Anyone venturing to the out of doors this season should be aware of what’s changed before heading into the field, as Idaho’s latest trespass law is officially on the books.
“Trespass laws have changed, but the core philosophies have not,” the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Enforcement Bureau Chief Greg Wooten said. “It’s still the sportsman’s responsibility to know when they’re on private property and obtain permission to be there.”
Among the biggest changes is how private land is posted.
Under the new law, a person should know land is private and they are not allowed on the property without permission. Property associated with a residence or business, cultivated or fenced land, or land enclosed in a way that visibly separates private property should be considered private, according to IDFG.
Landowners must post unfenced and uncultivated land with easily-visible “No Trespassing” signs or bright orange or fluorescent paint at each property corner and boundary where the property intersects waterways, roads, trails or rights-of-way.
The best way for hunters and anglers to document that they are allowed on private land is to get written permission from the landowner, according to Idaho Fish and Game. A permission form is available in the 2018 Big Game Season and Rules booklet and at any county sheriff’s office.
Other methods of permission are still valid, but written permission, “is the most solid permission you can have,” Wooten said.
Idaho Fish and Game’s online hunting maps (idfg.idaho.gov) provide a rough sketch of public land in the state.
The new law also increases the penalties for trespassing. Mandatory one-year revocation of hunting and fishing privileges and stiff fines for repeat offenders are outlined in the law, and anyone convicted three times of trespassing could be charged with a felony. Idaho Fish and Game has a webpage outlining the law at (https://idfg.idaho.gov/2018-trespass-law).