ohio's river hunting regulations

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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:25 am

I'm reposting this in the Ohio state forum since I'm sure you guys have more experience with this. My family owns some property in the north zone but I may also do some south river hunting during the Ohio season, especially on the Ohio River and its tributaries. I wanted to get input from others. I've asked ODNR once and they never got back to me, I just contacted them again so I'll wait and see. I wasn't able to find a rule in the ORC or OAC except 1547.30(B)(1) seems to read contrary to the website.

...

I know there are a lot of river hunters on here, and many of you are decoy hunters. I read a rule on Ohio's website that confused me. It basically says you can't anchor without written permission from the land owner. I know Kentucky recognizes a public right of use for what they call "temporary anchorage", which I think applies to boats, decoys, trot lines, etc. What has me all confused is why you can anchor to pleasure boat or to fish, but you can't if you're hunting?! It reads as if even a long line of decoys is illegal without landowner permission for the land under your floating decoys.

Has anyone had an Ohio DNR officer check your permission slip while hunting?

From the DNR website:
Hunting From Boats on Rivers
Written permission of the landowner is required by persons hunting from boats on rivers and streams when the boat is anchored, tied to the shore, or tied to any structure in the river. It is unlawful to place decoys in the river or to go ashore to retrieve game without the written permission of the landowner. The only exception to this law is when the river or stream passes through public property where hunting is allowed.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby ohio mike » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:15 pm

Yep you need permission but I've never heard of it being inforced. As long as you don't pi$$ anyone off it won't be a problem.Temporary anchoring pertains to emergency situations. I double checked the laws some time back because I own to the middle of the river behind my house and was curious.
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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:51 pm

So where's the regulation? I couldn't find it outside the website.

Temporary anchorage as defined by the KY supreme court is in the normal use of a waterway, not emergency situations. Searching Ohio regulations and case history I failed to find temporary anchorage ever defined or challenged.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby ohio mike » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:03 pm

I got my info from the local warden. You can try the wardens in the counties you will be hunting. Good luck, I don't know anybody who worries about it. I hunt the rivers of Northwest Ohio. Just use a little common sense and stay away from buildings.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby WOODIE13 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:12 pm

Depends a lot on the locale, for instance WV owns the river, not sure about KY or any reciprocity.
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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:36 am

Well, outside of jurisdiction issues, any river system within Ohio's border should have clearly defined laws without FUD on a website. As an update, ODNR communications folks confirmed the clarification request was sent to law enforcement but after 3 weeks they can't answer a simple legal citation request. Which is weird because to be given a ticket it needs to be able to cite a law. As time goes on with no response I'm more convinced this is a false statement by ODNR's website.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby HNTFSH » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:56 am

Reminds me of my Concealed Carry permit authorized as a Utah non-Resident. Reciprocity in Ohio as long as following Ohio laws.

That doesn't mean a local Ohio LEO will know as much as I do about it's legitimacy.

Which then means if questioned..how much hassle do I endure being 'right'.

As far as anchor and decoy lines I agree with Mike. It's landowner permission for their river bottom. I know several who have been ticketed for it however. Seems to me river areas are patrolled looking for the obvious violation and game wardens do know the law and enforce because they have dealt with it time and again.
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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:41 pm

How are decoy anchors any different than boat anchors? Or trotline anchors?
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:32 am

mike_b wrote:How are decoy anchors any different than boat anchors? Or trotline anchors?


Think Ohio believes that if anything is touching bottom you're trespassing right? KY 'temporary anchorage' only applies in KY I'd guess.

I do know many of the rivers I've floated to hunt would be a mess if some guy was anchored with a spread and folks tried to navigate around it/through it all day. But those aren't the likes of the 'Ohio' and such.
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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:52 am

Well, I'm gonna poke ODNR for clarification again. Still doesn't answer how trotline and boat anchors aren't trespassing but decoys are. The website implies an officer can ticket you if you don't have a written permission slip in possession. Ohio law only allows for mooring trespassing etc away from a dock to kick in after 72 hours AND if the owner complains IIRC.

I'm not to worried about the big Ohio, more tributaries I might run up or hunt near some property north of Dayton. I might take a small boat and hunt some instate rivers.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:16 am

mike_b wrote:Well, I'm gonna poke ODNR for clarification again. Still doesn't answer how trotline and boat anchors aren't trespassing but decoys are. The website implies an officer can ticket you if you don't have a written permission slip in possession. Ohio law only allows for mooring trespassing etc away from a dock to kick in after 72 hours AND if the owner complains IIRC.

I'm not to worried about the big Ohio, more tributaries I might run up or hunt near some property north of Dayton. I might take a small boat and hunt some instate rivers.


Did you actually see Ohio law that says boat anchor isn't trespassing without written permission (for Ohio)?
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby ohio mike » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:12 am

mike_b wrote:Well, I'm gonna poke ODNR for clarification again. Still doesn't answer how trotline and boat anchors aren't trespassing but decoys are. The website implies an officer can ticket you if you don't have a written permission slip in possession. Ohio law only allows for mooring trespassing etc away from a dock to kick in after 72 hours AND if the owner complains IIRC.

