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Discussion Starter #1
I had some JERK hunting my back 20 this morning! The first clue was the gunshot at 8am this morning. I think I know who it is based on where they entered and exited my property, but can't prove it.

My question is how do you appropriately post no trespassing signs? My back property line butts up to private land of 2 other people. Do I post them right on the tree line (exactly on the propert line)? I am afraid that if I post signs facing their direction they will just be tore down. These same aholes baha'd my property last year with a dune buggie, but I was not home. I plan to make my video camera available so I can tape them next time, but if it's not posted there's probably not much I can do, unless I want to do the same back to them, which is not a war I want to wage. The suspects have a bit of a reputation as aholes anyway. suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

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The posting must be along the border. Signs do get torn down and that happens. If it were me I would paint "STAY OUT" on the trees facing your neighbors.

When I worked in the thumb we hand lots of problems with trucks and ORV's in the Rush Lake SGA. We would put up signs and they would get torn down (prior to the change in law that required if it wasn't posted it was closed). I ended up stenciling signs on trees. It worked pretty good and the excuse of there was no sign didn't exist anymore.

Posting is a problem. Unfortunately it is an element (land being posted) of the law that must be shown in order to prosecute someone for recreational trespass. If a person has been told to stay off before and comes on again then they could be prosecuted for criminal trespass but that law has no teeth in it.

Most importantly, when you do have a trespasser, you must be willing to prosecute. From experience, warnings don't work and you will not get a CO to respond if you just want a person warned. You can warn someone just as easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Boehr. What about the part of the law tha states:

Wthout permission of the landwners, you are trespassing and subject to prosecution.

Does that only apply if you wound an animal and it goes on someone elses property?
 

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Without being posted the law assumes the owner don't care or gives permission.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Boehr,
I just caught the joker red handed. It's the same guy who has been warned before by my brother and I. The last time he got stuck in my field while going out to his tree stand to deer hunt! Since he has been warned before (and I have a witness) does that change anything?

This guy has some gull. When I asked him who's property he was hunting he said "I don't know". I didn't push the issue this time because he had a gun and I didn't grab mine this time, not that I would use it, but some deterent is better than none.

Thanks for all your advice!
 

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Call the Report All Poaching Hotline, tell them when you make the complaint that what happen, that you caught the guy on your property and he has been previously told. A officer will contact you tomorrow or in the next few days, then the officer you want to prosecute. What should happen then is the officer does a repoprt and submits it to the prosecutor. The prosecutor should issue a warrant for the guys arrest and he has to go to court. You don't have to have a picture etc., your testimony of what he did is evidence!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know his name, but I know where his parents live and a few other misc details. Do I have to have a name when I call it in? I am going to try to find out his name. This guy plowed over my mailbox 2 years ago and landed in the neighbors ditch. I am hoping there was a police report so I can possibly get his name from that. Otherwise I plan to ask around the area to find out his name. Too many run ins with this guy and yes I am ready to prosecute if I have enough of a case. It's just a hunch, but based on his conduct I would not be surprised if he hunts without a license. Is there anyway of finding that out once I have his name?

I really appreciate the advice!
 

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Just call and let the CO do the investigation. Sounds like you have enough info that the CO will be able to come up with his name, parents live, possibility of an accident report, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks awesome news! I figured I'd need alot more. My neighbors were not too thrilled to find out he was hunting their property too. Thanks again, I will make the call tomorrow morning. Very nice having you on this site!
 

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FYI, if you have neighbors doing the trespassing and also taking your signs down, send a registered letter to them. A registered letter has that "official" stamp on it and you'd be surprised how effective they are. Just make clear the fact that you want to be a good neighbor but intend to press charges for trespassing and removal of signs in the future.

A friend down the road from my parents had a similar problem when he bought a wooded lot adjoining his land that several neighbors rode ATV's and dirtbikes on. The previous owner was in his 90's and didn't have the ability or interest to post it so while they didn't have permission, people had been riding back on the land for several years and had quite a network of trails and jumps. They had a feeling of entitlement about the land that it was "their" dirtbike track, and didn't take kindly to it being sold and posted.

Our friend tried to block the trails off with logs and keep up signs, but the logs kept getting moved and the signs kept disappearing. He called the police out, but by the time they showed up the dirtbikes were back in the garage.

Boehr would know better than I if the registered letter is enough prior warning to prosecute or not, but it should be enough to put the fear of God in most people. It worked for our friend.
 

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Conceptually, sure sounds like it's the answer; send some "official" looking notice; have the postman deliver it for you, no face-to-face confrontation, mission accomplished. NOT!

Look, to these people, a certified letter with return receipt means only one thing:bad news. It's either a creditor giving notice that something is going to be repossessed (giving him/her 2 days notice to hide the deliquent item his cousin's shed) or, from the court (which means sleeping in the cousin's shed for a few days).

They're way wise to the registered letter gig; they know that if you don't accept it and/or sign for it, they've never been notified. Only honorable people accept registered letters. We have nothing to fear.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I plan to call RAP as Boehr suggested. I also think the TOOLMAN was right about keeping record so I am working on what I know right now and getting that documented. I don't know the guys name for sure, but have a good idea of who it is. He's not really a neighbor. His parents live 2-3 miles down the road. I've had 3 run in's with him now and have had enough. If the powers that be will investigate and prosecute I will gladly take time off work to testify and see that he gets whats coming to him. I am a bit afraid of what kinds of problems that might come next. I will take faith in the fact that he doesn't seem too smart and if need be I will spend the money to have a bit of technology on my side! Seems this is a sensitive topic.....just check out the whitetail forum for the thread on setting up a deer blind within 10 feet of property lines. There's alot more stories there. Enough said I don't mean to rant in this forum and will save that for soundoff.

Later guys, thanks for all your advice.
 

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I am a bit afraid of what kinds of problems that might come next.
What will happen if you don't do anything. If they get in trouble it is of thier own doing. If they retaliate they will get in MORE trouble. I have problems with trespassers all the time. Don't bother with the local sherriff's department. They can hand out 10 trespassing tickets and that's all they'll be...10 trespassing tickets. Let the CO write the tickets because they keep records of past incidents and the punishment will increase with every trespass. Keep records of the signs missing because you can possiblty pin it on them. It is right in the Recreational Trespass Act that removal of signs is a crime itself. Locals rely on intimidation and people not getting involved. I run into people that say they have permission and then I ask them, "then why did you have to throw your dog over an 8 foot locked fence?"

IDIOTS

Ken Martin
Michigan Duck Hunters Association-Bluewater-President
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do plan on doing something about it. First the call to RAP on the way home tonight, can't really do it while at work. I've already started documenting what I know about his trespasses so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I called Rap tonight and gave them all of the info I had. Now to just be patient and see what happens. Anyone care to get the updates as they come in? Being this is the first time I've ever had to call in something like this I am interested in seeing what will be done. The lady that took my complaint at RAP asked if I would prosecute and testify in court....to which I said yes. A day off work will be worth it if this guy get a little heat thrown his way.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I got nowhere with my complaint, but it's only my fault! I should have gotten more information (or kicked his a$$!). I think he's been up to it again and now have the neighbors permission to track this guy accross their land too, and they don't like hunters! I'll get that butt wipe one of these days and if I see him on the street I be sure to follow him back to his car to get his plate number.
 
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