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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since this has to do with all sorts of outdoor adventures, I figured the best place for it was here....

This year I made a mistake when I put in for my Cow Elk tag and entered the wrong hunt number, the mistake is my own and I am kicking myself for it every weekend when I sit and watch the iddy-biddy WMA that is the only public access in the entire hunt area. That being said, as I sit and stare at the only 8 elk I have seen this year (all bulls) sitting comfortably on private property or in the state park I have had ample time to think of a possible solution.... Here it is:

The DWR should start and maintain a database of hunters that would like to request access to private property. The data will include a background check on the hunters to determine if they have ever been convicted of a property related crime (trespassing, theft, vandalism), any such conviction does not preclude you from joining the list or requesting access. I also don't have a problem with paying to join the list ($40 initially, $5 to renew once a year as a suggestion).

Once someone is on the list, they can submit a request for access to the property owners in the area in question through the DWR including the expected dates. The property owners have access to the info and can then allow or deny the request, again through the DWR. Once the process is complete the DWR then sends the Hunter a "permission slip" listing the areas the hunter has access too.

This is obviously going to require the cooperation of the landowners, and so far I have not really provided any great incentive for them to do so.... here it is. If you don't cooperate, you don't get depredation tags..... period...

I am not trying to start a debate on how greedy or evil the landowners are, just looking for solutions.
 

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First question-> Have you researched who owns the land in your unit, knocked on any doors or contacted any landowners in your unit? Have you offered them $50 for access? I am not talking one or two landowners but every piece of property that holds elk. If you answered "no" to either question then why do you want the government to do your job for you?

Not putting down your idea but do we really need more government bureaucracy when a little leg work by the hunter can solve the problem. What is the incentive for the landowner to participate in your program aside from a background check, the individual hunter could offer that. I think if one was to spend time finding who owns the land and make some calls with a little cash in hand something could be worked out. If the landowner is unwilling to let someone trespass using this method then I don't see them letting someone on using a government sponsored program--I could be wrong but I don't think I am.
 

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The main issue will be that the great majority of private land owners already have more than enough family and friends who are wanting to hunt their lands. Although that might actually be an incentive for some land owners to join.....
 

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Isnt there already a program similar to that? I remember years ago my friend came across some Lake Shore? permits for Pheasant hunting in Utah County. The fences were marked with signs indicating the property owner was participating in the program and you could hunt their property. It was a long time ago though and memories take on a life of their own after a while so correct me if Im wrong.

It can be hard to find the owner of a specific piece of property at times so can see the logic in the proposal of such a program for big game. Alot of my time scouting last year was trying to find who owned the field, next to the road, down by the stop sign, across from the old barn. It can be a lot of work just to get shot down but thats the world we live in.
 

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This is obviously going to require the cooperation of the landowners, and so far I have not really provided any great incentive for them to do so.... here it is. If you don't cooperate, you don't get depredation tags..... period...

I am not trying to start a debate on how greedy or evil the landowners are, just looking for solutions.
So, the solution is entering the right number when you put in for your tag.

Depredation tags are provided to landowners to offset the amount of damage the animals (that everyone owns) do to the property that only property owners own. Think about it, if you were trying to grow barley in your fields and you had deer in there eating your profits all the time, how excited would you be about that? Deer start disappearing in the middle of the night.

Depredation hunts compensate land owners to give them an incentive to not have deer disappear in the middle of the night.

Owning land does not make you greedy or evil, in any degree. And, you'll find that approaching land owners with that mindset won't get you very far with them.

The solution after you enter the wrong number for your hunt is to talk to the land owners and see if they are willing to help you.

You don't need the government to find you a place to hunt.
 

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I'm not against this proposal, but don't see it as necessary either. I definitely do not need another gov't agency running background checks on me constantly to see if I am fit to trespass.

I recently sent a kindly worded letter to a landowner to request permission to trespass to hunt small game / coyotes. I included an offer to help repair fences, post the fence lines, or even pay the property taxes on the parcel in exchange...I sent a signed trespass permit for me and one for him, and a postage paid envelope already addressed so all he had to do was sign and send.

I have yet to receive a response...it's been quite a while. This is not the first time a landowner has denied or chosen not to respond to similar requests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In this unit the vast majority of the property is owned by Garff, Marchant and Brown families.... none of which have a readily accessible door to knock on. The places I have actually seen elk are simply open tracks of land (non-developed) with no house in site, just nice little red no trespassing signs. We have spoken to a couple of people that are willing to let us hunt on there little 40 acre parcels, but alas, no elk.....

There is a waterways access program similar to this already, but nothing for hunting.

Yes, for my immediate issue, putting the right number on the tag would have corrected it, that doesn't change the fact that the DWR has tags to fill, and no way to fill them. I am simply throwing out an idea that will help all parties involved. I am fully aware of what depredation hunts are, I am saying if they are not going to allow access so that Hunters can help cull the herd, then they shouldn't be granted them. "I know, if I keep all the **** hunters off my property, I can put in for depredation tags and fill my freezer for free!!"

I also am fully aware that the vast majority of land owners are neither greedy or evil (hence the statement "I am not trying to start a debate on how greedy....") Most of them have dealt with a bad seed not respecting their property, this is a potential work-around where all hunters are not lumped into the same category because of those bad seeds.
 

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Actually, the WIA program does have hunting and fishing lands available.

I don't think you understand the depredation/land owner tag system. Deer eat a farmer's crops. He loses money because he can't sell the crops eaten by the deer. In other words, he pays to feed the deer you want to shoot. Now you want to tell him that he also has to let you come on his land and shoot the deer he feeds or no one gets to hunt them?

