aefrMarch 5, 2007

Hi. I'm doing research on trespassing, specifically by morel mushroom hunters.

I'm wondering if anyone here has experienced morel trespassers on their property in previous springs/summers and would be willing to talk about their experience.

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Personally, if I wasn't going to use the mushrooms I wouldn't mind if folks walked around and picked them because they are not hurting anything.

If someone is trespassing they are trespassing. If you don't want people on your land then instead of calling the police, put up a fence so they know the boundary.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2007 at 3:46PM
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You should always post a no trespassing sign on your land. Authorities have told me this. So there is nothing to clarify.

If folks want to use your land, they need to ask, you need to know who is on your property.

And even this is problematic. I have had experiences where they think they only have to ask that once and then they are on your property every time you blink an eye. Then they start doing stuff on your property besides just walking on it, like cutting down your trees and bushes. then they let their kids run around on it barefooted.

After that - off limits - if the kid cuts his foot while on your property, it's your fault... If it was me, I would just say NO. They would pick a poisonous mushroom on your land, eat it, and it's your fault they got poisoned.

The US is WAY too litigious to let people on your property anymore. Very sad.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2007 at 6:22PM
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i don't know about your area, but a couple years ago the state of MS changed the law so that ALL property other than publically owned lands are private and posted, with or with out signs. this means ANY property you step foot on with out express WRITTEN consent you are trespassing. this was done for protection of farm land and hunting lands, but applies to all privately owned property.

personally i would post a few signs. warn them 1 time, then call the cops if they come back. around here you can hold them at gun point until the cops arrive.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 1:32PM
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Boy, if I had morels on my property they'd be long gone before trespassers found them! Morels sauteed in butter, over toast: YUM! I envy you folks who have them!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 6:45PM
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In some states the tresspassing law is not enforceable unless the property is posted on the other hand some no tresspassing signs have more effect than others..On the King Ranch in Texas they have huge No Tresspassing signs that say,,,

Tresspassers Will Be Shot-
Survivors will be prosecuted.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:49PM
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Go to the local police department and ask them what the law in your area is on trespassing. Where I am the land must be marked: a sign every certain number of feet, so far off the ground, certain color and notice, signed by homeowners.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 12:10PM
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Timely post for me - I was wondering where a thread on this would be - clicked on this forum - BAM - there it is!

We moved to a house in the country on 7.5 acres in December. We immediately saw (& heard) 4 wheeler tracks through the woods & suspected our neighbor's kids. We put up several no tresspassing signs & piled some brush on the heavily travelled routes & thought that would take care of it.

Yesterday I was home & heard them in the woods very close to the house. I went outside & as soon as they saw me, they'd zoomed off. They'd also moved some of the barricades & signs.

I called over there - kid answers & demands to know who it is - I say "Your neighbor" & he puts on his older brother who does a very poor impression of his father. Laughable, really - but annoying still. I go through my spiel to let him know he was busted & he says "I'll talk to the boys" --- haha --- and I mention that my husband & I will drop by later to talk to him & his wife about it.

About 15 minutes later we go over there. Mom answers door (we've not met her yet) - he's fessed up to her but very argumentative to us, she's not too friendly even though we explain it's a liability issue - our land is rough & we have a pond that we don't want anyone near, etc. Her comments "it's spring break, they're bored", "we're gonna have this problem with lots of kids" (not true), "they were here first, before there were any other houses" etc. She did shoot him a dirty look when I asked who I just spoke with on the phone since his daddy was not home. Busted again.

I'm hoping this does not become a big issue with them. I like having good relationships with neighbors - we're pretty good ones ourselves. It just seems like a common courtesy to me - not to mention that we posted legal signs. We're planning on fencing the property eventually - but were getting settled in first & it wasn't top priority. I guess now it will be sooner than later.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 9:27AM
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guvnah, write up a standard release form that releases you from ALL liability if the kids are injured while riding on your property. have 2 places to sign, one releasing you from liability and one they can sign if they refuse to release you. tell theem to either sign it or you will call the cops next time the kids are on your property and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. keep a camera handy, cause they will be back almost immediately, teen age kids will do it JUST to show you they can.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 10:32AM
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Warning though by having them sign a liability release, you may unwillingly be giving the sign that it is now OK for them to tear up your property. Because that is the way people like that think.. I know, I am surrounded by a neighborhood of them. No respect for your property. But if you set one foot on theirs, they get out their shotguns to escort you off that's for sure.

I would get the release UNTIL you get the fence. But a fence is the only way you will solve all your problems forever. Document all instances of dealing with these people in a log book and take photos if necessary.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Davidandkasie -- Good suggestion. I'm going to give our friendly lawyer a call - or hopefully run into him at the Pub this weekend - to see what he thinks. He told us to put up the signs - we're in a nice area, with generally responsible parents & kids - and we thought it would work. Never underestimate a bored 16-17 year old....

I think that you're probably right, klimkm - after the defensive conversation with the Mom, I'm pretty sure they would think that that was permission. We're gonna get moving on the fence pretty soon - hopefully before the 100+ degree summer days set in. We'll be doing a lot of it ourselves as 7+ acres of metal fencing would cost us a fortune in labor ( materials are going to be high enough!).

