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Hunting in Maine: 3 Things for Landowners To Know About Hunting on Private Property

By    |   Monday, 01 Jun 2015 03:34 PM

Hunting in Maine provides opportunities for hunters and for landowners. Some state hunting laws apply specifically to hunting on private property.

Private property owners vary considerably in their attitudes about allowing other people on their lands. Some welcome hunters and other recreational users with open arms. Some want to give permission for various uses, either at not cost or for a monetary fee. Others want no trespassing whatsoever, at any time.

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Here are three things landowners should know about hunting on private property.

Safety
Generally speaking, owners and occupants of private property are not held legally responsible for keeping the property safe for hunters and other harvesters and recreational enthusiasts. They are not obligated, either, to give warnings about hazardous conditions, uses, structures or activities.

These regulations do not apply, however, in situations where money has been exchanged for use of the property. In another proviso, property owners can be held legally liable for “a willful or malicious failure” to guard or warn against such dangers. However, if a landowner gets sued but isn’t held liable for a safety-related injury to a person or property, the court can award all direct legal costs, including attorney’s fees, to the landowner, states the Maine Hunting & Trapping Guide.

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Trespassing
It’s certainly permissible to shout at trespassers to get off the land, but that isn’t enough. Under Maine hunting laws, landowners wishing to forbid or restrict use of the property must post signs on all vehicular access entrances from a public way. To prohibit access to either a specific activity or all activities, property owners can also put up signs on their land no more than 100 feet apart. To get the message across that access is by permission only, a landowner can paint two silver marks on objects such as trees, fence posts or rocks.

3. Accountability of Hunters
It is unlawful in Maine for anyone to dispose of litter except in areas or receptacles designed for that purpose. This law is also applicable to refuse from field dressings of wild game.

Moreover, without the consent of the land owner, it is illegal for a visitor to cut down trees, leave gates open, destroy fences or crops, or shoot off bullets, arrows or other projectiles. Trespassers who cause property damage, either accidentally or on purpose, can be sued for damages in civil court.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Hunting in Maine provides opportunities for hunters and for landowners. Some state hunting laws apply specifically to hunting on private property.
Maine, hunting, landowners
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2015-34-01
Monday, 01 Jun 2015 03:34 PM
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