I'm not to worried about the big Ohio, more tributaries I might run up or hunt near some property north of Dayton. I might take a small boat and hunt some instate rivers.


Don't know where you getting the trotline and anchor thing. If you touch the bottom with anything your tresspassing. The only exception is an emergency. This has been enforced on the Maumee River during the spring Walleye run. But only by landowner request.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:33 pm

ohio mike wrote:
Don't know where you getting the trotline and anchor thing. If you touch the bottom with anything your tresspassing. The only exception is an emergency. This has been enforced on the Maumee River during the spring Walleye run. But only by landowner request.


That's exactly were I keep getting stuck on this thread. I know on several waterways here if you were anchored..the drifting hunters would call the GW before the landowner even found out. :lol3:
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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:11 pm

HNTFSH wrote:Did you actually see Ohio law that says boat anchor isn't trespassing without written permission (for Ohio)?


Yes. Ohio revised code 1547.30(B)(1) requires two conditions before a vessel can be ordered into storage by the local sheriff / chief when outside of a mooring facility or structure. It must be there 72 hours and any person adversely affected can report it (not just the owner now that I reread the passage).

The ODNR page says it is illegal to anchor a boat. My references are assuming they are using this statue and in which case I believe it is misrepresented. They also say its illegal to place decoys in water, not even to anchor them. I won't know what law they are citing because they don't provide a reference and they haven't responded.

I think it would be impossible to defend anchoring to structure or a tree or even private shore. Or physically being on their land (that's criminal trespass). But in a navigable steam, I think without any specific law in place prohibiting it, the river bottom should be available for mooring and I think the current Ohio law specifically provides for this.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:06 am

Be interesting to see what you find out. It looks like maybe what you've cited applies to most waterways in terms of mooring etc. I couldn't find previously read law but am fairly certain the river thing clearly states that river bottom is land owner property so game laws and watercraft laws don't really matter. If you're parked on their land, anchor, feet, or decoy weight...you are trespassing.

Let us know what you find out though...be nice to park river bottom in some cases.
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ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:24 pm

I'll update when I hear back. I read the Ohio boat operators guide and it too doesn't mention a restriction on anchoring without landowner permission. The operators guide does a good job of citing the law for reference, but there are some uncited common sense warnings. There is a restriction on anchoring where blocking the stream.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:34 am

I'm guessing what you're after isn't a law related to any of the ODNR regulations but rather civil. While state regs may point to related restrictions...trespassing is trespassing whether you're hunting, fishing, boating or just walking your dog.
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Re: ohio's river hunting regulations

Postby mike_b » Thu Aug 16, 2012 7:44 am

HNTFSH wrote:I'm guessing what you're after isn't a law related to any of the ODNR regulations but rather civil. While state regs may point to related restrictions...trespassing is trespassing whether you're hunting, fishing, boating or just walking your dog.


IANAL, but from what I've seen other states do, submerged lands are subject to riparian rights laws. Basically meaning that non-submerged land is bound by different rules as the submerged land is governed by riparian rights. Now each state interprets these different such as some allow ownership of land to the middle of the stream, others say the low water mark is the demarcation of private land ownership. However, all case law I've seen has always found that the riparian rights, all of them, are subject to various reasonable uses. If there is not explicit law, case law would be needed to interpret the common law meaning for Ohio.

This document from OSU helps to cite old Ohio case law on riparian rights.
http://senr.osu.edu/images/Principles_of_Water.pdf

Of note:
Right to go on navigable waters. Despite this private ownership, the public has a
right to go upon any water that is "navigable". Cases in recent decades have broadened the
meaning of this word, but they have not defined it so that one may be certain that he is not a
trespasser, or that his activity on or in the water is lawful. Certain principles are established,
however, warranting assumptions that offer the recreational user of a stream legal reassurance
on many miles of Ohio streams that have not been specifically adjudicated as "navigable".


Mooring a boat. From an early time, a person using a navigable river had the right
to moor in front of private land to do such things as repair his engine, since this was an
"incident of navigation and commerce".1 The right of the shore owner to the water "is but a
usufructory right, a right to enjoy that which belongs to another . . ." and "that other, as to the
water of a navigable stream, is the public for, in Ohio, it is established law, that navigable rivers
are public highways".2 However, a ship owner has no right to run a line to shore.3


Fishing and hunting by boat. A right that adheres to any waters that are navigable,
and thus "public", is the right to the public to fish.1 It is not so clear that hunting is one of these
uses, but arguably it is. In State v. Shannon2 the Court held that a statute which prohibits
hunting on posted land included a privately-owned streambed under navigable water. However,
that statute has been repealed. The present statute states:
"No person shall hunt or trap upon any lands, pond, lake, or private waters of
another, except water claimed by riparian right of ownership in adjacent lands, or
shoot, shoot at, catch, kill, injure, or pursue a wild bird, wild waterfowl, or wild
animal thereon with out obtaining written permission from the owner or this
authorized agent."3
This statue does not prohibit hunting or trapping on navigable waters.


This is an old publication, but still used as reference by the ODNR http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/4038/Default.aspx
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