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A hunting license is not a license to trespass, but state laws treat hunters differently when it comes to trespassing. Some states have laws that specifically address trespassing while hunting, and others rely simply on the general trespassing statutes of the state. In about half of the states posting is not required to prevent trespassing; that is, it is against the law for hunters to trespass on private property without the landowner’s permission even if the land is not posted. Where posting is required, some states have laws specifying how to post land. In some states, trespass while in possession of a firearm is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine up to $5,000. A few states have laws that address hunters trespassing to retrieve dogs or wounded animals. In most states, however, hunters may not retrieve dogs or wounded animals if they cannot legally hunt on that land.

Inside Hunting