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What is the purple paint law? — The Grow Network Community
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What is the purple paint law?

bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 218 ✭✭✭
edited November 8 in Wild Game Harvesting

I have not seen anything about safety while out foraging or hiking.

I don't know if you have heard of this law. Unconfirmed reports of land owners shooting at people on their property, has been pasted around. (In my area it's shoot first)

What is the purple paint law?

Purple paint on boundary line trees or fence posts means NO TRESPASSING, just as a green light means go and a red light means stop. ... The law reads as follows: "The owner or lessee of any real property may post the property by placing identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts around the area to be posted.

Please honor a land owner right do not forage or hike on land you have not asked permission to be on.

Check what the law is in your area, purple paint law is not in every area - know the laws in your area. You don't want to go to jail for foraging or hiking or end up being shot.

Also watch for snakes and know what inserts are harmful in your area.

When foraging for elderberries flowers I stepped on a snake last year, freaked us both out! It was just a black snake but we have copperheads at our farm so we are very careful. I wasn't at home but I needed to be more aware of where I placed my feet.


  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,056 admin
    edited April 26

    @bcabrobin I have not ever heard of this law, but am very aware of the importance of asking permission, whether the land is posted no trespassing, painted purple, or not. Especially in this climate of upheaval, I can see people shooting first.

    People do not want strangers on their land for so very many reasons...personal/family safety, property theft/damage, disturbing animals, owning dangerous animals...cows, bulls, protective dogs, protecting crops, etc.). Asking permission to _____ should always be a first and foremost thought. Even if the answer is no, you will have the respect of the landowner.

    I have heard landowners tell city folks that my back 40 IS my backyard. If you don't want me in yours, don't assume you can just pop onto mine. It isn't "the wild" it isn't "the bush" it is privately owned. I've heard the city folks argue this to a point too. 😑

    The landowner does not know your intentions unless you talk with them & they may have had bad experiences even with those who may have asked permission. It is their property, not yours.

    Farmers in Canada are liable for any accidents on their property, whether they know who is on it or not. That in itself is a big deal. I assume it is not much different elsewhere.

    Damage can be so easily done by even the most careful person. If you do get permission, please be mindful of boundaries and what is in the area you have permission to be in. Be careful to leave it as undisturbed as possible.

    Thank you, @bcabrobin for posting. It is a very timely subject.

  • DebiBDebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    Haven’t heard of this law but I understand the need for it. I’ve known people who owned large pieces of wooded property and had problems with hunters just assuming they could hunt the land. That’s dangerous when you live there and have dogs that wander the property. Both dogs had orange vests they wore during hunting season just in case.....

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,056 admin

    @DebiB Our kids wear those during hunting season & we talked about the horse having blaze orange (some people said that this racehorse looking horse looks like a moose(?). No riding happens then either. The jerseys are deer colored and short. It is always a concern here. We sigh with relief once the season passes.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,063 admin

    The purple paint law is a new one to me as well. In my province, you have to post "No Trespassing" or "Private Property" signs if you want to keep people out. Because we are resourced based, there are many timber/logging companies that use a variety of paint markers and ribbons on crown land as well as private property. It would really add to the confusion if there was another colour added to the mix. Trespassing is a bit of a concern during hunting season. However, with the increase in the price of licences and individual animal tags, not to mention the fuel and cost of ammo, there are less "out of area" hunters.

    We have a network of government Tourist Information Centres in our province and I think that should become a focus for them when greeting tourists; warning them to be respectful of private property that may appear to be otherwise unoccupied. I know it is well advertised in the hunting regulations guide, but there is very little mention in regular tourism brochures.

    We did have a brief issue with someone in our area who opened up an illegal B&B. It was an unsupervised rental and some of the "guests" were rather ignorant about trespassing; driving ATVs through private property, using private docks and beach access, even going so far as to go into one neighbour's barn to "borrow" an axe. After many complaints to the Regional District, the owner finally put the house up for sale.

    Right now we are having more of an issue with 4 legged trespassers than human. Several people have moved into our area in the last few years, bringing dogs with them. 4 for one family (and pups last year) and 5 for another family (plus new pups this year). These people seem to think that because they are in the bush (outside of town limits), they can let their dogs run at will. And the owners just don't listen, even when they are warned that local ranchers have the legal right to shoot the dogs if they are caught running cattle or wildlife.

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 230 ✭✭✭

    They just passed the purple paint law in Pennsylvania. Used to be you had to put up no trespassing signs on your property. But people would rip them down and trespass anyway. This way they can’t say they didn’t see any signs because they tore them off. Paint doesn’t come off the tree too well. In our rural area we all talk to each other and have permission to walk on each other’s property. When we need help, just make a call and help is on the way. Great way to live.

