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you can't hunt crops on public WMA land?


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I was walking on a WMA today, and came across a couple small crop fields (looks like maybe planted with beans, though it all looked like weeds to me), each with one of these signs on it. Since when can't you hunt fields planted with crops *on public WMA land*???? These aren't private fields adjacent or inside the WMA - this is on public WMA property. I get it that farmers plant crops on WMAs, but I've never seen crops on WMAs posted like this where they threaten you with losing your license for 5 years and a $2,000 fine if you hunt them. Does this make sense?

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But does this mean you can't hunt the edges? Or is this just saying you can't walk in the middle of the crops or target animals sitting inside the crops?

The phrase "any person hunting unharvested crops" was confusing - that made it seem like I can't even be on the edges of the field because I would still be "hunting the crops" in that case (i.e. I'm targeting animals on the edges or animals coming and going to/from the fields - hence "hunting the crops"). Obviously, I'm not going to walk in the middle of the field and/or target animals sitting in the field, but I consider it still "hunting the crops" if I'm on the edges going after the animals that are frequenting those fields.

I dunno - maybe I'm reading too much into it. 

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Property Damage

Hunters must not hunt in unharvested crops unless first obtaining permission from the owner. Anyone causing damage to cultivated crops, orchards, fences, buildings or livestock may be arrested without warrant by the owner, occupant, lessee, or any officer of the law. Violators are liable for a fine of up to $2,000 and restitution to the property owner in addition to the loss of hunting privileges for a period of five years.

 

Right from the digest.

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Always been a rule to steer clear of standing crops, but the Division's pandering to farmers has always been a misuse of our WMAs.  Farmers get special privileges to use WMAs such as lower lease fees and use expansive amounts of WMA property off limits to license buying constituents.  WMAs are at an all time high regarding crowds of hunters.  I believe the Division should do away with most of the farm leases and let the fields go fallow.....succession of the fields would provide a lot more cover for the wildlife, and more room for crowds to spread out.

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