Trespassing On The Law

, , , , | Legal | October 3, 2018

(My family has a hunting cabin in a very rural area. Our land borders part of a national forest, and there is another piece of private property on the other side of the national forest land. Nobody in my family has ever met the person or people who own this other property. Because the property lines are difficult to follow when you’re walking through the forest, my dad has mapped all of the boundaries with his GPS unit so we know exactly where the boundaries are. One day during deer hunting season, I’m in my deer stand on national forest land when a man rides directly under my stand with his ATV.)

Man: “Hey! Get off of my property or I’ll call the cops!”

Me: *realizing he must be the owner of the neighboring property* “Sir, I’m on national forest land.”

Man: “Like h*** you are! That’s it. I’m calling the Department of Natural Resources. Stay here and we’ll get an officer out to settle this.”

(The man rides away. I assume he’s going to his cabin to make his call, and knowing that I have done nothing wrong, I stay in my stand. About an hour later, the man returns with a DNR officer.)

Man: “Here we are. As you can see, this man here has been on my property all day.”

Officer: “Well, let’s look at the GPS.” *he checks his GPS unit* “Sir, according to my GPS, this stand is actually on national forest land.”

Man: “Like h*** it is! I mapped the boundary line out last year, and put up No Trespassing signs all along the line. Come on over and I’ll show you the closest sign.”

(We all walk over to the man’s “No Trespassing” sign, and the officer checks his GPS again.)

Officer: “Actually, this sign is also on national forest land, and since it’s illegal to put private No Trespassing signs on national forest land, I’m going to have to write you a citation for that.”

(I thanked the officer and walked back to my cabin, fighting to contain my laughter until I was well out of hearing range. I’ve continued hunting in that same spot for several years since that story took place, and have never seen any sign of the man since.)

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