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Old May 15, 2011, 3:06 am   #1
Weioo
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Name: Brandon
Southern, Michigan USA
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What to do if vacant private land isnt posted

My wife and I only ever had one spot we found last year that produced 2 (very old) whites we found, and two dozen half-frees. This year we hit the jackpot and ended up with 30 (1"+ cap) good sized half-frees and another 60 smaller ones (From our experience they never grow much, once they pop, after 24-48 hours they don't grow much at all anymore).

What's more exciting, we found 10 fresh whites there as well the other day. That was refreshing and awesome as we only ever end up with a ton of half-frees which are typically smaller and not as meaty, especially after the snails get to half of them.

Today as we parked and ran into this 4 acre-sized piece of woodland that backs up to a neighborhood and a traffic light, which has ZERO posted signs, we got about 10 feet in and....! A guy drives up in a 4x4 pick-up. He yells "I have this land posted all around here!" in a rather stern/aggressive way, like he's annoyed that people are trespassing on his land.

So how does this work since we cannot see a posted sign anywhere in sight, even from the 2 cross roads/traffic light that the forest backs up to? Did this guy just scare us off?

There was another car parked on the same side street and obviously hunting the same woods for the same reason. We asked him about that car and he said he thought we drove separately. I told him nope, they are obviously doing the same thing we do here (we know many others hunt for morels there as we've seen/talked to them). He drives off about 50 yards away and seems like he's waiting for the other SUV to leave so he can yell at them too.....ORRRRRR He's keeping watch/scouting as his friends (who drove the other SUV parked there) are picking ALL the shrooms back there!??!?!?! lol

Seriously though, considering there are no posted signs anywhere and there's no house there (land seems vacant, not even a developers sale sign), and it's not possible to tell who owns the property really, can we hunt there or should we just take this guys' word? Should we ask him for some sort of proof/name or something?

Just curious how to handle this situation. We will be very sad panda's if we lose this spot. :(
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Old May 15, 2011, 10:51 am   #2
Rustydel2
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Jackson
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

Recreational Trespass
The Recreational Trespass Act applies to specific types of trespass. One type of recreational trespass involves a person entering the non-farming property of another to engage in recreational activity without the owner's consent. That type of property must be either fenced or otherwise enclosed, or posted with a sign prohibiting trespassing that meets certain requirements. Another type of recreational trespass involves a person entering farm property, and wooded areas connected to it, for any recreational activity without the owner's consent. Farm property does not need to be fenced, otherwise enclosed or contain a posted sign prohibiting trespassing. So in a nutshell -if you don't have permission-don't trasspass on other peoples land.
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Old May 15, 2011, 11:04 am   #3
MorelBelle
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

Don't want to be a stick in the mud but you can find out who owns the land by contacting the local municipality and reviewing the plat maps. Once you determine who the owner of record is, you will then be able to ask permission. Until then I am with Rustydel2---don't tresspass.
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Old May 15, 2011, 11:33 am   #4
Weioo
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

I agree Joanne, I do plan on calling up and finding out who owns the land, and hopefully calling and ask permission.

I think the whole thing was a hoax. An hour after this happened, after we check another nearby spot on STATE LAND (lol) we drove by and saw the black truck and other SUV had left, but another, DIFFERENT SUV was parked there, obviously morel hunting.

I always was skeptical to hunt there because it's ACROSS the street from state land (there is a sign on the corner of the property FOR the nearby state land) but since there were no posted signs, others hunted there, and it was our ONLY "spot," I guess we figured it was ok...Until now. :(
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Old May 15, 2011, 12:29 pm   #5
jeepfreak
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

Do not listen to what everyone tells you on here. Yes, you can get into trouble for being on someone's property without permission. Farmer's prosecute people for trespassin on their properties all the time. Why would you enter ANY property without making sure you either have permission or it is open to the public? In my opinion, you are just asking for trouble.

