North Dakota Legislature takes aim at hunting bills

Dylan Sherman

BISMARCK — North Dakota prides itself on creating an environment beneficial to hunters, and several pieces of legislation under consideration this session aim to build on that.

The hunting bills still alive, having passed in the House or Senate, have all had strong support from a majority of lawmakers and move now to the other chamber, where they will go through more committee hearings.

The legislature is working on a bill relating to trespassing on private land. SB 2144 would allow landowners to designate their land as closed to hunting through an online database.

The legislature is working on a bill relating to trespassing on private land. SB 2144 would allow landowners to designate their land as closed to hunting through an online database. The bill also detailed punishments for those who disregard the posting, including making it a class C felony to illegally enter a highly secured premises.

Sen. Robert Erbele, R-Lehr, is the prime sponsor of the bill and said it would be beneficial to all.

“All land is considered open unless it’s posted physically or electronically,” Erbele said. “It gives a fair number of our landowners what they have been looking for in terms of property rights.”

During the bill’s committee hearing in January, lawmakers heard testimony that some landowners had to use multiple types of vehicles to get around their property to make sure it was accurately posted.

Erbele said the bill also states that all fenced land is considered closed, except to lawful hunters and anglers.

“That means that all properties that have a fence around it, is now going to be considered closed,” he said.

If there is no physical or electronic posting, hunters will be able to enter the land, Erbele said.

“It gives a fair number of our landowners what they have been looking for in terms of property rights,” he said. “They don’t have to question who is out there.”

The bill also detailed punishments for those who disregard the posting, including making it a class C felony to illegally enter a highly secured premises.

Adding fluorescent pink as a color while big game hunting, through Senate Bill 2143, is another popular piece of hunting legislation still alive.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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