When are you considered hunting?

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When are you considered hunting?

Postby msmall » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:00 am

I have a sculler that I use on the upper Potomac. An area that would love to hunt is privately owned river bottom. I want to anchor off watch the birds thru binoculars then when I locate a workable group, pull up anchor, load the gun, and scull into them. Trouble is I hear the people who own the bottom will call the cops in a heartbeat. By keeping my gun unloaded until after I pull up anchor will I be considered not hunting until I load the gun?
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Re: When are you considered hunting?

Postby PSUbuzz » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:20 am

On privately owned bottom/river/islands... It is considered trespassing to drop anchor on private bottom without permission. It is trespassing to throw your anchor on a rock or island that is privately owned without permission. If you were per say on public water close to that private stretch anchored, but still anchored in public, you are fine where you are. But if you pulled up anchor and loaded your gun, and floated down into said private stretch with the intent of shooting your gun at ducks that were at rest on private, then in my opinion you are hunting on private property without permission...(im not the officer that is checking you, its all up to that officer). I would say as soon as you uncased your gun and loaded it, you are then in the act of hunting. You can unload and float through that stretch, but Im pretty sure its illegal to drop anchor, get out and wade, walk on the private islands, and "hunt".

I do know a few NRP officers and have heard some stories. Recently 2 younger guys were hunting a pasture near me. An officer pulled over when he saw the layout blinds and decoys for a standard field check. The guys were calling at geese, had decoys out, but couldnt get the birds to come in and had not harvested any birds(I heard their calling wasnt helping their cause much). When the officer approached and asked for their licenses, they said they were just practicing. The officer asked if they had guns in their blinds, they said yes. Officer asked if the guns were loaded, and they were. Neither guy had a fed stamp, or a plug in their shotgun.Sounds like a pretty open and closed case of a pair of guys that dont normally waterfowl hunt so didnt know or didnt think theyd get checked, and they got caught and were lying out their rears and just didnt have any dead birds to really get caught red handed. It seemed like they were actively pursuing game though, and I think they probably got tickets. Its up to the officer that checks you in the end.

Why not try to set up decoys up on public and try to decoy them in when they fly in the morning? Its a lot of funnnnnnn
does having multiple screen names on a forum and having a conversation with yourself make you an extra special rock star hunter?
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Re: When are you considered hunting?

Postby msmall » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:38 pm

That was one aspect I hadnt thought about. I think even if I wasn't hunting the minute I dropped anchor I'd definitely be trespassing. Instead I think I will push up current and scull down current. They may own the bottom and the islands but I'm pretty sure they don't own the water. Thanks for the insight.
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