We'll see what happens - if they come back we'll get the sheriff involved. Maybe they just needed to be told face to face.

Yes, klimkm - their property is fenced, with gate & several menacing dogs. It's clear they don't want people on THEIR land...... The gate was open though, so we went through it.

Oh - I think part of their problem with us was that they were friends with the last owners & there was a "thing" when we pruchased this house. Briefly - we were under contract, had done all inspections, surveys, etc - 2 weeks before closing they wanted out of the deal (our realtor thinks they got a higher offer). We'd sold our house already so we said no - they hired an attorney who advised them to complete the sale so they did. I'm sure they think we "stole" this house or something. They already don't like us.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 1:12PM
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For the last 45 minutes those little punks have been driving back & forth in front of our house (public road) making as much noise as they can. Back & forth - back & forth - property line to property line. Not getting on our property - just being annoying. I'm about 2 minutes away from going to sit at the end of our driveway - I need a video camera......

Obviously their parents didn't think much of our visit yesterday. This is stupid. I can't believe I'm wasting time on these little turds.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 3:35PM
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BTW, the man we bought our house from originally owned ALL the property around us. his stepson and grandkids/great gradnkids live in 3 of the closest houses to us. the great gradnkids still ride their motorcycles across the end of my property to get home, since that shortcut is the only way other than riding on the road. luckily for both of us, i don't mind as long as they do not tear up my property or ride in my garden. in the 2 years i have been here i have watched them many times drive around because the ground was wet and they were being CONSIDERATE.

since they are so considerate of me, i don't mind them riding across. my wife did for a while, but i told her they ain't hurting anything and if they do i will put a stop to it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 4:44PM
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It wouldn't bother me so much either if I was in your situation. With us, the "trails" they're riding are in deep woods, very rocky, trees are low hanging & there's a 15-20' deep pond. Lots of danger - especially for as fast as they tear through there. I don't know why their parents don't seem concerned, but they're obviously not.

I wish I had considerate neighbors........... it must be nice.

Here's something funny - the dad is in construction & when we first moved in, he told us that he builds lots of fences, etc. We considered hiring him to set the posts for us. Now, I can't see PAYING him to keep his kids off our property .......haha!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Make sure you get a good accurate survey before you put in a fence.

BTW: where is the dad in all this? Maybe he can be a little more rational.

Also it is a good idea getting the sheriff involved if you can't get the problem solved.

In my problem neighbor situation, the sheriff suggested that they be called every time we have a possible problem, do not confront people directly any more. Because the sheriffs want to avoid any domestic "situations" which could escalate and get ugly.

I would not worry about it anymore, your fence will effectively solve the problem. In the meantime, put up those no trespassing signs. Although don't be surprised if they get torn down. Mine did (I had additional problem house renters living next to us on the other side for some years too.).

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 10:33AM
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I think the fence is the answer too. I'm going to call the sheriff's office today to see what the rules are as far as how many signs, how far apart, etc. In Texas, I think you can paint a 1" x 6" strip on trees 3-5' or so from the ground along heavily wooded areas every 100' in dark purple paint & that means "No Trespassing" - less obnoxious than big orange signs. We lave 2 long sections that we'll probably do that on - they don't come from those side anyway, but it will be marked.

The newest thing is the youngest one (10-12?) has been riding back & forth by himself in front of the house screaming. Really. Not yelling - SCREAMING - like a little girl. This was off & on between about 5pm - 8pm last night. Once it got dark, he took it to his yard (minus the screaming) until after 9:00. I'm guessing his parents are on board with the harrassment.....

Some people.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 11:44AM
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I know.... it is going to be a LONG summer with my problem neighbor as well. I am currently planting evergreens all along our mutual fence line. Hope those things grow fast! good luck!!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 10:34AM
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I know you can't do this legally, but what I wouldn't give to see the results of stringing a nice heavy duty piece of fishing line across the street where they rev their engines and scream as they deliberately try to annoy you while speeding up and down the street in front of your house. Give them something to REALLY scream about.

I'm not condoning actually doing this, but it's nice to daydream about it just for the satisfaction of it.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Hi drummer13 - don't think I haven't spent plenty of time daydreaming about all kinds of mayhem : ) I'm hoping they'll just grow up & get bored with it. The older one just got his drivers license, so I'm guessing we won't see too much of him this summer - plus I'm sure he'll loose interest in the ATV. The young "screamer"? Here's hoping he discovers girls soon.

I talked to the sheriff's dept. & short of posting the signs and eventually fencing there's not much else we can do but call when we catch them. ATV's are not legal on the street, but they'd have to witness it themselves to write them up - that's not gonna happen. And the sound level must be about 8.5 decibels inside the house with the doors & windows closed for them to cite that. So..... I will just dream on & hope they grow up fast.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 6:49PM
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Can't you take a video of them riding the atvs on the street illegally? And hand it over to the sheriff?

