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North Dakota makes changes to trespassing laws

North Dakota makes changes to trespassing laws

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If you are hunting in North Dakota, you better have your phone with you. Thanks to Senate Bill 2144, which was signed into law in April, private landowners don’t have to worry about whether or not their posted signs are still hanging. SB 2144 now allows them to post their land electronically to an online database managed by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the Tri-State Livestock News reports.

Prior to the passage of SB 2144, any private land not posted was “considered open to hunting,” The new law changes this and makes it an interesting challenge to navigate for hunters who now must confirm whether the land is open for hunting via this site or a specific app. North Dakota is one of the the only states that allows anyone to enter private land if it is unposted. It is also the first state to use electronic posting for private land, according to the Tri-State Livestock News. SB2144 also changes how trespassers are charged. Officers now have several different options, depending on the severity of the offense. It also requires anyone entering unposted private land to have a valid hunting or fishing license.

“Senate Bill 2144 is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we work together and harness the power of technology to find new, innovative solutions to complex problems,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. “This bill will ensure that landowners and hunters alike have a convenient option for posting private land and checking its status, while also leaving the traditional posting process in place for those who wish to continue using it.”

Along with SB 2144, several other bills are making the rounds that will change North Dakota’s trespassing laws:

  • Senate Bill 2036 will continue “the legislative management study regarding access to lands and electronic posting” and work to expands the state’s online database.
  • House Bill 1113 “requires landowner permission prior to placing bait on private land.”

“Opportunities to access such a large portion of North Dakota’s private lands for hunting and angling is why the state is popular with nonresident sportsmen and women; a privilege not afforded in many other states. Recognizing this, the sportsmen’s community should be respectful of private land and communicate our appreciation to landowners who allow access at every opportunity,” wrote Nick Buggia, with Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation.

Stay tuned to goHUNT for further updates.

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