Nevada is more than eighty percent public land, almost all of it open to hunting, but some sportsmen still mistakenly enter private property. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) receives reports every year of hunters trespassing, damaging private property and even releasing livestock from pastures or private property.
“Trespassing is a real problem and something we take very seriously,” said Mike Maynard, Chief Game Warden for NDOW. “In all my years as a game warden I have found that nearly all of these problems could have been avoided if people had used a little common sense while out in the field.”
The Nevada Department of Wildlife wants to remind everyone that hunting on someone else’s land is a privilege, not a right. Common courtesy can go a long way towards establishing good hunter-landowner relations in the future. Refer to NRS 207.200 for more information.
It is considered trespassing if a person willfully goes on or remains on any land after having been warned by the owner or occupant not to trespass. This “warning” can include the following:
- Painting with fluorescent orange paint on the following:
- A structure or natural object or the top 12 inches of a post, at intervals of such a distance as is necessary to ensure that at it is within the direct line of sight of a person standing next to another such structure, natural object or post.
- Each side of all gates, cattle guards and openings that are designed to allow human ingress to the area;
- Fencing the area;
- Posting “no trespassing” signs or other notice of like meaning at intervals of such a distance as is necessary to ensure that at least one such sign would be within the direct line of sight of a person standing next to another such sign, and each corner of the land.
- Using the area as cultivated land. “Cultivated land” means land that has been cleared of its natural vegetation and is presently planted with a crop.
Tips to use when hunting on private property:
- Access to and across private lands is a privilege granted by the landowner. Not all roads are public roads. Traveling on private roads without permission to access other lands is akin to someone walking through your house to reach a neighbor’s home.
- Bring a good map showing private and public land ownership. Know where you are. Internet map sources may not be very accurate and there may be no cell service in rural areas.
- Build good relationships with land owners by asking permission.
- Leave gates the way you find them and make sure everyone in your party knows that. If a rancher wants a gate left open, it will be hung back on the fence, not lying on the ground.
- Leave the land better than you find it – pick up all trash you find and take it with you.
- Camp away from water sources for the benefit of wildlife and livestock.
- Report hunter misconduct. Misbehaving hunters jeopardize the use of resources for all hunters.
- Stay on existing roads.
- When granted access, bring only the number of hunters expected by your host.
- Respect locked gates, no trespassing signs and orange-painted gate posts. They all mean stay out.
- Do not attempt to remove or relocate livestock or wildlife.
- Send a thank you note.