Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
311Hemi

MN road/ditch hunting??

42 posts in this topic

A few posts I have read on another site have explained that even though you may be next to someones property line (and they may think it's their land), hunting the ditches is public right of way and not trespassing. Is this the case in most places in MN? This particular person has had a few people come out and rudely complain to them to get off their land....and he nicely informed them that it is public right of way and he would in no way tresspass on their land even for a downed bird.

i.e. you can hunt the ditches next to a farmers field (in the ditch) without crossing into his land. Also obeying the the tresspassing laws if by chance a downed bird lands on his property.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can hunt the ditches, but try and find some that haven't been mowed.

Some counties and cities actually pay the land owner to mow the ditch. confused.gif

I'm sure there is a good explanation, but it seems we're destroying some good habitat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i banged out a nice rooster out of an un-mowed ditch over MEA on the way to town from the cabin, but like you say there are not many un-mowed ditches out there anymore.

seems like a waste of habitat to me also except maybe on really busy county roads where the added visibility of a mowed ditch helps with safety issues (deer, etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a run in with this a few years back....some guy tried to tell me I couldnt hunt the ditch and was absolutly fightin mad about it. So I went directly to the sherrif and county DOT because I knew some guys there and asked for myself. They tell me that it can be different for every county and depends weather or not you are on a county or township road. In the county I was in they told me that if you are on a township road the landowner still pays an easement for the road and the property rights are still theirs. If you are on a county road it is county property 33' from the center of the road and is a public right of way. I had known this prior to the run in and I was walking, not road hunting, the ditch of a county numbered and signed gravel road. Needless to say that guy got a phone call and an earfull when I got the story stright from authority.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditches are mowed or burned to help keep snow from drifting over the road when winter sets in.

Sometime the grasses are baled and used by the farmer other times just cut like a town lawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would personally be careful in hunting ditches. To each his own but there is no way that you can tell without doing research if the road is in an easement or if the controling entity (State, County or Township) has actual fee title to the roadway.

With there be lots of other places to hunt I just avoid the issue and do not hunt ditches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditches are also mowed to help prevent some of the noxious weeds from migrating into the fields. This is one of the reasons you will see mowed ditches next to newly planted CRP and agricultural fields.

mw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is a reply I got back from the DNR on hunting road ditches:

Low maintenance roads (gravel/dirt) it's usually ok. There has to be a

public right-of-way to make it legal otherwise you'll need to ask the

private land owner for permission. You cannot shoot across the road,

but you can certainly be in the road ditch. Hope that helps.

Thank you! Have a great day!

Jennie Urbano

Customer Service Specialist Int.

DNR Information Center

651-296-6157 or

1-888-646-6367

jennie.urbano@dnr.state.mn.us

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went home for thanksgiving weekend and found that most of the farmers have burnt the ditches, I am just curious does it really help drifting snow or could they save alittle habitat for pheasants. One bad winter and the great number of birds we have will drastically go down because of the lack of cover. I don't know If it is like this in other areas but back home every ditch, slough bottom, or cattails were burnt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's perfectly legal to hunt the road ditch on an "improved" road. Just don't shoot across the centerline. It's the minimum maintanence roads you have to be careful on. Often, the farmer will own the land right up to the gravel (dirt).

