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311Hemi

Private lake access and hunting?

21 posts in this topic

I know of a smaller lake that does not have a private access up near Detroit Lakes that I would like to hunt this weekend. The lake does have a small stream (the name is actually xxx River) that crosses under a road through a culvert. Is this considered public right of way if I access the lake from this culvert area and through the short piece of the stream?

All land is obviously private around it, but I would assume I can still set up a blind on the reeds if I am still in water in my small duck boat and not on land? What if I pull up on top of some muddy reeds that are away from shore as thats usually what I do for stability in my flatbottom boat jon boat?

I have a call in to the local CO and am waiting for a response...just though I would ask here also!

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I think you would be legal to enter that way, but I think you would piss off the land owners that own around it. Sometimes its just best to stay away from circumstances such as the questionable access to a private lake, others that may not want you there might also be hunting, and will have guns! smirk.gif

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sounds legal to me........as long as you can access by water you are fine

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It can be accessed by water...and is pretty much surrounded by a few farms.

I think my in-laws that I am visiting have the name/number to one of the farms....so I may call them to see if I can get access though them as I think they have supplied access to the lake in the past for fishing.

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As long as the water taht goes into the river can float a canoe you will be fine. I'd go the asking route first, but if you get a no, and they are jerks about it i'd go threw the river. but if they are nice about it and give you a good reason i'd maybe stay out of there, depending on the quality of the ducks. Good Luck

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I live on a lake with no access surrounded by private land.

There is an outlet that you could legally travel with a canoe providing you didn't step on land to get over the beaver dams.

I'm pretty open minded when it comes to access rights, more so then most. If I heard shots Sat morning and looked outside and saw someone pulled up into the cattails along the shore I'd throw on the coat and walk down to the lake.

You might be legal in that water access, you might be legal in the sense of being pulled up into vegetation to conceal a hunter, you might be legal in that your not on private property. The thing is your skirting a fine line in all those cases. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that and nether will you. Accessing this lake to fish is one thing, hunting is another. Not only are you on a fine line of being legal but the disturbance you cause. You don't mow your grass at 1/2 hour before sunrise because its to flippin early and the neighbors will complain. Public water is for everyone to use, like at home in the city be a good neighbor when on public water. How far away are the homes there? Livestock? I have a very large lot but still let the neighbors know when I'll be hunting.

I'd contact the landowner adjacent to where you plan on hunting. Tell him your plan of access and that you intended to hunt. He'll appreciate your asking. He might say go ahead or he might say he would rather you didn't but there isn't much he can do. At least he knows your there so when you start banging ducks at 7 AM he won't have that WTH reaction.

If it were me I'd let you access from my place, use my boat, blind, and decoys.

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If its a private lake you can not touch the bottom. Push pole or decoy weights. You can float the water but thats where it ends.

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Quote:

How far away are the homes there? Livestock?


There are two homes that are about 1500' & 2000' from the stream I can access. Then there is a farm that is about 1/2 mile away. I would either be set up 1/3-1/2 mile away from all three.....or if I go to the far end more like 3/4 mile but that would be a long paddle!

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Adjacent landowners do not own property below the ordinary high water elevation, this is not true if one owner owns entirely around the body of water. With the dry year you can probably be on dry ground on the beach and still be below the OHW elev. Each lake has an elev above sea level that denotes the OHW. You can lok up this on the DNR website. Legal is one thing though ethics is another. There are places where you could probably shoot ducks or geese on lakes like Gull, Minntonka etc. Doesn't sound right to me. There is also a law about 500' from an occupied building that might come into effect. Now if the lake has few houses and you can safely hunt away from them and access through a waterway I see no problem hunting it. I wouldn't worry about waking people up too early either.

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I have heard the same as smnduck has mentioned both from the CO out of Fergus and in my area. The CO in Fergus might be a different one now.

But, basically if you come into contact with the bottom or emergent vegetation via decoy weights, pushpole, or any other means, it becomes a trespass issue.

Err on the side of caution and ask first. It might make life easier for you. If they say no, I would personally avoid any possible conflicts and avoid this lake. Sportsmen/women don't need any more black eyes than we already have.

