sc waterbody question

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sc waterbody question

Postby scdc » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:54 pm

I got a question that I haven't had a for sure answer from anyone. When I duck hunt, alot of times I float small creeks and set up on small creeks etc that I float down in a 12' jon boat. If you are hunting on the creek and do not get out of the boat and the creek runs through someone's property, is that considered trespassing?? I've avoided hunting areas that I know people own because of the slim possibility they would say something one day.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby Red Huck » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:58 pm

If you get out of the boat your trespassing.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby scdc » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:55 pm

Thanks for the reply.. does that apply even if you are still in the creek? It's a shallow creek, maybe 3 feet deep. Sometimes I stand in it in waders.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby carolinagreenhead » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:01 pm

As long as you are in your boat or the creek and not on the bank the you should be good to go. There should be water between you and dry land.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby scpuddle38 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:35 pm

I have some guys doing this to my land i have in the upstate floatin down the creek to a beaver pond on my land they get out one or twice to cross beaver dams. I have trail cameras come next year im gonna catch them
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby scdc » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:35 pm

Thanks for the clarification guys.. Good to go for next season!
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby creekgeek » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:12 am

carolinagreenhead wrote:As long as you are in your boat or the creek and not on the bank the you should be good to go. There should be water between you and dry land.


There are some places that folks own the land under the creek. If that is the case then no, you can't even stand in the creek. You have to look at tax maps to determine this. But with that being said most bodies of water are considered "navigable" by the state and therefore legal for you to be in. DHEC has a navigable waters webpage that shows all the state's navigable waters.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby carolinagreenhead » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:10 pm

creekgeek wrote:
carolinagreenhead wrote:As long as you are in your boat or the creek and not on the bank the you should be good to go. There should be water between you and dry land.


There are some places that folks own the land under the creek. If that is the case then no, you can't even stand in the creek. You have to look at tax maps to determine this. But with that being said most bodies of water are considered "navigable" by the state and therefore legal for you to be in. DHEC has a navigable waters webpage that shows all the state's navigable waters.


How do you own land "under" a creek. Explain that.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby Cajunwannabe » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:57 pm

I believe he is referring to "Riparian" water rights. If you are paddling thru "my land" and you step foot out of your vessel, you can be charged with trespass.

Whoever owns the land along the river (the riparian owner) also owns the property rights to the river bed. They don’t own the water itself, only the land it passes over;
If a river doesn’t have a public right of navigation and you haven’t got consent from the riparian owner, you are committing trespass by paddling on or even wading in it;

If folks are asking questions such as this on a forum, they ultimately know the answer to their question but are attempting to justify trespass. If you gotta ask, ASK A GAME WARDEN and get it in writing.

"When in doubt.....don't"
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby scdc » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:30 pm

Cajunwannabe wrote:I believe he is referring to "Riparian" water rights. If you are paddling thru "my land" and you step foot out of your vessel, you can be charged with trespass.

Whoever owns the land along the river (the riparian owner) also owns the property rights to the river bed. They don’t own the water itself, only the land it passes over;
If a river doesn’t have a public right of navigation and you haven’t got consent from the riparian owner, you are committing trespass by paddling on or even wading in it;

If folks are asking questions such as this on a forum, they ultimately know the answer to their question but are attempting to justify trespass. If you gotta ask, ASK A GAME WARDEN and get it in writing.

"When in doubt.....don't"

Obviously I didn't know the answer smart as*. If you actually read my post I said I have not hunted these areas as I wanted clarification from someone that knew the rules for this. Since there is not a DNR office near me anymore, that is out of the question when I can do a quick post on a forum of duck hunters who would most likely know the answer. That is what a forum is for and I've never had a problem with so many people complaining about this and that from someone's post on any other forum besides this one.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby carolinagreenhead » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:37 pm

scdc wrote:
Cajunwannabe wrote:I believe he is referring to "Riparian" water rights. If you are paddling thru "my land" and you step foot out of your vessel, you can be charged with trespass.

Whoever owns the land along the river (the riparian owner) also owns the property rights to the river bed. They don’t own the water itself, only the land it passes over;
If a river doesn’t have a public right of navigation and you haven’t got consent from the riparian owner, you are committing trespass by paddling on or even wading in it;

If folks are asking questions such as this on a forum, they ultimately know the answer to their question but are attempting to justify trespass. If you gotta ask, ASK A GAME WARDEN and get it in writing.

