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Permission from Tenant to Hunt Private Land

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Pointdogs5
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10/16/09 1:18 PM CST
I have been hunting a river strictly keeping my feet wet, but became interested in gaining access to the shoreline. I approached a home located on the plot that bordered the section of river I had been hunting to find out that they rented the home. The land was also farmed by a person different from the landowner. The landowner, I believe may be located in Milwaukee. The tenant living in the home had no problem with me hunting on the shoreline. Is this enough permission to legally be there? I have been unable to locate any address or phone number of the actual land owner. From what I have read, trying to search this topic, it can be quite confusing depending on what is written into the leases on the land. The land I would be hunting on is not an established farm field or pasture, so I would guess it wouldn't be involved with the farmers lease. The tenant also mentioned that he had already given permission for his brother in law to hunt, so I wouldn't be the first he had given permission to. Any tips?

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shadrap
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2/7/10 9:45 AM CST
Go ahead and hunt. A warden is not going to "try" and find the LO if you doing everything like you should be, LEGAL. They protect natural resources and not others land.

johnmal
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1/26/10 3:25 PM CST
If you do a search you will find in information from the US Army Corps of Engineers a list containing specific “navigable waters”. The list have waterways that have been “found” by a court of law to be navigable (the cases are listed where the complete finding can be found with the numerical articulation)

cds
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1/26/10 11:45 AM CST
I found this thread while looking for tips on asking a riparian landowner for permission to access a lake for ice fishing.

However,I've had another thought (or question) regarding "navigable waterways" for some time. For me - now that seining wild minnows is no longer legal - it's a moot point. But it's still a nagging question.

There's been three times over the years when a landowner claimed the waterway abutting their property (in these cases,a creek) was exempt. In all three cases,a canoe could be used in portions of that creek(s) even during low water.

In two of the three cases,I was working on a property and mentioned to the landowner that I'd been in the creek in the past,seining minnows. I chose not to argue the point as it's never a good idea to argue with a customer. Besides,I was granted "permission" during those discussions. In the third case,I told him to "call a cop - I'm not leaving 'til I'm done.". Nothing came of it.

But are there any natural,navigable waterways that are "exempt"? (besides a fish refuge,a dangerous area below a dam,or other such places).

up-north
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10/17/09 2:45 PM CST
What I was saying, is that when in doubt, get the landowners permission. The leasee (as farmer and depending upon terms of lease) usually has no rights but that what he has lease for(inmost cases crop)has no authority giving permission to private land other than helping crop producer harvest or plant. No giving permission or denying permission to hunt. That is left up to the landowner. What are public and navigable waterways? Public lakes, rivers, and streams have a bottom (bed) and side (bank), and enough water to float ANY boat, skiff, or canoe of the shallowest draft on a reoccurring basis. Occasionally, barriers such as wood or plant debris may impede actual navigation, but waters are public even when multiple portages are required to get around obstructions. A waterway does not need to be regularly used for recreational or other general purposes, but is a public waterway based on its capacity to be navigable and public.

.westsidebenny
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10/17/09 1:07 PM CST
lookin 4 pny,

I wasn't talking about your post. Sorry if you thought I was.

WSB

lookn' 4 PnY
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10/17/09 8:44 AM CST
"You guys that say don't worry, "sounds like the owner will never find out" are real class acts. I guess an excuse to trespass no matter how thin is better than no excuse at all."

What?? I guess in my first post I should have specified to have the tennant get you written permission from the landowner.

If you can get the permission in writing from the landowner you willl be good to go. Seems like it should be easy to get the landowners contact information. The more you can cover your butt the better off you will be.

[This post was last edited on 10/17/09 at 8:48 AM]
Docknboatlift
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10/16/09 9:23 PM CST
Go ahead and hunt. You've got all you need.

up-north
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10/16/09 7:29 PM CST
You have broached a couple of items here that need to be cleared up.... On a lease, the farmer in this case has use of the land for only the use of the lease, say growing crops. He does not have the right to grant hunting rights to anyone...you, himself or his brother...that rests exclusively with the landowner. Two...all non man made waters are public domain. Access is provided by law. Use by the public cannot be denied. Walking along banks of a stream is also within your rights....