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Quote:

I have heard the same as smnduck has mentioned both from the CO out of Fergus and in my area. The CO in Fergus might be a different one now.

But, basically if you come into contact with the bottom or emergent vegetation via decoy weights, pushpole, or any other means, it becomes a trespass issue.


I have a tuff time believing this theory because then if I am fishing and my jig is on the bottom then using this theory I am trespassing! I don't think so - but maybe I am missing something......

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311Hemi, its obvious you care enough that the uneasy feeling you have could be the difference between a good hunt and a great hunt. Good Luck and let us know how it goes.

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Very complex promlem but err on the side of caution. Many waters in the state are private. If there are multiple owners on the body of water, then the property lines are drawn to the center of the lake many times, in the shape of a pie. I have delt with this issue many many times. If there is no public access start asking for permission first. If you are in court the judge will not believe "I didn't know".

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The lake I'm on, property lines all met in the middle of the lake. As long as its covered with water its public.

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I would agree as long as the water, either a river, creek, lake whatever it is, touches public right of way it becomes public water. What you are desribing sounds like a public river flowing into a public lake. Chances are pretty good up here that if you ask the farmers they would let you drive across thier fields. I have rarely been denied. That would be a lot easier than rowing up a river.

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MN 2007 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook,

Page 14:Rules of Thumb for Water Access and Recreational Use

2. 'It includes walking in the water in connection with such activities regardless of who owns the land beneath the surface of the water."

Now this says it is a rule of thumb and not necessarily the Law, but does indicate a high probability of legality.

As far as those whose land meets in the middle, this applies to waters that are not considered to have been legally Navigable before 1858.

As long as those lands are beneath the waters, it is legal to walk them...if access to the waters was obtained legally.

Land beneath Waters that meet the Pre 1858 Navigable Waters conditions are owned by the State of Mn to the Ordinary High Water Mark, and therefore are legally walkable/touchable up to that Line except when specifically closed.

And also in the regs, is the aforementioned 500 foot shooting minimum from private structures designed for Human habitat or Fenced areas having Livestock within.

And you may not shoot in such a way that your shot enters over or into private lands, without permission.

Also retrieval on verbally or written posted land is not allowed.

If using a dog, the dog can enter unposted land to retrieve, and you can to retrieve the dog unless told you cannot.

But on Posted land your dog is not supposed to enter either, though there seems to be some dispute as to retrieving a dog on Posted land, since it specifically forbids unauthorized entry.

Having just read through the 2007 Regs, they seem contradictory and confusing, and poorly written in many instances. frown.gif

Page 2 in the regs under Tresspass Law states that; 'Any entry onto the Private Property of another without permission is considered Tresspass." blush.gif

The main difference types of Tresspass, Fines, Confiscations, And Criminality... shocked.gif

There is another thread back a little that discusses tresspass. I will try to bring it foward.

Ok, I brought foward the thread; No Hunting Post.

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I called the county sheriff and was told that as long as the culvert is in the 33' ROW from the middle of the road I will be legal to enter the creek/river to access the lake. I got his name and number as he is on duty this weekend and would be the one to respond to any issue.

I also called the land owner on the west side of the lake and while they don't have any easy access they did not have a problem with people hunting the lake. He gave me his brothers number that does have access on the other side if I want to try to call him.

He also mentioned there were not many ducks (his bros group only got 3 wood ducks last weekend) around the lake, but plenty of geese if you hit the timing right. This guy did not hunt at all. I also found that I would have to paddle too far to reach cat tails/vegetation.....

So, after all that I am heading to another location in the area that is public!! tongue.gif

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Jerkbait's post is correct about the OHW. If a lake has a OHW, then anything below that line is public.

311Hemi, I think that you did the ethical thing by calling a property owner and being open with him about you hunting on the lake. Kudos on your ethics.

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I agree you did the right thing by calling the landowner. Good Job!!!!!!

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This is to kind of piggy back on the subject; whats the rule if it is a slough that comes up to a road? To clarify, I know that there is a law that states that it is public right of way up to a point, but what is that point?

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According to the CO, 33 feet from the center of the road.

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