Another reason for mowing the ditches is to enhance the motorist's visablity. Road ditches can be wonderful habitat for birds and other wildlife, but that is not what the highway engineers have in mind. A ditch is placed next to the road to help make it safe for travel. They'd prefer that the ditch is not a good habitat for critters that may jump out in front of your car. It's their job to maintain safe roads, it's the DNR's job to purchase and maintain land suitable for wildlife.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many times ditches get burnt out to get rid of weeds. In the long run this is actually good. If the land owner doesn't burn them out there's a good chance in the spring a bunch of weeds will pop up. Then the county or township sprays them and that's real real real bad for the birdies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should double check in the regs, but it used to be that you had to be 500 feet from a state or federal road. So you could only hunt the right of way under county and township jurisdiction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of hunting ditches which I know can be productive at times, I think a person's time would be better spent knocking on doors and making contacts. Sooner or later someone will give you access. Just be quick and courteous when at the door. Say thank you and move on if they say no. Say thank you and offer them a bird (if you are lucky enough to get some) if they say yes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of neighbors here that burn the ditches. I don't see the benefit that much and so I don't really understand. As far as knoxious weeds, it can help but once the grasses take over, the weeds are too choked out to compete. The grasses are first to sprout in spring, way ahead of the broadleafs. As far a snow drifting, the first time the snow plow goes by, the blade cuts the dried grasses and weeds off at the ground. There is no more to collect the snow and start it drifting. Besides, in the 15 years that I have lived here in the Osakis area, we have only had about two or three years that I can recall where there was enough snow to drift at all and even then, burned ditches didn't stop anything.

I say, leave them be.

Bob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in Montana, you cannot hunt in the rightaway. You must be 33 feet from center of the road on gravel and 75 feet from center of road on the highway. They enforce it very harshly. CAJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well over in Osakis you have more cover than in areas west of there. If we didn't burn or mow the ditches getting around in the winter would be a major problem. some townships actually require that you burn or mow your ditches. As far as habatat, I can think of lots better. A bird will not survive in a ditch when the snow starts to drift. It will get covered up from the drifting snow and its a gonner. frown.giffrown.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're not talking about hunting ditches on major roads. Some of the dirt roads I see mowed probably don't even see 50 cars a day. It's hard to argue with the "it's a saftey issue" excuse and I'm sure thats why it's used, but IMHO, they mow them to keep the hunters out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes!!!! Farmers mow the ditches strictly to keep the pheasants from thriving and the hunters from hunting.

Next time you are out in a rural area asking permission to hunt, have a little chat with the land owner. Ask him why he mows the ditch? Tell him where you are from and how you feel about this subject and maybe, just maybe he'll kick you off his land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

It's hard to argue with the "it's a saftey issue" excuse and I'm sure thats why it's used, but IMHO, they mow them to keep the hunters out.


I don't want to sound rude but that may just be the silliest thing I've heard all week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Apparently I touched a nerve with that thought.

Rost - The pheasants will still thrive without your ditch habitat, but would ditches get mowed like they do if it were illegal to hunt them?

Why would it matter where I’m from?

It’s no secret that land owners have a dislike for road/ditch hunters.(and that might be putting it mildly from your reaction) It only makes sense that if you take the habitat away the birds go away and in turn the hunters go away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why does that sound so silly? Seems like simple math to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might not be a safety issue - for you. Now, for the three or four families that lived down the lightly traveled gravel road that I grew up on, and traveled it twice a day or more, it was a problem when the ditches weren't mowed. You'd be on top of a deer before you knew it, and you couldn't see around tight corners as well either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying it isn't a safety issue and maybe my comments are silly, but mowing the ditches down to the ground like they were fairways seems silly to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree that in very few cases, the farmer may mow the ditch to keep hunters away. But I'd also guarentee that the majority of them couldn't give two rips if a hunter shoots a pheasant in their ditch. They are mowing for other reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be simple math to an un or wrongly informed person living in North Saint Paul and not a person living on the farm in SW Minnesota.

In all honesty if landowners in the middle of nowhere SW Minnesota wanted to keep people out of a ditch that 5 cars a day drive past there are a lot more effective ways to do it than start it on fire or mow it.