Maybe you should develop a hobby of playing the bagpipes or keeping roosters. >7 acres, you should be able to keep chickens and stuff like that.

I'd put barbed wire on that fence, if I were you.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 12:19PM
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Bagpipes!!! I never thought of that..... haha! My husband does do a lot of metal work - he can grind up a storm some days. We've just always been so careful to try NOT to annoy other people that it will take some getting used to.

They already have chickens, roosters, horses, 4-5 dogs --- so that wouldn't faze them. Lately they've stayed on their property - just zooming around here & there, back & forth - LOUDLY. Not much I can do about that. Now that the weather is warming up, they've taken to hanging out in one of their barns (closest to us, of course) with the stereo cranked & the pool cues crackin'. Oh well - hopefully the oldest one will leave the nest soon. What I don't get is the parents. Not one word from them since we went over there. If it had been my kids, I would have made it a point to send my husband over with an apology & a reassurance that it wouldn't happen again. These people seem to egg them on. No kidding their kids are outside riding the ATV's after 10:00pm on week nights. Pathetic.

Oh - the property line between us is already fenced. Their whole property is fenced. There is one open section where the previous owners of our house let their horses graze over here. He asked if that was OK when we moved in & we said no. The horses have not been over here, but he has not closed the fence. There is a piece of it rolled up. I guess we'll have to go over there & ask him to close it - I guess we'd be trespassing if we did it....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 11:03AM
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Check your county code--we, along with several other neighbors, had an ATV problem with one family. The ATV family was renting a farmhouse on 4 acres, surrounded by 2-3 acre lots of mainly newer housing. ATVs running all hours of day and night, driving across our yard at the road frontage to get to a field which eroded our driveway, destroying the 4 acres and kicking up duststorms--you get the picture. Our county code does not allow ATV use within 300 yards of another's private property, nor between the hours of 7 pm and 8 am. Since talking to the parents did no good at all, we, and several neighbors, resorted to calling the police for code violations. While visits from the police helped diminish the riding, what gave us relief was complaining to the landowner who managed to finally evict this family. Apparently, they had also trashed the rental property. I don't understand folks who don't understand the concept of private property, nor do I understand parents who claim they cannot control a child's use of an ATV.

Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 2:24PM
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Yes - then the kids end up in trouble with the law and the parents are SO surprised. They should take their kid's lack of respect a little more seriously if they ever have to shell out $$ for lawyers - or worse - medical bills because the kids got hurt while riding irresponsibly.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 4:09PM
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guvnah, I'd get some big old nails, hammer them into some wood, all the way through, and bury those suckers in the "trails" they used on my land. Some place far away and hard for them to wheel the atv's back home from. Maybe that would teach them to stay off my land. If those atv's are heavy enough, they might learn their lesson.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2007 at 8:56AM
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"write up a standard release form that releases you from ALL liability if the kids are injured while riding on your property. have 2 places to sign, one releasing you from liability and one they can sign if they refuse to release you."

Not worth the ink, paper, and attorneys bill to have drawn up.
Put up a fence.
Barbed wire or other inexpensive fencing may be legal in your area.
Mark the wire with engineers tape and hang no trespassing signs.
Drop into the sheriffÂs office and have a talk.
They are normally elected and like getting re-elected.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 4:33PM
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I would be inclined to go to the local high school and find out who the biggest seniors (boys) are. Talk to a guidance counselor and explain that you are looking for cheap labor to help put the new fence up. See if they can link you up with a few of the bigger students who are on the football/wrestling team, etc.

If the neighbors brats are stupid enough to bother you while they are working, they just might do you a favor and straighten them out for you.

You might read the book "The art of war by Sun Tzu". There was a program on tv awhile back about a man who had problems with a neighbor who had over 50 roosters on his property. They were driving the entire neighborhood batty with the noise. He referred to the book for ideas about how to handle the problem.

Please be careful that the brats don't target your animals.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 5:17PM
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Update: Well, I think they've lost some interest in bothering us. Either that, or the atv is broken. They've been quiet for a couple of weeks. DH saw the Dad outside & forced him to talk. No mention was made of the kids, the trespassing, etc... he wasn't friendly, but not rude either. We've been looking into fencing costs & are waiting on a commercial property we have to sell.... know anybody that wants a 1907 Bank building that's been an antique shop (inventory included) on 4 lots with a rent house (was another antique shop) and barn in Texas????

Will probably do steel gates & fencing across the front & wire/t-post through the woods and across the back. The side between us is their fence.

I'm hoping they are lazy, video playing kids that will stay inside all summer when the temp starts rising.......

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Cool. thanks for checking back in! good luck! The good thing about teens is that they straighten out and/or move out pretty quickly - 3-4 years tops they are problems. Unlike the parents who are problems, they could be there a lifetime.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 5:46PM
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Good point klimkm - I never thought about it that way. We see very little of the parents - so once those kids are gone (college, prison, etc....) we might actually enjoy it here. My DH said today that if it weren't for other people, this world would rock --- haha.

Hope your situation improves too.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 10:38PM
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