To the Editor:
This is my second letter to the editor about this subject in under a couple of years, absolutely pathetic really.
Private property is just what the title claims: Private.
Private by definition means accessible to only a certain person, or group of persons and not to the rest.
Public on the other hand means accessible to the public population.
This spring, when the tasty fungi were sprouting up throughout the leaf-ridden floor of the woods, it was very common to see many vehicles dotted along just about any of the county roads to a woods.
I know this is way too common out in my neck of the woods, and for some reason, when the trespassers get run out of a piece of private property, they seem to always do two things: One, they lie about having permission, and two, they always say, 'Well, there were no signs up saying no trespassing."
Those are two of the most upsetting statements to me.
If it is my property, I think I would know who does or does not have permission to be on it and when saying the second, obviously you know you were trespassing or it wouldn't matter if there were signs up or not.
Let's make the crystal even clearer.
If a property does not have signs everywhere on the property saying it is public property, it is private, which means that the public is committing a crime so much as to place a foot upon it.
On the same not, I have also heard this excuse tried before, "Well, those woods are state or county property because it is so close to the road."
That one really displays the person's absolute intelligence, or really the lack thereof, because a normal roads' right-of-way is normally 30-feet from one side to the other.
Pull out the long tape measure and measure just how much woods are actually part of the right-of-way.
Turkey hunting also seems to be more affected each year by trespassers.
It is like that the old school way of leaving other people's property alone is either not being thought of anymore or lost through translation because people you would not even expect to be doing it are.
When a 3-year-old long beard is on roost, gobbling his head off half a mile over the ridge in an old sycamore tree, it might be tempting to jump on over the ridge to try and call him in, but it is illegal and wrong, not to mention extremely unsafe.
One time, I was in the woods in early spring trying to bag a long beard and my buddy was about 50-yards behind me, to the north trying to call one in for me.
After I got up at the end of the morning, he told me because of the way the shadows were on my camouflage, if he didn't know any better, he said it would have been way too easy to shoot me thinking I was a thunder chicken.
Needless to say, I didn't wear that camouflage anymore.
How would somebody know it wouldn't be a turkey if you came across their property line chasing after that long spurred old dude up in the sycamore right at the crack of the day?
I'd much rather be hunting tomorrow among some pine trees than to be lying in a box made out of them.
Use common sense, people.
Stay on your own property, or property you have permission to be on.
Actually, the State of Indiana has a form you can access on in.gov/dnr, designed to eliminate any chance of liability to the landowner if the unfortunate happens, which is a big deal these days due to all the lawsuits designed to blame the landowner for some sad sack falling out of his or her tree stand and getting hurt.
It is very, very hard to get permission to hunt anymore, but stop and think: How hard would it be for you to be giving the permission to somebody else?
I think it makes perfect sense.
In the last year, I have personally had or know somebody directly who has had a board, nine tree stands, two ground blinds, scrap metal, cage traps for removing nuisance wildlife, foot traps, snares, connibears, signs, fire wood and several other things stolen off of private property with no other person allowed to even be on there at any given time.
This is not a freak occurrence.
This happens every day people, everywhere.
I have even witnessed two accounts of people hunting on private ground that was mine and they had asked permission and were denied.
Another thing on this same issue of law disobedience: Indiana changed a law this year regarding how animals could be checked in after the harvest.
Today, I was sitting in the stand and a muzzleloader fired about a mile down the road right after sunrise, I have heard this 12 times so far this year and never before.
I am not a very smart man, but it doesn't take one to realize they were killing deer out of season or for a better term, poaching, and just checking the deer in on a bow tag because now "nobody will ever know," right?
So to wrap up, I would like to ask a lot more common courtesy out of the population in regard to being on someone else's private land or use public land legally, or stay at home and watch the Outdoor Channel.
If you have any questions in regard to the laws or regulations, I will try my best to look them up and help in any way I can and you can contact me through my website at skullthrottletaxidermy.com.