Tags: Gun Control | South Carolina | hunting | landowners

Hunting in South Carolina: 5 Things for Landowners to Know About Hunting on Private Property

By    |   Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015 09:20 PM

Landowners in South Carolina should be aware of their responsibilities regarding hunting on private property in the state. Hunters can be a source of liability to landowners, whether they're trespassers, licensees or invitees, according to Clemson University Extension Forestry & Natural Resources.

Lawsuits against landowners for negligence in accidents are uncommon, according to Clemson Extension, but landowners should be aware of their obligations, both legally and morally, to make sure their property is safe for hunters.

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The extent of the liability depends on whether a hunter is a trespasser, a licensee or is an invitee. Here are five things landowners should know about hunting on private property.

1. Hunters must obtain permission from the landowner before entering the property, although usually, landowners are only liable for trespasser injuries that result from willful misconduct, such as setting booby traps for trespassers.

2. A licensee has the permission of the landowner to hunt and is not required to pay a fee or perform a service to do so. Hunters who are friends, business acquaintances or family members are considered licensees. Landowners have a greater degree of responsibility to licensees than to trespassers. As an example, a landowner must warn visitors of a biting dog, an open pit or vicious animals.

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3. An invitee hunter is required to pay a fee or provide a service in exchange for the right of access to private property. However, a traditional hunting lease is often considered more like a licensee than an invitee. The landowner's responsibility to the hunter increases since a fee or service is required, and the hunter assumes that the property is safe.

4. Landowners charging a fee for hunting are required to inspect their property for hidden dangers like open wells, abandoned mines, unsafe structures and dangerous domestic animals. They must also make every effort to warn of all known hazards, and if they can't be removed, must give adequate warning to the hunter and explain where the hazards are located. Liability usually cannot be imposed upon the landowner without proof of negligence.

5. Some things to consider before giving permission to hunt on your property, according to Hunter-Ed.com, include requiring that hunters notify you when they arrive and leave, leave gates open or closed as found, don't make too much noise, don't leave litter, don't carry loaded firearms in vehicles, don't drive off roads, don't shoot too close to neighbors or livestock, don't leave fires unattended and don't violate game laws.

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

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Landowners in South Carolina should be aware of their responsibilities regarding hunting on private property in the state. Hunters can be a source of liability to landowners, whether they're trespassers, licensees or invitees.
South Carolina, hunting, landowners
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2015-20-03
Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015 09:20 PM
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