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Trespass-Hunting Season

Duck Hunting

With duck season and other hunting seasons about to be in full swing, now seems like an appropriate time to discuss the issue of trespass.  When people think of trespass, they usually think of it in the context of being a criminal act.  Indeed, the act of trespass is deemed a criminal act in Louisiana.  However, trespass is not just a criminal act and punishable as such, but trespass is also considered a tort for purposes of a civil action.  In either context, a trespass occurs when there is an unlawful physical invasion of the property or possession of another person.  A property owner who is confronted with a trespass may not only press criminal charges but may recover general damages, including mental and physical pain, anguish, distress and inconvenience.  Consequently, a property owner has options when confronted with an act of trespass.  And, it should be fairly easy to understand why the law would impose both criminal and civil penalties for the act of trespass.  Property owners have any number of reasons for seeking to prohibit trespass upon their property.  For example, when a trespass occurs a property owner is prevented from using or leasing his property to the fullest extent.  This could be extremely problematic in the context of hunting.  Whether for personal use or as hunting lease property,  trespasser deny the owner or lessee of the expected unfettered access and use of the property, not to mention the enjoyment that comes from  successful hunts.  As any property owner and hunter knows, there is a lot of work that goes into preparing for a successful hunting season.  The benefactor of such hard work surely is not meant to be the trespasser.  Moreover, safety,  becomes an even bigger issue when having to deal with the presence of the unknown and unanticipated trespasser armed with a firearm.  Keep it simple….don’t trespass!