Ohio State Trapper Forums

Ohioans need stronger trespassing laws

Ohio Wolverine - 24-10-2012 at 04:46 PM

What are your feelings on this ?

I'm 100% for it !


Ohioans are increasingly voicing their concerns about the growing problem of trespassing.

Trespassers could be uninvited hunters/trappers/fishermen or could be the increasing cadre of illegal ATV riders that appear oblivious to personal property rights. Trespassers could be a contingent of many uninvited individuals traveling onto private property knowingly and willingly for various reasons without the landowners’ permission.

Thanks to the Ohio Farm Bureau, in 2009, Ohio’s All-Purpose Vehicle Law, Section 4519.47 of the revised code, made it easier to prosecute trespassers. The law allows landowners to take action against trespassers who damage property.

The legislation provides those who trespass on an ATV to face increased penalties and a “3rd strike and you’re out” provision that allows for the confiscation of their vehicle. ATVs are also required to display a visible license plate or number that would help law enforcement officials identify trespassers.

Permission is always required to hunt or fish on private property. Failure to obtain permission from the property owner results in trespassing. Ohio law requires hunters to obtain written permission from the landowner and to carry the permission form with them while on the property.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has forms available that are the preferred form for permission.

Knowingly entering land or property of another violates Ohio’s trespassing law, Section 2911.21. Enclosures and postings used to restrict access, such as signs and fences, must be respected. Failing to leave after being notified by the owner or coming in contact with posted signs is considered trespassing.

Vacant property of any type or size is not an open invitation to trespassers for their unlimited use or any use — if you do not own it then stay off the property unless the landowner has given permission.

A common myth is that the property must be
“posted” with “No Trespassing” or similar signs before a criminal trespass can occur. This is not so. A property owner is under no duty to “post” his/her property or to advise everyone that they are about to enter private property.

Rather, it is the duty of the hunter/fisherman/ATVer/APVer/other to know who owns the property upon which they are entering. A hunter or fisherman who enters property that he/she knows he does not have permission to enter is guilty of trespassing regardless of whether he knows who the actual owner of the property is.

Landowners have a full right to use their property for their own benefit and some landowners have paid considerable sums for that right. Landowners also pay property taxes, insurance and upkeep for use of their property and not for use by trespassers.

In my opinion, Ohio legislators should strengthen these laws and increase penalties against trespassers thereby protecting personal property rights of all Ohio landowners.

Jane Huff


Skinner - 24-10-2012 at 05:45 PM

In my opinion we have a pretty decent law on this now. I am not much on giving the government more power . I only have a small piece of land 9 acres ,but if I did catch someone trespassing on my property they would have to change there pants when I got done and if they did it again , well it would be there last mistake. It's my job to protect my property not the government.

porcupine - 24-10-2012 at 08:30 PM

We have problems around here with out of state deer hunters leasing a little land and then helping themselves to whatever. The landowners just need to actually report and press charges rather than just telling them to leave. The law is only as good as the enforcement.

Frank - 25-10-2012 at 12:35 AM

Be careful what you ask for. YOU could be the trespasser or other guy, If you deer hunt,coon hunt, rabbit hunt,coyote hunt, or shoot birds. You can't keep them all on the land that you have permission to hunt on. Treat other hunters the same way you want to be treated.

Ohio Wolverine - 25-10-2012 at 02:26 PM

When I have permission to hunt or trap, I know the property lines .
I stay within those property lines, and have no problem.
If someone doesn't have permission to be there, it's on them not the owners of the property they trespass on.

IMHO This law has prevented many traps and fur from being stolen.
Not to mention the property damage caused by trespassers driving through fields chasing game.

Soft Gold - 25-10-2012 at 10:09 PM

A trespassing Amish man told me once, "It's God's property."

Ohio Wolverine - 25-10-2012 at 11:28 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Soft Gold  
A trespassing Amish man told me once, "It's God's property."

That's funny too !

I have my fur put up by an Amish , and he and others that I've met , don't like trespassers.

Thing is ,,,,, they can't do much about it.

By the time they get to a phone, the trespassers are gone.

There's good and bad in every way of life.

Ohio Wolverine - 28-10-2012 at 07:13 PM

One thing I remember and wish we had these laws back in the 70's and 80's.
It wasn't uncommon to find almost your whole line gone the next morning.

Less problems like that with these new laws. But there are still those that have sticky fingers out there.

Coondawg - 29-10-2012 at 05:56 PM

The license plate on atvs is a crock.Its bad enough that we have to register everything else with wheels that we own. Once I start seeing amsih buggies with insurance and license plates, I mihgt change my opinion on that. I understand that its on a "trespasser" to know the lines, but in my opinion its on the landowner to mark the lines also. I know it isnt the law, but I liken being too lazy to mark your lines to leaving your truck unlocked with the keys in the ignition. As a property owner, my lines are well marked. I dont have many issues with tresspassers at all, but the few that do have no excuses whih makes an easy decision to prosecute for me. I would be willing to guess that the majority of "tresspassers" are simply unaware of the exact lines.

Ohio Wolverine - 29-10-2012 at 06:14 PM

I don't know anything about a license plate for ATV's.

