Welcome to TheOhioOutdoors
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Login or sign up today!
Login / Join

Posting private land as vacant landowner

This isn’t as much about the law as it is the perception/opinion but would love some local insight.

Basically I bought a piece of property in athens co, which I hope to build into a deer hunting hot spot. The location is near homes and the previous owner passed away a few years back and some of the locals have spent time riding horses and hunting it. There are even some very blatant fence line (as in acres) oversteps. In the 5 min we spoke he was already asking about swapping help for horse access but also has been on there recently and has a feeder & blind 10ft off the line. Seems like he could be a Richard and act like he owns the town.

While I’d like to get along with everyone- I’m a firm believer in “mine is mine and your’s is your’s”, “good fences make great neighbors”, etc. The plan is to vacation there a few times a year and move there in 4-5 yrs.

My plan was to post it, as that’s what you have to do in NY and want the message clear. I asked on another forum what kind of fasteners to use (to minimize tree damage) and got a response along the lines of “Posted signs aren’t needed and bring more negative attention”. I was shocked by that and this is what I would like an opinion on from some Ohio natives.

i have trail cams all over, some are cell, most are too high to reach from the ground. My access/parking is not covert.

Would love to hear your thoughts, input and suggestions.
 

Fletch

Senior Member
Supporting Member
5,256
111
Wow... Sounds like a piece I leased a few years back.... PM me the prior owners name...
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
37,142
247
Sorry that you're dealing with that buddy. Most of your issues are coming from neighbors and since you've had conversations with them no trespassing signs aren't going to help. I would politely explain that you don't want to get the law involved but will if you're forced to.

Honestly, since you're not going to be there most of the year and they know that, it will be really difficult to keep them off. I would say you need someone with some skin in the game. Maybe consider letting one guy hunt it. That way he can keep an eye on things and let you know, change camera batteries for you etc. If you don't want someone hunting it, maybe consider taking the horse guy up on his offer of riding privilege for land management. It sucks as you should be able to have a place that is 100% yours. But sometimes you need boots on the ground.
 

Sgt Fury

Sgt. Spellchecker
You need to set the rules right off the git-go or you’ll have nothing but problems down the road. I’d get the fence line situation straightened out asap. Maybe you could allow some limited horse riding on your place during certain times of the year (not during deer/Turkey season). As far as posting, if you want to prosecute later down the road, then having your property posted is a must (according to a warden I spoke with years ago). For longevity, take the time to cut out 12”x12” squares from heavy plywood. Order metal signs and screw them to the plywood…then use a cordless drill and walk the property line placing them in trees with extra long screws. Don’t screw them real tight to the tree as the tree trunk will grow with time and push your signs from the trees. Every few years, walk the property line and reattach any loose/fallen signs. I’d also make contact with the neighbors and explain what you expect, exchange phone numbers and call when either of you need to track a wounded deer onto the others property. It’ll make it a lot easier to get along with the neighbors if everyone knows the ground rules. (Pun intended).
 
Horse guy hunts and shed hunts- he would’ve stood a chance otherwise. Pretty sure he is “ask for an inch and take a road trip kind” of guy. He asked about horse riding 2 minutes into our first conversation. He’s also claimed he tried to buy it and I got the truthful backstory from the owner which wasn’t close to his version. I would have to have trust in someone I’ve extended that use to for access.

I won’t let anyone hunt it. It’s a massive financial inconvenience on my family and household to do this and I will die on the hilltop before giving away my hard work.
 
This was my exact stance Sgt. I keep getting the impression from others it won’t go that way though.

As for long screws- this is where the other forum ask came from- most say Aluminum nails which I am sure won’t work well w oak… Which I do not want to injure if at all possible. Way too long of a perimeter for posts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sgt Fury

Fletch

Senior Member
Supporting Member
5,256
111
When I leased the property, the first day there checking it out I had a guy approach me and say: Hey I heard you leased the property, so I guess I lost my hunting spot... Now I'm not the kind of guy to say: Damn right, now keep your ass off, or else... I said: NOT REALLY, here's the days I'll be here, you and your son are welcome to hunt any other days... HE WAS VERY HAPPY AND SAID I'LL KEEP AN EYE ON IT FOR YOU.... So it was a win win situation...
 
Maybe I’m just not that emotionally mature but why would I pay for someone else to use up my resource? This costs as much as our house did back in the day. There is public all over this area and the horse guy owns 40 (42 if you count his over fence) of his own ground. While he was forward and nice, he has also taken advantage of the lack of presence big time, and likes hunting which would pressure the property, pull from the herd and be entirely counter productive to my deer goals. I am respectful of others when I hunt public… but committed to this to have something better for myself and family.

I’m super nice and open minded. If someone text/call and said they needed access for tracking - no worries and would do/ask the same for myself. If someone put a stand on a property line to hunt mine- I’d destroy that area after an ignored polite ask. Maybe they only teach “the golden rule” in NY kindergarten classes.

Legitimately sorry for being emotionally spun up, but I’m sick to my stomach thinking of the input costs to have me back at hunting a shared property until I live there.
 

bowhunter1023

Administrator
Staff member
47,515
261
Appalachia
We lived this situation with our farm in the first few years of ownership. The old guy died a couple of years before it was sold, and the locals had free run of it before the sale. The first few gun seasons were a nightmare and nearly resulted in fisticuffs more than once. Here's what worked for me: Posted signs, meeting my neighbors with trail cam pics of them tresspassing, and being a persistent presence until word got out. Don't overthink the signs. Daisychain zip ties together and buy quality signs. I use the "Live Feed Camera" versions now and have had 0 issues with trespassing for the last decade. You won't change the local culture overnight and you won't do it by simply posting it, but you 100% should post it. Hang a camera in all the likely trespass areas and forsake deer scouting for a couple of years in exchange for catching people in action. I met 4 of the locals with trail cam pics and all but one was honest and never came back. The other got rolled off a quad with a 4" diameter log and while he caught his breath, I listened to the air leak from all four tires after running over a buried 2x4 full of framing nails. Some people have to learn the hard way...
 
Great takes and love the zip ties idea (amongst others)!

I can work remote at times so that will help once we build there. Planned to head down for gun season… but not looking forward to it.

Most of it is super thick so that helps the overall cause too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hickslawns

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
37,142
247
Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't. By that I mean letting some young guy in his 20s hunt the place who can be your eyes, ears and hands would give you far more of a benefit than it would hurt. I get that you don't want anyone to hunt or trespass, but I also get that you have zero physical control over the property and all you really have is a piece of paper with your name on it. When I hunted Vinton county those local boys had a saying. "If they don't live there, they don't own it..." Knowing that the owner didn't live there, especially if he was an out-of-stater, and ESPECIALLY if he had a "my deer" attitude, basically made it public land in their eyes. I'm not saying everywhere is like that, but a lot of areas in southern Ohio are. Guys and their families have hunted a property for generations and they never took too kindly to a nonresident buying it and going all "stay off my property".. From a landowner's perspective that can be maddening and is disrespectful as hell. I'm not saying it's right, just saying how it is. I'm confident you'll get the problem under control and hopefully horse guy took a hint and you don't catch him back there again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OO2 and gjs4

Mike

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
14,899
188
Wood Co.
My parents own a farm in Michigan and they allow the guy up front to hunt it (he has been since the early 1980s) . He is a Richard and there's nothing I can do about it. My dad likes that he monitors the property. I hunted it a few times but I don't even bother with it anymore. He does more harm than good.