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February 26, 2008

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BuckTracker: Shed Poaching?

My friend Bill Heavey mentioned in his latest blog that a “no hunting” sign would not deter a shed hunter. And, since such a hunter was toting no weapon he could “pretty much go anywhere.” While I’m confident Bill was giving the whole thing the wink-and-nod for comic effect, I am deferring my planned post to deliver the following Public Service Announcement:

Make sure you know -- and obey -- your state’s trespass laws as you search for antlers. Mr. Heavey lives in Virginia where, I’m guessing, a “no hunting” sign restricts human access only if you’re carrying a bow or a firearm. Across virtually all of the Midwest, however, trespass laws apply to every activity. For example, here in  Minnesota a landowner in an agricultural area doesn’t even have to post signage to convict a trespasser. It is up to you to know private property boundaries and to seek permission before entering. And if you think a landowner will cut you slack just because we’re on the backside of November, guess again.

And getting caught is getting easier. In a bad winter (like this one) most everyone knows where deer are hanging out, so they’re not hunting a buck’s sheds so much as waiting for them to drop. Try slipping in for early dessert and you are likely to meet a very upset deed holder…or at least a competitor who does have permission. I know at least two landowners who put out trail cams specifically to catch shed poachers, and another who updates his border signage after deer season, just to remind shed-freaks and turkey hunters to stay honest.

We live in an era of antler mania, so these days people know what you are up to; it is too early for mushrooming, maple sugaring, and even turkey scouting. You can walk your dog on the road, and it doesn’t matter all you’re toting is a multitool. You’re shagging horns, and if you're in a state where the law says you need the landowner’s blessing, shame on you.


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I love the line:

"You’re shagging horns"


Thanks Scott

I read the lead on the thread but it didn't click with me until I read it the second time! DUH!!
Even here in my corner of the Great Southwest, "Posted" means, well, "POSTED!", regardless the reason! If you are chasing your stock that has crossed a fence, it's still implied you ask! Maybe not demanded, but polite is polite!



Trespassing is trespassing, I don't care if you are hunting animals, looking for sheds, hunting mushrooms or fishing.


It's really very simple!



STAY OUT!! This is a tender spot for me. I am from WI and my family has owned a piece of swamp since the 1840's that we hunt, maintain and pay taxes on. I would think that ownership, property tax and posting would keep people out. It does not and state laws allow people to paddle into what would otherwise be a very private duck hunting paradise even though it is nearly imposssible to access without portaging your watercraft. I now live in the south and Deer hunt in AL in a county where the practice of hunting with dogs is still allowed and practiced with ferver. Dogs do not know boundry lines and thus roam where they may. These dogs have disrupted many a hunt and ruined many a weekend. I think that property ownership is a sacred right in this country and should be respected. With all of the other adversity hunters face we do not need disrespectfull trespassers giving us all a bad name and making others wish we weren't around at all. Hunt, hike, search for sheds, fish, camp whatever your pleasure in places you have permission. Jim is right. This is VERY SIMPLE!


A piece of privately owned property is just like a "house". Would you walk up to someone's house, open the front door, without knocking, and "just" walk in!? I don't think so, not without expecting some rather dire consequences!


Ham Sam

I'd love to hear Mike Diehl's take on this one.

Blue Ox

Trespassing in my neck of the woods is a good way to get yourself turned into swiss cheese.
Or puppy chow.
Or both.






testing again

EZ Limit in Alaska


I just spent the last 45 minutes reading your blog thoroughly! (I’ve been meaning to since we departed company in IA last Nov, but never quite found/made time!) I reviewed all 41 Bestul entries-most of them top to bottom! Good stuff for the hardcore deer hunter! Very enjoyable entertainment and some good food for thought (ethics, morals, legalities etc.) that will likely spur me to visit it again in the near future, after all, I am a ‘huge’ S.B. fan! Tell your bosses at FS that readers like me whole-heartedly believe that writers like you are harder to come by then they might think, and that you deserve a substantial raise! Keep up the good work!

Sincerely, EZ Limit in Alaska!

PS: where does a weird word like ‘blog’ originate-did Al Gore invent it too?

Dr. Ralph

Maybe I should move... in Tennessee if there is anywhere someone can gain access to your property without literally tripping over a NO TRESPASSING sign they are in the right. Basically with these ATV's multiplying like rabbits you can't win. TWRA Game Wardens have told me point blank if they hire a lawyer there is absolutely no way to convict someone of trespassing anymore...


My woods has some cool no trespassing signs. They read:

Posted, No poachin' No Trespassin' No NUTHIN'. This applies to friends, relatives,enemies and YOU. Violators (violators is x out and survivors is written under it) will be prosecuted. Your soul belongs to God, your ass belongs to me.

No joke I really do have those posted around my land. Seems to work nicely!


Albert Sand

I can Agree with MPN.


Trespassing? Land is the same as your house? BS.... should I file charges when someone walks on my lawn without a weapon? ...Dumb A$$

phil smith maine

I cant believe you confuse no hunting with no trespassing. I belive no hunting should include landowner also you guys post your land feed your pet deer and call it hunting,try maine where we think posted signs are for liberals,we hunt wild deer and they push 200#s not just inches!


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