There's a sticker with your county number on it, I think.
I understood that it was for riding on state lands.
Where they have trails just for riding.
I used to get it, but never understood what it was for.
I don't think it's legal to ride them on the road any where in Ohio.
I could be wrong about that.

porcupine - 29-10-2012 at 07:49 PM

It is legal to ride an ATV on unmarked county roads in Ohio. It is in the laws when you get your license. I was told you are supposed to have them no matter what.

On the trespassers, setting stands on others land is way more than being misguided and that is what is happening around here. If I have to cross a line I go ask. A courtesy that I feel must be extended.

Ohio Wolverine - 29-10-2012 at 09:31 PM

I found this , but I'm still not sure if you have to have the license or sticker.

It's aimed at catching trespassers and using state land trails.

No where does it say the license lets you ride on any roadway.


Ohio State University Extension
Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
590 Woody Hayes Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43210


ATV's in Ohio.
All-Terrain Vehicles: Laws, Regulations and Rules to Ride By
Ohio ranks 15th in the nation for ATV accidents. Yearly, an estimated 40,000 emergency-room cases are reported nationwide; one third of all injuries are to children less than 16 years of age. The state has developed strategies and programs to reduce injuries and deaths related to careless, inappropriate and risky ATV use.

The goal of the 4-H Community ATV Safety Program is to increase the practice of safe behaviors and attitudes among the youth who operate ATVs. Additional emphasis must be placed on helping adults make informed decisions about whether or not young people in their care should operate an ATV.

Safe ATV riding depends on the rider�s ability to recognize hazardous riding conditions. It is possible to determine how safe a ride will be by first evaluating the rider�s personal abilities, the ATV capabilities, and then the terrain and environmental conditions.

It is not enough to just ride safely! There are certain laws that apply to riders. The following Ohio laws were created to provide an understanding between ATV riders and enforcement officers concerning the proper way to act while riding off-road. These laws protect people, property and the sport of ATV riding.

Operator�s license
In order to operate an ATV on any public land, waters or highways, one must hold a current motor vehicle driver�s or commercial driver�s license, motorcycle operator�s endorsement or probationary license.

No person under 16 years of age shall operate an ATV on any land other than private property unless accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a licensed driver 18 years of age or older.

Although not recommended by the 4-H ATV Safety Program, Ohio law permits ATV operators to:

operate off and alongside a street or road for limited distances from the point of unloading to the point of the intended operating pathway.
operate on the berm or shoulder of a road when the terrain permits such operation to be undertaken safely and without the necessity of entering any traffic lane.
cross a highway whenever the crossing can be made safely and will not interfere with the movement of traffic in any direction, and provided the operator yields the right-of-way to any approaching traffic.
Ohio law states that ATVs shall not be operated as follows:
Do not operate on any limited access highway or take the right-of-way thereof, except for emergencies.
Do not operate on any private property, in any nursery, or on any farm ground without permission of the owner.
Do not operate on any land or iced-over waters controlled by the state, except at those locations where a sign has been posted permitting such operation.
Do not operate on the tracks or right-of-way of any operating railroad.
Do not operate while transporting any firearm, bow or other implement for hunting that is not unloaded and securely encased.
Do not operate for the purpose of chasing, capturing or killing any animal or waterfowl.
Do not operate during the time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, unless there is a properly operating lighting system on the ATV.
Do not operate while riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol on public lands. It is possible for the courts to suspend one�s drivers license if found operating an ATV while under the influence. You may also be subject to fines, lawyer fees and possible jail time.

Tread Lightly
Future opportunities for exciting travel with your recreation vehicle are in your hands. Take the pledge to tread lightly by:

Traveling only where motorized vehicles are permitted
Respecting the rights of hikers, skiers, campers, and others to enjoy their activities undisturbed
Educating yourself by obtaining travel maps and regulations from public agencies, complying with signs and barriers, and asking owners� permission to cross private property
Avoiding streams, lakeshores, meadows, muddy roads and trails, steep hillsides, wildlife and livestock.
Driving responsibly to protect the environment and preserve opportunities to enjoy your vehicle on wild lands.

ATV rider training courses are offered through the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. Ask your local dealer about the program.

For information about the 4-H ATV safety program, contact your local county office of Ohio State University Extension.

Brochure developed by: Randall Reeder & S. Dee Jepsen
Reviewed by: Dr. Tom Bean, Becky Cropper & Tim Ballard

Click here for a pdf of the file.

All educational programs conducted by Ohio State University Extension are available to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, disability or Vietnam-era veteran status.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU Extension.

TDD No. 800-589-8292 (Ohio only) or 614-292-1868


| Ohioline | Search | Fact Sheets | Bulletins |

Ohio Wolverine - 29-10-2012 at 09:36 PM

I'm under the impression a concealed carry is exempt from this.

Do not operate while transporting any firearm, bow or other implement for hunting that is not unloaded and securely encased

Webeme - 29-10-2012 at 10:06 PM

There is a license plate you can get. It is for golfcarts and only legal on roads with a speed limit of 45 mph or less. What has happened is some owners have been able to get thier side by sides registered as golfcarts making them eligable for the tags. The unit has to be inspected (here the Sheriff's Department does it) then you can get the tags. As to the question on the unmarked roads I would say they still would not be legal as an unmarked road has by default a 55 mph speed limit.

porcupine - 30-10-2012 at 12:50 AM

The information I have is on a brochure I got at the license bureau. If I can find it I will scan it in.