Understanding the Legality of Hunting Blinds
Whether you are an avid hunter or a just a beginner, all hunters need to know the ins and outs of hunting laws. It is important to note that laws vary from state to state and by no means is this list all-inclusive. The following is a list of a few topics for you to keep in mind when you prepare for your hunting journey.
According to the US Forest Service, when you hunt with a blind on federal land, you will need to follow the state laws and regulations required by the state you are hunting in. These laws can vary from state to state and season to season. Some places only allow portable blinds, so you need to be sure where you are placing your blind allows a permanent structure to be set up.
Always remember when you chose a location to set up a blind for hunting, state laws and regulations require that you have written permission from a landowner before hunting on their property. Gaining this authorization includes setting up a blind or feeder. Whether you will be hunting on your land or someone else’s, there are other things to consider.
Setting a blind up too close to a property line can be illegal, and you must follow your state regulations. When placing your blind, it is essential to know your weapon and choose a location that will limit all possibility of shooting across property lines.
All states have strict laws about this, and they enforce them to the fullest extent of the law. It is especially true when the blind is set up near a residence.
Another thing to remember before placing your hunting blind is you must watch for no trespassing signs. “No Trespassing” might not be just a posted written sign but other methods.
For example, in Texas, oral or written notice is accepted under the law. Other “notice” can be a fence, three lines spray painted on a tree at least three feet above the ground, and numerous other things listed in the law can be “notice” that entry is forbidden. Knowing where you are and the boundaries of the land you have permission to be on could be the difference between life and death.
If you lease a piece of property to hunt, a blind is a very viable option for helping you bag your game. Why would leasing property matter? The important thing you need to know is that most states require the landowner to obtain a Hunting Lease License if they will be receiving any compensation for the use of the property.
If the landowner fails to get the necessary license, both the landowner and you as the hunter could face stiff penalties.
Now that the basics are behind us, you need to know that if a Game Warden or Forest Ranger catches someone breaking any of the hunting laws of the state you choose to hunt in, there can be pretty stiff penalties involved.
These penalties range from a fine to jail time. For this reason, it is imperative that you are familiar with your local and state laws for hunting.
The best option you have as a hunter is to do your research. The old saying “Know Before You Go” can prevent run-ins with law enforcement. Lack of knowledge of the law is not a valid defense to prosecution.
Be sure you know the right open season dates as well as obtain the correct hunting license the state you are in requires before you hunt.
To Do List
A lot of states are now putting many new types of laws in place, so you need to refamiliarize yourself from year to year on any new hunting laws.
To be on the safe side, always try to check with your local Forest Service Ranger or State Game Warden before hunting to ensure you have a great hunting experience and not run into any unforeseen problems.
If you have learned nothing else, please remember before you take off to find the best place to set up your newly purchased Hunting Blind, do this, know the law. Knowing the law can save you quite a bit of time and headache if the day comes when you are asked by law enforcement to supply the proper credentials. A prepared hunter is a successful hunter!