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The last few weeks I’ve been bumming around the country side for pheasant. I head from one walk in access spot to the next.  I’ve encountered a few walk in access spots where the roads are gated off with no trespassing signs before the WIA area starts.  I’ve checked google earth and see no alternative road.  There is no private drive sign and these roads have the standard green road signs designating a road.  I know I’ve got the correct spots, in one spot I can actually see the neon green WIA sign in the distance.  I also confirmed they were active WIA areas.

 

I called the DNR to ask what gives and all I got was a “we will check into it.”  Anyone ever ran into something like this?  

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Unfortunately I am seeing this too much.  With the sale and lease of many timber company lands, and people just getting more of a 'Everyone else can suck it' vibe in Northern MN and WI many people are

I am going to put a plug for Back Country Hunter and Anglers. These are the issues they are working to resolve. https://www.backcountryhunters.org/public_lands

They should use eminent domain to seize enough of the property for a small access road and give the landowner twice the acreage in land from the government property abutting his as compensation 

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I have ran into access being blocked here in SC at several locations.  The bulk of SC public land if not all now are owned by the USFS.  I had a really good duck hunting spot on a Corp of engineers lake.  To access it by land there was a road that was shared by the corp and some private land.  The private land owner decided to gate the road off on his place. Corp tried to open the road , even going to court over it but lost the case.  The only way to access now is by boat.  Ive got a couple of spots I used to WC hunt a lot on. part of the property was owned by a timber company and the adjoining property was owned by USFS. You can see the public hunting sign down the road but a gate blocks the road and its posted.  The property is totally land locked by that land owner so no one can hunt it but him.  The wildlife dept says there hands are tied.  There's 2 pieces of property like that now that I used to hunt.  The land owner that blocked access is a huge land owner and bought up all the land a timber company had.  The main reason I see the wildlife dept not doing anything is this particular land owner is on the board of directors on the SCDNR board.   

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25 minutes ago, mccuha said:

The main reason I see the wildlife dept not doing anything is this particular land owner is on the board of directors on the SCDNR board.   

Then he needs to be off the Board as he isn't a suitable representative! I would press the issue till it's resolved, or you have your pound of flesh.

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Usually the only authorities in the midwest that can close a section line are the County Commissioners. I'd check with a county sheriff.

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Unfortunately I am seeing this too much.  With the sale and lease of many timber company lands, and people just getting more of a 'Everyone else can suck it' vibe in Northern MN and WI many people are posting 'public roads' etc.  While unethical and illegal in many instances, I find that I would rather not get into an armed confrontation disputing b.s. signs and have enough spots to choose from so I just 'let them have it'.  This Fall a neighbor purchased another neighbors tract.  He gleefully told me how he would be shutting down all access through a road that clipped the tip of his new purchase that previously had easement.  He didn't look quite as happy when I told him that if he did I would pull my permission from his snowmobile club to cross my property and shutdown access to the remote lake he likes to fish without him making a 30 mile trip in the other direction.  In my heart I am a public land hunter.  I don't like shaking hands and asking permission....hunting is an introverts sport at its core.  Any time public land access is reduced it hurts my heart a little.  I hope we don't end up looking like Europe when only rich guys can hunt so we get regulated into nothing.

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Hub great post I feel the same way 

 

OP I’d go hunt it and see what happens but I’m not nice to aholes

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I've not encountered this on walk-in lands. I suspect the state fish and game will be motivated to address it as they are actively paying the landowner for public access. 

 

On the other hand I have encountered MANY places where public land (state, BLM, USFS) access is blocked by adjacent private landowners, both legally and illegally.  

 

Many people don't realize and are mystified to learn there are many millions acres of public land in the west that are completely landlocked with no legal public access. It stinks. There are over 3 million landlocked acres in WY alone.

 

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WI Outdoor Nut

upland nut - continue to push the issue and ask questions.  I can promise you on this one, the squeaky wheel will be the one that is noticed.  I found a huge tract of land that was posted, but didn't look like it should be, due to a land owner trying to flex his muscle.  I continued to push and a judge made him open his land due to posting MFL open land.  It granted me access to a few 1000's acres, some of which are my best grouse spots.  

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14 minutes ago, Flush said:

I've not encountered this on walk-in lands. I suspect the state fish and game will be motivated to address it as they are actively paying the landowner for public access. 

 

On the other hand I have encountered MANY places where public land access is blocked by adjacent private landowners, both legally and illegally.  

 

Many people don't realize and are mystified to learn there are many millions acres of public land in the west that are completely landlocked with no legal public access. It stinks. There are over 3 million landlocked acres in WY alone.

 

 

Yep.  I've run into that many times in the west.  Frustrating because I suspect the adjoining or surrounding landowners are using that public land, which belongs to you and me, as their private hunting and grazing preserve.  Last fall, there was one particular large butte with clearly visible perfect sharptail cover on its sides that simply could not be accessed - and every two-track that led in the direction was festooned with "private road" and "no trespassing" signs.  Not sure what can be done about any of that.  Landowners certainly have the right to control who enters their land.

 

Here in PA, a landlocked owner has a "prescriptive easement" over the land that lies ebtw3een his land and the nearest public road.  Dunno how that works if the landowner is the general public.

 

The good news is that there are millions of acres of public land that are accessible.

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Epidemic across the west as big money ties up access to landlocked public ground. Forest Service, BLM, et al have gone to court many times in recent years. usually the money prevails. If you really want to start an argument west of the Missouri River, mention "corner hopping."

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Seen it happen in Va.  Was a National Forest Road that went thru private land and one day the owner decided to put a fence/gate in with a pad lock and closed off access to the National Forest road.  Posted a sign saying that the road passed thru private property and they were suspending access.   Contacted the Feds and they said the land owner had that right as long as they would provide the National Forest Service a key to use that road to access the National forest lands beyond that gate.  Lost access to 1,000's and 1,000's of acres.  I wasn't the only one who lost access.  That particular forest road went back for miles.

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1 hour ago, WMassGriff said:

Then he needs to be off the Board as he isn't a suitable representative! I would press the issue till it's resolved, or you have your pound of flesh.

I’ve done all I know to do.  My cousin is a game warden and he doesn’t agree with it either. He has voiced his opinion until his seniors told him to back down. The land owner has extremely deep pockets and is one of the largest land owners in sc. 

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I'm aware of a case here where the County went to court with a landowner who attempted to close a "laid out" (public) Town road, which serves as access through private land to a large tact of County Forest.  The Town had never "properly abandoned" the road, albeit it no longer provided access to any dwellings past the private lands.  Some people will try anything.

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1 hour ago, mccuha said:

I’ve done all I know to do.  My cousin is a game warden and he doesn’t agree with it either. He has voiced his opinion until his seniors told him to back down. The land owner has extremely deep pockets and is one of the largest land owners in sc. 

I suggest you find a conservation organization and press your case there. I have been involved with lots of "radical environmental groups" that have fought monied interest in several states. They know how to protect the resource and defend public land. They win, money doesn't mean jack to them. Hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, floaters, you name it they run to a fight. I love that! They also have richer people and organizations backing them. Pm me and I'll help you light the fire.

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