Hunting Club Journal –
The Science of Posting Property
by J. Wayne Fears
of the best practices of land management, and one that keeps neighbors
from becoming enemies, is the practice of "well thought out"
boundary posting. Hunting on a neighbor’s property without permission,
intentional or accidental, has caused some of the most serious landowner
conflicts on record. Whether you are a landowner, or a member of a
hunting club leasing land, it is a good idea to have a property boundary
marking system and to manage it annually.
have always considered boundary posting a necessity that serves three
purposes. First it notifies those on neighboring land that I do not wish
anyone to trespass on my land without permission. Second it notifies my
guest when they get to the edge of my property and not to trespass on my
neighbors’ property. And third if someone is caught trespassing there
is little room for excuses if the property lines are well posted.
Posting land will not keep criminals off but it will go a long way towards keeping trespass problems to a minimum.
been my experience that a well-marked boundary is seldom crossed by
honest hunters. Even poachers are reluctant to cross a posted boundary
when it is obvious the landowner/hunting club is serious about trespass.
Select live, clean trunk, hardwood trees for hanging posted signs in the woods.
the Right Boundary
should go without saying that the first part of a good boundary-posting
plan is to have an up-to-date survey to use to post the boundary.
Nothing will stir up a neighbor like putting up posted signs on his
property. It is a good policy to meet with neighboring landowners and
tell them of your plan to post the boundary. Invite them to come along
when you put up your signs. Explain to them that one of the main reasons
for posting the boundary is to keep your guests from straying onto their
property. I have seen adjoining property owners go together and put
their respective posted signs up along the line.
the Boundary for
the Long Term
is a lot of work to properly put up signs around a tract of land. Also,
it is an annual job to check the signs. Knowing this, it is a good idea
to put a little more work into the initial posting effort and make it a
long term investment, requiring little effort for annual inspections.
This means having a policy that considers the following:
Select signs that
will last for years
Use large headed aluminum nails, for loggers’ safety, that are long
enough to leave at least ½-inch of the head exposed to accommodate the
Placing signs high enough on trees, or post in open areas, so that it is
difficult for vandals to reach easily
close enough so that you can see a sign from the adjoining signs
Place signs on live, long living, hardwood trees
Place signs on obvious travel routes such as old roads crossing the
boundary, ridge tops, creek bottoms
limbs, etc. from around signs so that they can be seen easily
In open areas use metal posts such as T-posts and attach signs with
stainless steel screws
good rule of thumb for selecting signs is to get the best you can
afford. Posted signs come in paper, plastic and aluminum. It has been my
experience that the paper signs will not last more than a year, if that
long. They look old fast and blow down easily.The plastic signs will
last longer, I have gotten up to three years of good service, but the
sun, wind and weather takes its toll soon after that.
signs, 0.032 –gauge or heavier, make excellent long term boundary
marking signs, provided
Select signs that will show up good at a distance and will last for years. Look at them as a long term investment.
is UV resistant. I use signs made by Art-Vertising Inc. (1911 Magazine
St., New Orleans, LA 70130) that are 0.040-gauge aluminum painted white
with black lettering and many of these signs have been up 10 years and
still look as good as the day I hung them. Also, Voss Signs (www.vosssigns.com)
offers a good selection of aluminum signs.
size of the sign is important in that it needs to be large enough to be
easily seen at a distance. When you get smaller then 6"X12" it
becomes more difficult for the signs to be seen in thick woods. Within
reason, the larger the better, but remember you have to carry a supply
of the signs cross-country when you are hanging them and weight can be a
factor. Also, the larger the aluminum sign, the more expensive it can
debates have been held over the best color for posted signs. Many
landowners like hunter orange as it stand out in the woods most of the
year, with the possible exception of fall during the fall leaf colors.
Yellow is a favorite color, with the same problem during fall foliage
colors. Red is a poor choice, due to the fact that many people are
red-green colorblind and can’t see the signs at a distance. I like
signs that are a white background with black letters. Before deciding on
a color think about the vegetation color during the season(s) your signs
will be working hardest for you and select a color that will stand out.
Signs that blend in with their surroundings do little good.
on signs should be large enough to be read at a distance. I have seen
homemade signs that had the message on the sign so small that someone
had to get right up to the sign to read it.
some thought as to what you want your signs to say. Don’t invite
trouble. Avoid signs that offend the neighbors or present the reader
with a challenge. Offensive signs have caused gates to be torn down and
camp houses burned. Think about how your sign is going to come across to
the reader and don’t issue a challenge to vandalize. I have found that
the words "POSTED KEEP OUT" work about as well as any threat.
may want to have your name and/or phone number on the signs so that
those wishing to contact you, such as getting permission to trail a hit
deer or report a problem, will know how.
in Alabama it is not necessary to put up posted signs for your property
to be legally protected against trespassing and it will not stop the
criminal trespasser. However, practicing the science of posting will
help keep your guest on your property, keep honest hunters off your land
and will make prosecuting the criminal trespasser much easier.
Wayne Fears is the editor of HUNTING CAMP JOURNAL magazine www.huntingcampjournal.com
and author of the
book HUNTING CLUB MANAGEMENT GUIDE.