I know you don't want to hear this but one of these days, you are going to get shot or something.
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Old May 15, 2011, 1:31 pm   #6
miker
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

Just go to your local grocery store and pick up some of those realty magazines, look for lots for sale and call the realtor about the property, then ask permission to walk it for the purpose of buying and building a house on, now you have permission to be on the property, be discreet don't go piling out of the car with your buddies, with bags and stuff,mike
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Old May 15, 2011, 1:56 pm   #7
Weioo
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

Jeepfreak, chill out, lol. You're acting like I came onto YOUR property and just raided your personal motherload. :P

The only reason we walked it was because of my statements above. It's not like we were the only ones, and assumed it was ok because of a new neighborhood behind built RIGHT next to these 4 acres which have no form of 2 tracks, driveway, house, building, etc.... We assumed it belonged to the developers of this new neighborhood that's been half-built for 5-6 years now. We park at the end of a street that looks like they would continue into the woods once they fill up the empty lots, but just stopped work until they fill up those lots.

I feel like it was a justified, and quite safe assumption to make. LOTS of state land just 100 yards away, sign of state land ON the corner of the property, no building or drive way/2-tracks, no posted signs ANYWHERE, lots of other people park/morel hunt there other than us, and it seemed like the property belonged to a stalled-out housing developer who hadn't yet hacked through the forest..........Tell me I was an @$$hole that knowing stole somebody's morel crop.

P.S. I've NEVER hunted a single square foot of woodland other than this small spot that wasn't GREEN on Michigan maps.


Here's my question: How can somebody even prosecute you for trespassing if they have no posted signs and have no proof it's their property? Ok, take me to court....Now what? There was no proof that was private property where people did NOT want trespassers, and people wanted us off it. Ok, shoot me, I bet you get screwed and go to prison...Just like a "BEWARE OF DOG" sign, right? Your dog bites someone and that sign is up, their problem... Your dog bites someone and you don't have that sign up? Your dog's going down....

I've had a few people (in real life, not on a forum) tell me if it's not posted and it's not obvious that somebody owns it (I.E. walk out of a house /building on that property), and it looks vacant, then it's fair game. I'm not looking for trouble but if people own land like this and do not want people on it then they better post signs or accept the inevitible.

Also, I don't take kindly to the "slap on the hand" feeling a couple of you are giving me on this topic. I came here to ask this because I thought I had a legit question. I would not doubt for one second that a morel hot spot THIS good, in THIS area, that some people would try and scare us off to keep it for themselves.
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Old May 15, 2011, 2:46 pm   #8
jeepfreak
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

I do not care what people think for the most part and my statement was a strong warngin, take it lightly if you will. The DNR and many places tell you to get written permission from the owner before going onto any property other than public property. There does not need to be a sign to prosecute someone for trespassing, the signs are just a courtesy and a warning to people and is not mandatory. If you really need these questions answered perhaps you should gain legal counsel to help advise you on your rights. There is always prrof that someone owns a piece of property if you are inclined to look at records and such. OR you could just go ahead and listen to people in general that do not have a legal degree and take your chances. If you don't want a legitimate answer to your question then do not ask it. Ignorance is 9/10 of the law. It only takes one time to make your life difficult. I will say no more.
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Old May 15, 2011, 2:49 pm   #9
joe pohl
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

Say brandon let me know when you want to play poker ask the man to show a posted sing if they are'nt there and he can't find one to show you or any .. Chances are he bluffed you out you must have your land properly posted law says or the worse that can happen is to police take your name and tell him to post it properly if you do not want people on it.. What are you going to do its all a gamble any ways maybe you will find some thing maybe you won't .. Lol on your hunting keep looking you will not pick them in your family room so more woods are needed
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Old May 15, 2011, 3:38 pm   #10
jeepfreak
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Re: What to do if vacant private land isnt po

x2 ^ that is also something that people do, they bluff you into thinking that it is private or whatever so they have the spot all to themselves. If you check the records in the township where the land it, it will tell you who ows it. Also, DNR records and such or platt maps.

There is a similar situation in our small town and it isn't posted either because people keep taking the signs down. Although there are no signs now, there are 3 people going to jail for trespassing on the property and it is not up to police whether there is legal action or not. It is ultimately up to the prosecutors.
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