Property rights, hunting addressed in ND legislature

BISMARCK, N.D. - It's been a long tug of war between hunter and landowner. Lawmakers are putting together a bill they believe will benefit both.

Senate bill 2315 has the hunter needing to ask permission to hunt posted land, but this time law makers are implementing technology to do the job. Land ownership will be coded green (available for hunting), yellow (you must get permission), or red(no hunting allowed).

Land open to hunting with this bill would require no action.

But, Terry Steinwand, the director of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, says technology may be difficult for some to transfer to.

"Hunters have to ask to get in, that's worked well for about 50 years or longer, this is just an evolution to an electronic system that will do sort of the same thing, but it's a phased-in approach," said Steinwand.

Carmen Miller of Ducks Unlimited says this bill is a bit concerning for both sportsmen and landowners.

"Hunting and wildlife in general are dependent on access and habitat, and those things can only happen with communication between hunters and landowners. We're talking about public resources that exists on private lands. It's very complicated and emotional on both sides," said Carmen Miller of Ducks Unlimited.

Sen. Larry Luick says this bill has been flipped, rather than the land being closed to hunting, now it's open to hunting.

"I think what you're looking at; landowners are currently giving up their right to have a private piece of property, and guarding it as they would in any other means to let hunters go onto their property," said Luick.

Lawmakers believe bill 2315 will be a useful tool for sportsmen and eliminate time and the burden for landowners.

Bill 2315 will be voted on Tuesday at 1 p.m.