The Public Trust Doctrine Wisconsin's Waters Belong to Everyone

Wisconsin lakes and rivers are public resources, owned in common by all Wisconsin citizens under the state's Public Trust Doctrine. Based on the state constitution, this doctrine has been further defined by case law and statute. It declares that all navigable waters are "common highways and forever free", and held in trust by the Department of Natural Resources. Assures Public Rights in Waters

CanoeingWisconsin citizens have pursued legal and legislative action to clarify or change how this body of law is interpreted and implemented. As a result, the public interest, once primarily interpreted to protect public rights to transportation on navigable waters, has been broadened to include protected public rights to water quality and quantity, recreational activities, and scenic beauty.(1)

All Wisconsin citizens have the right to boat, fish, hunt, ice skate, and swim on navigable waters, as well as enjoy the natural scenic beauty of navigable waters, and enjoy the quality and quantity of water that supports those uses.(2)

Wisconsin law recognizes that owners of lands bordering lakes and rivers - "riparian" owners - hold rights in the water next to their property. These riparian rights include the use of the shoreline, reasonable use of the water, and a right to access the water. However, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has ruled that when conflicts occur between the rights of riparian owners and public rights, the public's rights are primary and the riparian owner's secondary.(1) What are Wisconsin's stream and lake access laws?

Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine requires the state to intervene to protect public rights in the commercial or recreational use of navigable waters. The DNR, as the state agent charged with this responsibility, can do so through permitting requirements for water projects, through court action to stop nuisances in navigable waters, and through statutes authorizing local zoning ordinances that limit development along navigable waterways.

The court has ruled that DNR staff, when they review projects that could impact Wisconsin lakes and rivers, must consider the cumulative impacts of individual projects in their decisions. "A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin State Supreme Court justices in their opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC.(2)

The fact is that you do not need permission in order to use the shoreline, but contacting the landowner always is a good first, and respectful move.

Pointdogs5
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10/16/09 5:08 PM CST
I am certainly not an advocate of trespassing at any level. I would have no problem keeping my feet wet and not letting it become an issue at all. However, just to be the devils advocate I propose this situation. As a former tenant myself, I was allowed to have guests over on the property I lived in. Legally, however I was responsible for reporting to my landlord any long term guests. Since the tenant allowed my being there on the plot, that would make me a guest. As long as I am not engaged in illegal activities, I don't see why the tenant wouldn't have the right to give permission. They are after all paying for the right to use the property. If in their lease agreement they are allowed to have guests, and mentions nothing about hunting then there would be nothing the landlord can do other than tell me to leave and write up a new lease agreement. I have nothing against contacting the landowner which I will certainly as soon as I can get their contact info from the tenant. I just wanted to show that tenants do have rights over the landlord in some situations.

.westsidebenny
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10/16/09 2:39 PM CST
You guys that say don't worry, "sounds like the owner will never find out" are real class acts. I guess an excuse to trespass no matter how thin is better than no excuse at all. Angry

.westsidebenny
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10/16/09 1:40 PM CST
Unless the tenant has it in his lease that he has the right to allow people on the land the answer is definitely NO. He has no right to give the permission and the landowner may in fact feel VERY differently...might not even allow the tenant hunting rights. Don't mean to rain on the parade but I am sure those are the facts.

Chauncey421
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10/16/09 1:34 PM CST
If you've been in contact with the tenant, I would think they'd be able to give you contact info for the owner. Maybe I'm reading in between the lines, but it sounds like you don't want to go that far, on the chance that the answer will be no.

As to your question.. on the one hand, I'd think you'd be OK, cause if anyone were to report you, it'd be the tenant. But on the other hand, I don't think permission from the tenant would hold up in court -- a tenant has no right to make contracts (either written or verbal) on the owner's behalf. And if you get checked by a warden, they'd probably contact the owner.

And knowing my own luck, the day I decided to hunt would be the one day the owner decided to show up. Just my $.02.

lookn' 4 PnY
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10/16/09 1:27 PM CST
I would ask the tenant to confirm with his landlord that this is ok, and see if the tenant will give you permission in writing. Meanwhile I would hunt there, I find it highly doubtful anyone would press charges considering the circumstances.

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