Section Line Rule

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ford123456789
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Joined: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 - 12:00am
Section Line Rule

I just don't get the arguement from WT and HH. If the land is posted on both sides of the section line then the deer are safe. If your worried about the deer spooking off your private ground then too bad. The deer don't belong to you and the section lines are for public use as well. If you want less road hunters then take down some posted signs. Lobby your neighbors to take down posted signs and give people a place to get out of their truck and hunt. You are as much the problem as the roadhunters. This will not cure 100% of the roadhunting but you cannot cure 100% of any ailment. The few times I've been off the established trail during deer season, other than to retrieve an animal, were all because I was with a landowner that said "we are checking fence if anyone asks". You can try to clean up things but unless you are looking out for the benefit of the most people don't look for sympathy here. Give people a place to go and they won't have to drive around hoping to scare a deer onto unposted land so they can have a shot.

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willhunt4food
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Joined: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 12:00am

Swift

I would agree with you about opening access, but that will never even come close to truly reducing roadhunters. They are inherently lazy, and will not stop until they have no choice to either get out of their trucks or quit hunting (either way I don't care as long as their practice is stopped). I think a combination of limitation of section line use, and harsh enforcement of the law of loaded guns in a vehicle will help that situation more than anything. Road hunters deter the harvest of excess does far more than they help, and any reasonable means should be used to decrease that practice should be used. The only concern I have is to not limit the access to the disabled hunters. I have had far too many hunts/stalks ruined by roadhunters to have any mercy on them (except for the disabled), so aggressive enforcement of the laws and regulation on section line use is the best route in my book. The only people that should be offended by this idea are the people that are the source of the problem.

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Murdock
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Joined: Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 12:00am

Thats what i thought!

Headhunter
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Joined: Monday, December 17, 2001 - 12:00am

Swift back in January wrote :

"If your worried about the deer spooking off your private ground then too bad. The deer don't belong to you and the section lines are for public use as well."

Yes thats one reason. I do worry about the deer getting spooked off the land, "too bad" you say?? ..tough cookies huh?? I shall disagree strongly. If you spent all summer watching them, farming around them, and spending $$$ seeding foodplots for deer instead of crops for yourself and darn near having names for all the "local" bucks, that ate your field peas off your land to grow and be healthy fine specimens....hmmm, and am I worried about them getting spooked off by some Jacka$$ who thinks he has the "right" to roadhunt a section line posted on both sides of my "refuge" ....Why yessss. I am a bit worried. And a bit pissed.

This may be "publiK" travel and the "publiK" may own the deer (whatever) but the publiKK trail goes through private prop and essentialy I, the food plot deer lov'n landowner (who is also a member of the "pubbliKK") "raised" that deer.....And he is not the "pubbliKKs" deer until he is standing across the fence on someone elsed land . So He IS my deer eating MY fieldpeas until he chooses to meander over to the pubblIKKville across the fence. The less deer that get chased of of "the corn hole refuge" by section line hunters and onto death row at "pubblikkville" the better!

swampchicken
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Joined: Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:00am

Headhunter,

I'am with ya, road hunting should be illegal, most of the people bitc*hing about farmers closing off section lines, are non land owners and think every thing is open for them to hunt. There the same people complianing about when they get to a plot there is a bunch of out of staters walking it in front of them. Most of these so called "public" section lines are just farm trials on private land used for seeding and the harvest and no one besides the landowner has any bussiness driving them

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Triggerman
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Joined: Thursday, January 3, 2002 - 12:00am

Its a good law!! Section line is open for anyone as PUBLIC Meaning anyone!! HH and swampchicken, Supposely you got hurt in the middle of the field and you guys close the section line off with Rock piles, how would amblance get there??

Okay if you guys come to bismarck, Be sure not to drive on Rosser Avenue and Washington St. Just stay out. Ill be watching and bitchin about it!! Good Grief GET A LIFE!!! Hope your granny smack you across the room!!!

Triggerman

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Murdock
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Joined: Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 12:00am

The only problem i've had is when i'am walking plots or whatever and the NR hunters start walking towards me.Like they are doing some marching drill.If i see hunters in a area i will move on!