The deer aren't free to the landowner. They cost him money. He has every right to be compensated for that with not-free deer to fill his freezer.

It's private property. That's the nice thing about private property. The owner doesn't have to let you on if he doesn't want to. And you can't penalize him for not letting you on because your (all of our) property damaged his land.

You would be better to offer the land owners MORE permits to allow the public come in - which is exactly what a CWMU is. You'd be better to advocate for a CWMU with smaller pieces of property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dodger, maybe there is a misunderstanding here. Participation does not guarantee access. The choice to allow access is still entirely up to the landowner. This provides 2 things, the ability to get the question to the landowner (without the landowner publicly displaying contact info), and the ability for the landowner to truly vet the people requesting access. I am not saying that landowners need to hand out access to every Tom, Dick, or EmmTee onto their property. I am saying that if a landowner is not even open to the question of access then they should not be able to get depredation tags. (again, I know exactly what they are and why they exist). I am looking for someway to get my question out there, when there is absolutely zero information on the property owner (have you tried looking at the summit county and wasatch county plat maps?
 

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Tom, Dick or EmmTee - I like that.

All of that information is available at the County Recorder's office. In fact, you can walk in and pull up a map on their computer with all of the property lines drawn into it. They'll have at least a name and a mailing address for every piece of property in there because that's where they send the property tax notices every year.

Like Kinekilla, a landowner may not respond to your letter. But nothing says he has to. But that's your avenue to get your question in front of him.

If you understand why depredation/landowner tags are given out, why are you still trying to make getting them contingent on giving access to public hunters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have spent days pouring over the county recorder maps (they are all online now) and while for some counties (Salt Lake in particular) the amount of information available to anyone with a computer is down right scary, for others the information is extremely scarce.

I am not making DTs contingent on granting access, I do feel they should be contingent on being willing to grant access. The person with a sign on their fence that says "No Hunting, Fishing, or Trespassing for ANY reason is allowed, violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law" (actual verbage from a sign adjacent to the WMA) should not then be allowed to submit for a DT. Having read the rules landowners can still be compensated.
"(1) The division may provide compensation to landowners or lessees for damage to cultivated crops on cleared and planted land, or fences or irrigation equipment on private land caused by big game animals pursuant to Sections 23-13-3 and 23-16-4.
(2) For purposes of compensation, all depredation incidents end on June 30 annually, but may be reinstated July 1."

Here is another EXTREME way to look at it......

You threw your Frisbee into my yard. I am not going to allow you to come get it. I then sue you to replace the grass destroyed because your Frisbee blocked the sun.
 

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I have spent days pouring over the county recorder maps (they are all online now) and while for some counties (Salt Lake in particular) the amount of information available to anyone with a computer is down right scary, for others the information is extremely scarce.
If you can't find the information you want online, it's because they don't put it online in every county. You'd do a lot better at the County Recorder's office.

I am not making DTs contingent on granting access, I do feel they should be contingent on being willing to grant access.
That's a distinction without a difference and would be laughable as a legal standard.

The person with a sign on their fence that says "No Hunting, Fishing, or Trespassing for ANY reason is allowed, violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law" (actual verbage from a sign adjacent to the WMA) should not then be allowed to submit for a DT. Having read the rules landowners can still be compensated.
"(1) The division may provide compensation to landowners or lessees for damage to cultivated crops on cleared and planted land, or fences or irrigation equipment on private land caused by big game animals pursuant to Sections 23-13-3 and 23-16-4.
(2) For purposes of compensation, all depredation incidents end on June 30 annually, but may be reinstated July 1."
Ok, so you want to pay them but not give them tags because they won't let people on their land? That's not workable either. The DWR prints it's own money with tags. It's WAY cheaper for them to pay in tags than it is to pay in money.

Here is another EXTREME way to look at it......

You threw your Frisbee into my yard. I am not going to allow you to come get it. I then sue you to replace the grass destroyed because your Frisbee blocked the sun.
You are talking about tresspass of chattels where no actual damage occurred to your property - (go ahead, try that in court and see how long the judge listens to you - I bet I could even get the judge to give me court costs because the lawsuit is ridiculous) in your example.

Now consider you are a farmer who has 100 acres of barley planted for this year. Now consider that every night, I come in with 100 people with 100 scythes (deer) and take (eat) 4-5 pounds of your barley every night per person. That results in actual compensable damage over time. Now multiply that by 400,000 farmers in Utah and see how much it would cost you in dollar terms to pay each farmer for that on a yearly basis.

The bottom line is that you are trying to do penalize landowners for not doing something they don't have to do by taking away something we already give them as compensation for doing the right thing.

I bet your shoe would be on the other foot if you owned property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dodger, it is obvious you don't think this is a good idea, you're entitled to your opinion. I will say this. If you will do nothing to mitigate, lessen, or prevent the damage then you have no right to expect recompense.

Good day and good luck!
 

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Reasonable people can disagree. But I will say that mitigating the damage is exactly what DWR is trying to avoid by giving out depredation/landowner tags. You can't tell landowners they can't shoot animals that are ruining their crops and then penalize the landowners for not shooting animals that are ruining their crops.

You have every right to expect recompense when someone else's property (the state's animals) do damage to your personal property.

Utah has more public land than 48 other states and property rights are the thing that makes America the wealthiest nation on the planet. You can't get upset when private property owners don't want the public traipsing around on their land or when they don't even want to talk to you about hunting on their land.
 
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