We work to play right?

My biggest form of entertainment in North Dakota is walking the prairies of North Dakota hunting and fishing.  Nothing else even comes close.  I've been lucky enough to establish some great relationships with landowners over the years in our great state, that has given me access to some incredible fishing and hunting.

Still even with my connections, the thought of new trespass laws got me as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  I've never had a problem knocking on doors and asking permission.  I remember I knocked on a door one time near the town of Oakes, North Dakota.  The landowner must have had some bad interactions with hunters, because he took the time to dig a grave, and post a sign near it that read, "Here lies the last person who asked for permission to hunt."  Despite that warning, I still rang the doorbell.

My biggest fear over access has always been those "out of the way" honey holes that nobody else seems to know about.

The land that is never posted year after year.  You try to find the landowner and often times you can't.  The owner lives out of state or someplace far away in state.  You also run into landowners who don't post their land because they simply don't want to be bothered.  I can't tell you how many times I've been scolded for asking for permission on non posted land.  They say things like, "It's not posted for a reason, why are you bothering me?"  If they had automatically posted the entire state, than those spots would not be accessible anymore, unless you could get ahold of somebody.

Well, it's not a perfect situation.  I'm sure there will be some bugs to work out, but electronic posting in North Dakota still keeps open those out of the way money spots you might have.  Electronic posting in North Dakota is set to begin August 1st, and as you can see by this map, many landowners have taken to this technology.  (The brown square boxes with an x represents electronically posted land.)

North Dakota Game & Fish-Screenshot
North Dakota Game & Fish-Screenshot

According to the Bismarck Tribune, over 7,000 landowners have posted their land electronically in the state.  That works out to millions of acres that are now posted.  I took an electronic posting test drive on the North Dakota Game & Fish website recently.  There's two free apps you can download to see what land is posted.  See those HERE.  You can also use the Game & Fish online plots map (which I really like) that will also show you what land is posted electronically.  You'll also get a name of who owns the land.  Conveniently, a few landowners have also included their phone numbers.

One thing to keep in mind, that a physical posted sign supersedes anything else.

So, if the land is not posted electronically, but has a "no hunting" sign on the property, it's posted.  You must seek permission to gain access.

It should be interesting to see how electronic posting shakes out.  North Dakota is believed to be the first state in the country to try it.  The whole country will be watching.


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