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Sportfish
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Joined: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 12:00am

Headhunter,

I assume that you hunt out west. Out where I hunt north of Fargo there is a road every mile. So how would you differentiate which section lines to close down? The bottom line is I have to get out and walk through the river bottoms or cattail sloughs to find the deer and pray that the corn is combined. Road hunting is hear to stay-unfortunately and I would be willing to bet that everyone here is shot something from the road be it a deer, skunk, gopher, coyote, fox, duck or pheasant.

buckhntr
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Joined: Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:00am

Wow I have heard a lot of bithin and moaning. The thing I hate is the people that say stay of my street when you come to town then. Section line are not maintained by the county and they do not fund any upkeep for them. The only roads that are maintained with tax money are the county gravel roads. So if you say stay of your street fine stay off the county roads we pay for. We can get to town on state and county roads and do all the business we need. Your tax money pays for the upkeep on your side streets. They businesses pay for the upkeep on their streets. As far as people complaining about how to keep them off the section lines you can't but you can detour them. Here is what we do in our area. We put a gate across them and make them so tight you can't open them unless you have a fense stretcher. Easy solution!

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doublea
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Joined: Saturday, September 24, 2005 - 8:55am

When it comes to section lines they are considered public right of way. The question then becomes if they are public who pays for their up keep. I drove down a section line on Sunday and it would seem that some Pheasant hunting idiot had the same idea opening weekend as the road had ruts in it that were about 12" deep! Now as I know the land owner and I know that he uses this section line to access his fields, he now has to pay out of his pocket to repair the road or risk tearing up his equipment. In the end, I would not be surprised at all if he closes the road, public or not!

The moral to this story...BE SMART ABOUT WHERE YOU DRIVE!!! Just because the law might say you have access does not mean you have the right to be stupid and tear up the country while you

Vexilar
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Joined: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 - 12:00am

Too bad that i have known people who will drive right through the fence if you block off the section line road. Like it or not just because you have land around the road it does not give you the right to block it off. It is not yours.

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buckseye
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Joined: Sunday, May 4, 2003 - 12:00am

they are easements not right of ways, right of ways are owned by government and other government regulated business and are maintained by the owners.

"In a world gone mad only a lunatic is truly insane" Homer Simpsom

PatsPlace
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Joined: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 12:00am

you are part right. Section lines are a 66' wide easement that is still owned by the adjacent landowner, but the easement is for public transportation. If the land on one side of a section line "easement" is posted, the 33' of section line R/W on that side of the section line is considered posted by NDG&F. Section lines also fall into two categories: opened or closed. By state law the County Commission has the authority to "open" or "close" a section line to public access after they hold a public hearing on the issue. So if you see a locked gate strung across a section line, it may have been legally "closed" or it may be an illegal closure. In the western part of the state (ie: badlands) many section lines have never been "opened" by the county and the road is non-existant...in those cases you will only know if it is legally open or closed by checking with the County road department or register of deeds. Deeded roadway right of way, unlike section line easements, is land owned by the public and in some cases may be legal to hunt (for the record I do not road hunt...wildlife along roads is for viewing, not "shooting", that is not "hunting" in my book but to each his own). Many roads are built off the section line to meander around a hill, draw, etc. Some of those are on easements, some are on deeded right of way, so you never know whether it is legal to hunt the right of way (if that is your intention) without checking with the county. Also, most section line roads are maintainance responsibility of the Township, with only the major rural roadways being official County roads (what many consider to be "farm to market roads"). For the record, most state highways are deeded right of way but there are exceptions such as drainage and slope easements that go beyond the standard right of way width...those easements may or may not be posted.

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G Man
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Joined: Wednesday, September 4, 2002 - 12:00am

Great post, PatsPlace. Glad to hear someone does some research before flying off the handle. I don't know much about it, but, would like to learn more. Obviously, education is the key here, for both landowners and hunters. When you read some of the posts/comments, it makes me wonder how many people it angers and just makes things worse for the landowner/sportsman relationship. Worst of all, a lot of the comments are just opinions, no one does the research to see if it is legal or not, they just jump to conclusions and start complaining.