It's statements like the ones you made that make landowners around these parts say things like,"You want to hunt my property??? Go ahead, the cows are on the west side so please stay away from that area. Bring the kids by later for ice cream. Want to go have a beer later? No way on Gods green earth are those yahoos from the cities going to go with you, however. Not on my land"

But then again, what do I know. I only live here. For the record, yes that has been said to me. By very good and trusting friends of mine, while some fellow FM'ers were down here doing a little hunting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • ZachD
    • ZachD
      So I am torn I want to put a graph in my smaller boat.. I love my lx 6 flasher and am thinking about getting the high speed transducer for it and just going with that but I don't get why they charge $199 for it when bird and lowrance ducers are far less   I almost pulled the trigger on the lowrance hook 4 with down scan and chart plotter at gander for $179  I don't care about the chart plotter really as I have a big hand held gps that I use in that boat and that screen is larger than the hook 4 when you have it split plotter and graph they only had the display model left and wouldn't go lower price so I passed   If I can find the hook 4 at another gander that doesn't have the chart plotter for cheaper I may go with that   Does any one have experience with the lx on open water I hear it is at par with an lowrance elite 5 I am kind of wanting to go with that but don't know   What would you do run the lx open water or go with hook 4 with down scan  
    • bmc
      We survived our trip!  LOL   Fishing was steady.   We caught 30 walleyes in 3 days of fishing.  Usually fished from 11 am to 4 pm.  The 'eyes were running small, lots of 11 to 13 3/4" fish, but we did get 3 keepers.  We also kept a few nice perch and crappies.  We also caught a few snake northerns.   Jigging w/ chubs produced the best, but I did catch a few 'eyes on the crawler lindy rig combo.  Mid lake structure and underwater points off of islands all produced fish.  Mayflys were hatching, but the fish were still hungry. I did catch a 4-5 lb channel cat in the Savanna River one evening.   We stayed in the south loop of the Army Corp campground.  We liked that we were w/in about 30 yds of our boat which we kept at the dock.  The river on the north side of us and the lake on the south side offered a nice breeze to keep things cool and the bugs away for the most part.  Con's were the campsites are small and were too close together.  Also no turn around at the end of the south loop road.  The north loop was beautiful, spacious campsites, but surrounded by swamp and we heard the skeeters were bad at dusk.  Definitely want some thermacells or a screen tent to enjoy the evening by the sounds of things.  Also the docks aren't close/in view of the campsites.   We would definitely stay there again, on the north loop, in May or Sept. after the skeeters have died down a bit.   Staff was friendly, shower houses were nice, boat landings were nice.     Brian
    • MedicineMan
      Went out Thursday for a few hours. Caught a 28" Walleye along with a handful of nice sized Bass.
    • knoppers
      thanks for the report.
    • JBMasterAngler
    • JBMasterAngler
      Just got back from our 34th annual Grand Marais trip. Weather, and how bad it was, was the theme. At one point or another, it rained every single day we were there! The wind was miserable he last couple days as well. Really affected our fishing plans, as we had to cancel out on some of our normal lakes, and fish some less than desirable backup lakes.   As per tradition, we left in the middle of the night and pulled up to the Lester River just a few minutes before sunrise. Didn't catch anything there. Also got skunked at the Talmadge and French rivers. I got free admission at Tom's logging camp on account it was Father's Day  and as always, kids had fun feeding the animals. I did catch a few little rainbows out of sucker, knife, and Stewart rivers. Had our traditional "fisherman's breakfast" at McDonalds in Two Harbors. We stopped at the silver creek tunnel, and that was the first time I've been at the overlook since it was actually part of the highway back in '94. We rolled into Grand Marais at about 3:30 and had to wait out a rain storm before putting the boat out on Kimball Lake. We lost several trout, and in the end, only my 6 year old son caught 2 rainbows.   Monday we fished Greenwood Lake, and as was the case with my 2 older kids, my 3 year old daughter caught her very first fish here...a smallmouth bass! Between all of us, we caught about 130 bass, all of which were pretty small. Unfortunately no lake trout. However, a big surprise occurred...while casting for bass, I caught a herring! Then a few minutes later, my son caught one also! Never would have guessed I'd ever catch one in the summer, let alone 2!   