The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Commission has set the big game seasons for the coming fall and winter of 2017/2018. Elk, Deer, and Antelope season dates have now been officially set and resident hunters can begin to plan their hunts. Non-resident hunters can now begin to plan for which permits they will be applying for during the application process April 1-28.
Do I need a Kansas Hunting Violation Attorney? If you are charged with a big game or deer hunting violation in Kansas, the fines for poaching deer can quickly become a staggering amount, especially for poaching a trophy deer. Before paying any deer poaching fines or pleading guilty to charges of illegally killing big game in Kansas, you should consult with an attorney to understand your rights and defenses.
Receiving a Kansas hunting violation is never a pleasant experience. Whatever the circumstances and whatever the reason, hunters facing charges for hunting mistakes face an uphill battle. When you do receive a hunting violation in Kansas, you should know that you do have options and possibly defenses. You may just pay the violation or choose to fight it, and though the choice may seem simple enough, neither should be taken lightly.
If you do receive a hunting violation, you may choose to just plead guilty and pay the fine. You should understand that paying the fine is pleading guilty to the charges and waives any defenses you may have had. You won’t be able to come back later and try to reopen the case to fight the charges. Whatever charges you plead guilty to will be on your record and you could even lose your hunting privileges. Some charges may actually involve jail time, and pleading guilty could have you facing serious time away from your job, family, and friends behind bars. However unlikely for hunting violations, you should understand that it is a possibility for some offenses.
That being said, choosing to fight a hunting violation is not a decision that should be taken lightly. The process of fighting the charges of illegal hunting can be long and somewhat draining. Hearings, motions, negotiations with the State, arguments, and possibly even a trial can be a daunting thing for someone unfamiliar with the justice system to face.
The best thing you can do when you receive a Kansas hunting violation is consult with an attorney. Nate Gilbert, a Kansas native, outdoorsman, and attorney has built a practice dealing with Kansas hunting violations and defending hunter’s rights in courts in Kansas as well as Colorado. Consulting with Nate when you receive a hunting violation is free and will help determine the best options for you and what defenses you may have available.
Many hunters from across the nation will be converging on Kansas towns in the coming days for pheasant and quail opening weekend followed quickly by the rifle deer seasons. While some may have family farms to return to or other private leases to hunt, others will be trying their hand on public lands and looking to find other private land that may be available. The laws concerning where you can hunt are crucial when looking for that new honey-hole, especially for non-resident hunters unfamiliar with the nuances of Kansas hunting regulations.
Hunters may not hunt private land in Kansas without permission, even if it is not posted. “Criminal Hunting,” is defined as hunting private land or water without the owner’s permission in statute K.S.A. 21-5810. If you find private property that does not have signage saying “No Trespassing,” you still must determine the owner and get their permission before hunting the property. This is different than some states with earlier pheasant seasons that hunters may be accustomed to, such as North Dakota. Unless the land is clearly posted as public ground, such as Kansas’ “Walk In Hunting Area” land, you must have the permission of the owner before hunting there.
Where property IS posted, hunters in Kansas must carry written permission in their possession while hunting. Kansas statute K.S.A. 32-1013 states that posted property in Kansas, that has signs saying any variation of “No Trespassing,” “No Hunting,” or “Private Land,” requires all hunters who are on the property to have written permission. Verbal permission from the owner of the land, no matter how long you’ve known the owner or have hunted the property, is not enough and will result in trespassing tickets for your group. Purple paint on posts, fences, or trees surrounding the property also counts as “posted” property for the purposes of this statute. Essentially, if there are signs or purple paint on the property you are hunting, you must have written permission to show the game warden if asked.
If you receive a trespassing ticket, you have a few options and should consult with an attorney before simply pleading guilty and paying the fines. Nate Gilbert, attorney in Colorado and Kansas, grew up in Kansas and has defended trespassing charges for hunters in both Colorado and Kansas. Drawing on the experience Nate has in dealing with these charges, a consultation with Nate will help you determine your best course of action and whether you have any defenses available.