 

dirty
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Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - 4:28pm

I'm sure Yotecallr will jump all over me after this post, so I'll be careful how I word it:

Since you guys are talking about hunting section lines and such, I have a quick question that is a little off topic but kind of related. What is the rule for ditches along highways, interstates, etc. Are they treated just like ditches along gravel roads and section lines? I would never get out on the interstate and walk a ditch, but I was wondering if that is even legal or not. Same thing with highway ditches. I know obviously it isn't allowed if the field adjacent to the ditch is posted but what if it isn't?
Thanks if anyone has the answer.

ranger3
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Joined: Saturday, April 9, 2005 - 9:36pm

Section Lines can be gated if both landowners agree and if the county commissioners approve it. section lines are part of the federal law i believe and therefore other states have them but may have different laws regarding right of way although I thought that was a federal law as well. Montana has section lines as do all states because it is a federal law. For those of you who think they should be closed off, remember that would give farmers the right to close off entire townships from being accessible. As a landowner I don't like it when people go through them and mess them up but I don't care that they can travel in them.

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buckseye
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Joined: Sunday, May 4, 2003 - 12:00am

patsplace.. maintained by owners means the current owners of the right of way.

"In a world gone mad only a lunatic is truly insane" Homer Simpsom

PatsPlace
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Joined: Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 12:00am

Right of way can be by easement or deed, but I hear you man...if R/W is by easement the landowner still typically controls and maintains the land. Interstate R/W is closed to hunting, but it is my understanding that other state/federal highway deeded R/W is open subject to city limit rules, etc. I used to work at the DOT and used to be a surveyor. The section line law is a state law adopted by many western states, but not all. I believe Nebraska or Oklahoma does not have section line R/W for public access even though they split up land by sections. There are no sections or townships in the eastern states...they were cut up for ownership before the concept of section, twp, rng was developed. I am not advocating road hunting or not, just trying to clear up some misunderstandings.

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pointerdog
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Joined: Monday, November 7, 2005 - 11:42am

bump

Tonts1
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Joined: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - 12:00am

For a minute, I thought Dirty had returned from banishment he double hockey sticks, then I realized the thread was 2.5 years old!!!

NEB Staff
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Joined: Thursday, November 3, 2005 - 10:26am

No section law in Ne, and a no trespass state as well.

tennant
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Joined: Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 8:05am

Now did I get swift right, Landowners posting land are part of the road hunting problem?? Thats a new twist to me I guess.

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bobkat
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Joined: Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 12:00am

The thread may be 2 years old but the topic has been and probably will be timeless and never ending!
Swift lives in SD and the roadhunting laws in North and South Dakota are totally different.
In ND the landowner owns the property up to the centerline of the road or section line. By law he automatically gives an easement for public travel which varies depending on the road from 30 to 72 or even more feet. In my case it's 72 feet as we are on a major county road.
The Supreme Court in ND has listened to the arguments of what that 'pubic easement' means and has ruled that the easement is for PUBLIC TRAVEL or 'public conveance' and doesn't include hunting! So if the adjacent land is posted, the ditch and up to the centerline of the road is posted for hunting but open for travel.
In SD I understand that road hunting along the public right of way is legal, even though the remaining privately owned land is automatically posted. But correct me if I'm wrong you South Dakotans.

labz4me
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Joined: Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 12:00am

If you want to put an end to road hunting all you need to do is pass a cased gun law. All guns must be in a fully closed case while in a vehicle. Done deal.

RNinND
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Joined: Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:24pm

I think a lot of people mis-understand section lines. They think that if they see a straight prairie trail going off the main road that it's a section line. Often times it is not. The actual section line is a 1/2 mile either way. This can only be determined by looking at a map.

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Murdock
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Joined: Saturday, July 12, 2003 - 12:00am

Hey i love section line's,They give you accsess to land that is not posted or is public land!I can't really understand what the problem is with Section line;s??Road hunting!You don't need a section line to road hunt-but it does help!!!!!!!!So what somebody wants to shoot a deer off the road or section line,as long as it legal,shoot away!!

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KurtR
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Joined: Monday, April 16, 2007 - 6:32pm

In sd you can hunt the road ditch for small game. If you see big game on land you have permision to hunt you can not shoot it from the road or ditch legally. The game warden told me that this year. i was on the ditch side using the fence as a rest and he drove up and told me to cross the fence to shoot or i was getting a ticket.

