commission. As long as you pay the permit fee by a certain time, the blind belongs to you. If you miss the deadline, it is assigned to someone on a waiting list. Most of our duck blinds are open water blinds out in the sound and are there for the purpose of shooting waterfowl, another public resource of both the US and Canada. Rest assured that if a duck blind owner boats out to his blind or gives written permission for another group to use his blind and either party finds someone else using the blind without permission that someone will be told to get his butt out of there pronto. If he refuses to vacate the blind, the owner will return with a federal game warden and the trespasser will be escorted out as well as receiving a ticket for trespassing.

tom petty

it should be a fence that is over five feet tall, and a enclosed bottom shouldnt be able to hunt, this way elk and deer can clear the fence and fawns and speed goats can go under neith it. (not a teribly high lower wire about a foot or so. to keep calves in and wildlife free) that way a regular rancher could still hunt and the slobs trying to make a buck off of wildlife wont.

Mike Diehl

If someone wants to steal public animals or land by exploiting private property law, I'm perfectly OK with the public stealing their land by exploiting eminent domain law. Simple as that AFAIC.


Damn Mike, I tried to amicable. If the gov. takes your land by eminent domain law you or no one else is going to be using it. What the hell is wrong with free enterprise and private property. If was how you want it I would build a [email protected]#%$^ fence to keep the publics animals the hell off my property!!


Sorry Mike and everyone else just blew my cap for a moment.

John R

I think Mike is a spy for the Democrats :-).

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