  • Jeanne SpearsJeanne Spears Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    We've had the purple paint law in Indiana for a couple years. Its been my experience that trespassers are either colorblind or think we're just decorating our trees. I put up bright yellow signs every 20 feet but evidently they can't read either. I have one gentleman who has hunted my woods for 40 years and he is the only one who has my permission. He's had his tree stands stolen or moved, and at least once a year has to run someone off. One guy was even within sight of my house. A couple years ago, a neighbor who had moved to the country from town decided to take his very large, very hairy dog for a stroll through my woods during hunting season. He was wearing a brown hooded parka (no safety colors) and nearly got shot. I very seldom go in the woods during hunting seasons, but even in non-hunting season, I wear bright orange and carry a gun (more for coyotes and wild dogs).

    I was raised to respect other peoples property. I knew where the boundaries were even if there was no fence there. We were taught to always help our neighbor if they needed help, but otherwise, mind our own business. I really miss the old days.

  • VickiPVickiP Posts: 515 ✭✭✭✭

    I live in the Ozarks and we have had the purple paint law for years, it is a quick and cheap way to post your property. We haven't actually used it on our land but I have considered it. In our area it applies to any trespass and is as binding as a sign. The reason it was passed here is because hunters and others would tear down signs and claim it was missing when they went in. With the purple paint you can paint a blaze on a tree and it can't be torn off. A shame really. when I grew up around here we all would respect each others land and no signs were necessary, you asked permission to hunt someones land. If you lived in a neighborhood you knew your neighbors and who wouldn't care if you took a hike across their land. Times are different now.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,056 admin

    @VickiP I could see illegal hunters doing that. What I don't understand is why they think they can trespass even without a sign being present. It is still trespassing. Paint or a sign should be irrelevant. It should be the title on the land that shows proof that it is not theirs. It is just as bad as the farmer being liable for accidents on the property even when he hasn't given permission.

    Here, there are poachers that will trespass, and of course, thieves after whatever. Snowmobilers in winter are in this catrgory too. This is where I first heard about the liability issue. If a snow machine goes on your land without permission and the driver happens to get hurt/killed because the driver hit a fence wire or some other object because they didn't see it, the farmer can get charged. That's very backwards, imo.

    I wish people would just respect others property as you stated. It is only right and makes things better for all.

  • seeker.nancy - Central Texasseeker.nancy - Central Texas Posts: 703 ✭✭✭✭

    When I grew up our property had a creek that ran through it. People trespassed to hunt frequently. At one point there was a group of guys that had someone drop them off at a bridge upstream and they would hunt their way to the next bridge, just past the edge of our property. They hunted every Wednesday night and would hang the deer from the bridge to dress them out and leave the guts and hides there. Every Wednesday night. One night they shot my goat, a doe that was close to the color of a deer. They just left her in place. We complained to the law and they would do nothing, in spite of us calling and telling them they were dressing out deer RIGHT NOW. It was usually 9 pm when they were dressing the deer. I was pissed! One night I turned on our porch light, flashed it three times, then turned it off. They never came back. Guess they figured we complained to someone who gave a dime. It used to be, and even with most of our neighbors then that permission to retrieve livestock that got out or whatever was okay. None the less a polite phone call was the unwritten rule, letting the land owner know that you would be on their property. I don't know if respect hasn't been taught or it just wasn't learned but it's a steaming pile and it stinks.

  • teachercarynteachercaryn Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 218 ✭✭✭

    I had no idea about a purple paint law. I do know about no trespassing signs that are posted marking areas to not enter. If there is a fishing stream, then you can fish it because of it’s National Protection (for trout, anyways).

  • AnAn Posts: 42 ✭✭

    Where I grew up you were legally bound to let fishermen fish a stream that went through your property, but the fishermen were not allowed on your land. Tough to enforce, however a spray of blanks would convince most to keep their feet in the water 😉.

  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 227 ✭✭✭

    Missouri has a purple paint law. Most people seem to respect it, but there are always those who feel that the rules don't apply to them. We too have neighbors who have been letting their dogs run free, and we see them running on our property. It's not good at any time, but during hunting season it's even a worse time. They really are at risk of being shot.

  • gardneto76gardneto76 Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    I would add make sure to ask permission each time or year that you enter. When I was a child we had access to an adjoining property owned by the same person who sold my parents their property and home. One year this gentleman leased the property to a hunting group. We had no knowledge of the lease. It was a little worrisome when the leasers started to yell at us for walking along the creek for trespass on their leased land. It was just a misunderstanding, but had we asked in the spring the property owner probably would have remembered to tell us he had leased the property to another group and we should stop using it for walks and berry picking. I was like 10 at the time but lesson was learned.

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