The decision to fight your hunting violation is a big one and shouldn't be taken lightly. Whether it is one small charge, or multiple charges with thousands of dollars in fines and multiple points assessed, you should consider consulting with an attorney about your rights and what possible defenses may be available to you.
Click Here for the 2016-2017 Kansas Migratory Bird Season Calendar from The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert.
All seasons for all units and zones for: Dove, Rail, Snipe, Woodcock, Ducks, Geese, and Cranes incl
If you've hunted or fished public land before, you've probably thought about getting your own private hunting ground. The pressure on public land can lead a great number of outdoorsmen to seek out private ground to buy, though the most common approach is to lease established farm ground. Leasing a farmer or rancher's property can carry risks and responsibilities and should not be entered into lightly.
When approaching a landowner to inquire about a hunting or fishing lease, you need to have your ducks in a row. What will you be hunting? What are the seasons for that animal? What kind of equipment will you be using? Do not assume that every farmer or rancher immediately knows what all will be entailed in a "Deer Hunting Lease" or a "Duck Hunting Lease" or "Bass Fishing Lease." It is in your best interest to have all of the information about your particular desires for the lease in mind and written out before you even think about approaching someone.
Additionally, be prepared to retreat from some of the things you ask for. A rancher may not like the idea of rifles on his property between September and November while cattle still graze on the grass, while he may be open to late season hunts in January after the cows have been moved to harvested corn fields. This illustrates how important it is to be completely prepared with exactly what you are looking to do. Finding out in September that the farmer doesn't want rifles near his place may leave you without a spot to hunt.
When you sign a lease, you are looking to be the exclusive user of that property for that purpose. Your lease absolutely must reflect this. Many state's laws state that the individual who leases the property for crops or grazing also leases the hunting rights to that property and may invite guests of his choosing to hunt. Likewise, a landowner may not realize that even if you are there to deer hunt in December, that may mean his kids or grandchildren cannot duck hunt during or before that time. What does your lease say about activity on the property before the actual season that you wish to lease it for?
A common pitfall often seen in hunting leases is the failure to provide for unavoidable or unforeseen circumstances. A farmhand may not know of the existing waterfowl hunting lease and drain the pond or flooded field that the hunters planned to hunt. Who is responsible for filling the pond or field again? Was the draining a necessary action to prevent loss or damage to the farmer's crops or property? Your lease absolutely must provide for common eventualities like this that may leave your hunting property completely worthless for the whole season and give you no recourse for reimbursement.
At The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert, an attorney who actually hunts and fishes and understands the nuances and details special to hunting and fishing leases will review your lease or draft an entirely new lease for you and your hunting party. Call Nate Gilbert to set up an absolutely free consultation to talk about your hunting and fishing needs.
Hunters in Kansas are gearing up for what should be a stellar turkey season. The bands of brutal thunderstorms that sweep across Kansas plains in the spring will hardly stop the most die-hard turkey hunters in pursuit of long beards and sharp spurs.
Important tips to remember while in the field gunning for turkeys this spring:
- Hunting on land posted as "Hunting by written permission only" or designated with purple paint without physical, written permission from the owner of the property in your possession at all times is Trespassing. It truly does not matter how long you have known the owner, how many beers your grandpas had together, or even if you've been hunting there for years without a problem. For turkeys in Kansas, trespassing while turkey hunting under this rule is a misdemeanor and punishable by at least a $500 fine.
- Using any kind of spotlight while you, or another member of your party, is even in possession of a firearm is illegal. There are exceptions for agricultural or livestock purposes, but try not to be holding your turkey calls and wearing full camouflage while checking cows.
- Before transporting your downed bird, make sure to attach the tag to the turkey's leg as described in the regulations. Failure to tag the bird before you move it can result in receiving a ticket. Forget your pen? Forget a zip tie?
As always, if you receive a ticket for unlawful hunting in Kansas, reach out to The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert for an absolutely free consultation to discuss your rights and any available options that you may have. Just paying the fine and pleading guilty may come back to haunt you later down the road. A Kansas hunting violation can have consequences that may affect next year's hunting seasons or your summer fishing plans.