Fished a "secret lake" on Tuesday and caught quite a few northerns. They were all either 5 pounds, or 6 inches long, nothing in between. My son caught an 8 pound, 33 incher, which ended up being the biggest fish of the trip. We was screaming, and excited, and wanted me to take his fishing pole. But after about 10 minutes he finally got it in so I could net it. He's still bragging about it. My 3 year old also caught her 2nd ever fish, a perch, which ended up being the only one of the trip.   Went up to Saganaga on Wednesday. I spent I don't know how many hours trying to catch lake trout, but didn't find any!  Finally gave up and ventured deep into red rock bay for the first time ever. Really nice back there, wish I would've went there first. Fishing was ok, considering the weather was starting to get bad. Caught the biggest bass of the trip, a hair over 18 inches. On the drive back we seen a bear. Ironically it was walking down the road to black bear lodge at Poplar Lake.   Biggest disappointment came on Thursday. The plan was to fish both Hungry Jack and West Bearskin lakes. The wind was terrible, and coming straight from the west. Had hungry jack not had the reputation as a big bass producer, I wouldn't have went here. Unfortunately the big bass weren't around, nor any bass for that matter. Only caught 4 small bass. Kids caught about a dozen or so sunnies from the dock at the resort, some of which were decent size. We didn't even bother with bearskin. There's no way we would be able to launch our boats in that wind. We went to Loon Lake instead. In the limited time we were there, we caught about 30 tiny bass. My 9 year old daughter also caught her first rock bass. I tried for lakers, and marked a lot of them, but didn't catch any.    So since we didn't fish West Bearskin as planned, we penciled it in for Friday. Knowing the weather was going to be bad, we picked Poplar Lake as our backup. I drove up to Mayhew Lake to start, because I wanted to check out the launch. I was able to get my boat down the launch, but it was a real tight fit. Nice little lake. We saw a mommy moose with 2 babies laying right on the shoreline. I got sick of trolling, so I decided to cast cranks along the drop offs of the one small stretch of shoreline that was out of the wind (relatively speaking). Hooked into a big fish! Got excited because I thought I finally had a lake trout! It was a northern!  never thought I'd be disappointed in catching a 5.5 pound pike, but that's what I was. Didn't bother going to Bearskin, as I knew the wind was too bad again. Went to Poplar, which is a lake I do not like! As is typical, the fishing was no good! He weather was bi polar! It would be bright and sunny, then rain for 20 minutes. Did that the whole rest of the day! Only caught 1 little pike and  1 little bass. Got excited for a minute, as whitefish started surfacing around my boat in the evening. I was hoping I could catch 1 or 2, but nope!    Saturday we were supposed to fish Two Island for a few hours before going home. But it was pouring rain. We didn't even bother driving around to different boat launches. So the trip ended on a sour note, but we still had lots of fun, seen a moose, had our donuts (I highly recommend the bacon maple longjohn by the way), and went to Sven & Ole's. I was going to go camping in Ely in July, but I think we'll come back to Grand Marais instead, and try to make up for what we missed out on due to the weather. IMG_6122.MOV
    • CaptJohnWis
      I have not been on Rainy much as of late. On June 12, I got 75 walleyes in about 6-8 FOW. On. June 15 (Sanctuary opener) I hit Stangi for several hours and only got four fish. June 17, got 20 fish in about five hours - mostly walleyes on a weed edge in about 8 feet of water. Many on jig with Lunker CIty trailers. Also some good ones on a feather jig. Bass were few and far between. Plus some pike but nothing huge. Biggest walleyes 24-25". Bass 18", pike 29". View my fishing report to see videos of lures that were working.   I did mark lots of fish in deeper water but they were dink walleyes so I did not fish them for long.The dinks are actually harder to catch on lures than bigger ones. They respond better to live bait which I don't use.
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      We had a good bite on 1/2 crawlers today! Boated 45 walleyes and kept our limits of fish that were all between 15-1/2" and 19-3/4 "! Released at least 6 slot fish. Largest was a fat 25-1/2 inch fish. Best over all sized fish limit all summer! The walleyes were stuffed with either May fly nymphs or molted crayfish.  
    • Michael Felix