 Adn

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StevePike
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Joined: Friday, January 4, 2002 - 12:00am

That is the huge downside of the SD law. You had a good rest to shoot from and had to go to a less stable position (assuming you did not go prone) to shoot and be legal.

You can't aim a duck to death.

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Joined: Monday, April 16, 2007 - 6:32pm

When he pulled his truck up there the deer ran off. It was just a doe so glad i did not get the ticket. Now that i know the law i will make sure it does not happen agin but i think that people need to be made aware of it. It always seems the guy who is making a honest mistake is going to get caught

 Adn

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eyexer
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Joined: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 4:42pm

KurtR,
The fences location means nothing. You were probably 5-10' off of the right away. Most people don't put their fences smack dab on the easement line because they aren't sure exactly where it is. They usually leave a few feet for cushion. At least I do. If you ever get a ticket like that I'd take it to court and make them prove you were not on the right of way.

 

kennybob
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Joined: Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 12:00am

eyexer is right we always left a min. of 16 feet enough room to drive a pickup down the outside of the pasture to check fence without opening a gate.and to keep the cows from reaching thru and getting a taste of grain.It is a lot harder to keep them in if they get a taste of the grain or corn.

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swift
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Joined: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 12:00am

For the record I don't remember posting this. And I certainly didn't start this topic. I don't appreciate this from the jerk that did post it. 3 years ago when this was written I lived in Elgin, ND. I lived in ND from 1988 until 2006 when I moved to Redfield. This is completely taken out of context.

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KurtR
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Joined: Monday, April 16, 2007 - 6:32pm

That is good to know. I was just listening to the warden. i will ask the land owner where their fence is and i should be good to go.

 Adn

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perchpirate
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Joined: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - 8:44pm

section lines can only be driven on during the spring sasquatch season.

Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist.

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TUFFdog
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Joined: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - 4:08pm

Most of you, Now I said most of you that talk crap about roadhunting are either lying or denying that they have never roadhunted or shot anything from the road or whatever you want to call it. I have personally roadhunted, I don't prefer it, but I think that there might be a time and place for it. It definitely is lazy man's hunting and can also be abused. But hunting while walking or sitting on a stand can also be abused just like everything else. If you are roadhunting, I would suggest to the people that are doing it to have some courtesy for the people that may be field hunting. If you drive up and see a vehicle, go away. If it is posted, stay out and get permission. If the section line looks like loon $#!t stay off it. Field hunters, don't poach. If it is posted stay out and ask permission. Don't litter. Close the gates you open when you are walking. If you see a roadhunter, nevermind the lazy ass, it could be me and if I know you are there, I am getting the HE double hockey sticks away from you. Now I am not an avid roadhunter, but certain occasions have arised and I did nothing illegal at the time. I think that everyone should get outdoors and spend some time appreciating what they have.

Some of you people on this site ain't right in the head. Crazy I tell ya. Looney Tunes!

PEACE!

TUFFdog

Once a King, Always a King

But once a Knight is never enough

z
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Joined: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - 10:38am

eyexer
you are not even close. According to the North Dakota Century code: All section line are open to public travel(law was established in 1866) so travel includes all forms. The section line is open for 33 feet either side of the center of the line. It is illegal to put or allow any cultivation, planting or obstructions to be left(including fences, trees, rock piles or Crops) with in 33 ft. On some county roads it is 66 feet, in fact county roads that have been purchased by the county because they recieved federal aid to build belong to the public not the landowner. The issue is no one is inforcing these laws. They are a violation of the Class A misdemeanor type. You cannot hunt on township easement right of ways if the land is posted on that side without the permission of the landowner. It is impossible to get these laws enforced because no township officers are going to give up any farmland. However, if an accident is caused by rockpiles, fences or obstructions in the right of way(33feet on either side unless legally abandoned, you can easily sue the landowner and maybe the township
These are the current laws.

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Dirty.
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Joined: Friday, November 9, 2007 - 1:10pm

z,

Call me crazy but I'm pretty sure the North Dakota Century code doesn't apply to South Dakota and I'm pretty sure thats what eyexer and Kurt were talking about.

z
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Joined: Tuesday, April 3, 2007 - 10:38am

Crust
you would be correct on that. Did not realize they were talking about South Dakota.