"When in doubt.....don't"

Obviously I didn't know the answer smart as*. If you actually read my post I said I have not hunted these areas as I wanted clarification from someone that knew the rules for this. Since there is not a DNR office near me anymore, that is out of the question when I can do a quick post on a forum of duck hunters who would most likely know the answer. That is what a forum is for and I've never had a problem with so many people complaining about this and that from someone's post on any other forum besides this one.


I think you misunderstood his meaning. I didn't read it the same way you did. You need to chill out.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby carolinagreenhead » Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:40 pm

Cajunwannabe wrote:I believe he is referring to "Riparian" water rights. If you are paddling thru "my land" and you step foot out of your vessel, you can be charged with trespass.

Whoever owns the land along the river (the riparian owner) also owns the property rights to the river bed. They don’t own the water itself, only the land it passes over;
If a river doesn’t have a public right of navigation and you haven’t got consent from the riparian owner, you are committing trespass by paddling on or even wading in it;

If folks are asking questions such as this on a forum, they ultimately know the answer to their question but are attempting to justify trespass. If you gotta ask, ASK A GAME WARDEN and get it in writing.

"When in doubt.....don't"


Now that I understand what you were talking about.....lol. That's the key right there.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby Cajunwannabe » Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:37 pm

Sorry you think I'm being smart SCDC. You said you're avoiding hunting areas that people own......it's because they do.

The days of dropping a canoe or kayak off a bridge and float shooting for ducks are drawing to a close as private landowners flex their "rights" and cut off access to areas to hunt. With some effort and a few phone calls you may be surprised that you can obtain access and float these areas. You don't have to hunt at the first light (which is extremely annoying to homeowners) and you may gain access that no one else has. I made 3 mid-day floats last season and killed 10 birds for my effort all through private un-hunted waters.

If you ever have a concern or question about an area you'd like to hunt, call SCDNR Law Enforcement, get their evaluation, get it in writing and carry a laminated copy with you. If you need to obtain access, tax maps are your best friend and will open many doors if you act right and treat the landowner with respect.

Good luck.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby Spottail » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:59 pm

scpuddle, navigable waters are navigable waters.
A beaver dam doesn't make them impassible by law.

They are legal on all accounts until they get out on your land. The beaver dam, that impedes the natural flow of navigable water doesn't not constitute trespassing.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby scpuddle38 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:03 pm

Spotail thats what i ment when they cross the damnthey carry the boat around it and also they park the boat and drag it up on the bank and walk about 100 yards to my beaver pond. Chould i still say somethin they walk along the creek bank.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby carolinagreenhead » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:43 pm

scpuddle38 wrote:Spotail thats what i ment when they cross the damnthey carry the boat around it and also they park the boat and drag it up on the bank and walk about 100 yards to my beaver pond. Chould i still say somethin they walk along the creek bank.


I would venture to say they are trespassing in that case. I would call DNR to ask them though. You would have to call them anyway to prosecute.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby callumcuffumkillum » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:23 am

Ive also found this a tricky subject and scdnr website does not give much information on it. All i could find was that any water navigable by boat was public water in SC and i already knew this. I have never heard of creeks being owned by people or rather the land underneath it making it so that you cant use the creek. If you say it is so then ill take your word for it and ask a warden about it. As for beaver damns, yall are saying i can legally cross a natural structure such as a beaver dam as long as i stay in the channel between the banks? I had just always assumed you couldnt but my hunting would be a lot better if i can. I asked a warden one time a couple years ago about accessing water and he told me that as long as i could reach the water from public or private land that i had permission to be on and then i could could go anywhere i wanted to as long as i stayed in the water from there on.
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby Woodiewacker » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:22 am

Here in Beaufort last season some guys were hunting in a easily accessed creek..it was posted clearly as "kings Grant"..i didnt hunt it due to being told that it was trespassing..The creek was dug by hand 120yrs ago...therefore they own the creek bed...Dnr wrote those hunters up for trespassing...Funny thing is the land owner has a stack of paper next to the front door during hunting season..all you do is knock on the door and they will give you a permission slip!!! Kings grant land is tricky due to open navigble water and ease of access....
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Re: sc waterbody question

Postby rrconductor » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:03 pm

King's Grant you better not get out of the boat, I am here to tell you that, learned that in Georgetown cnty.
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