Re: Public Land In Iowa
On county gravel and dirt roads one can hunt the area between the edge of the traveled part of the road and the fenceline without the adjacent farmer permission. One cannot shoot over the traveled part of the road. One can shoot at pheasants which have flushed and are flying in the airspace over the farmers field. One can also tresspass to retreive dead or wounded animals, but cannot take a gun with to do this without the farmers permission. One can only use shotguns for roadside hunting. Rifles and pistols are not allowed. However, shotguns with slugs are allowed for deer off the sides of the road, but within the right-of-way. Note that many times one can see a heard of deer heading accross a field toward a road and maybe get a shot off as they are crossing the road ditch. They often stop after jumping the fence. Until a couple years ago, there was not actually a law against one shooting a deer on a farmers land from the roadside. I asked game wardens about that in the past, but they would not answer my question. I suspect they gave out a few tickets for hunters breaking a law that did not exist. I think the law got made after rifle deer hunting got legalized. That is, now one cannot shoot deer on the other side of a property line without the owner's permission. Most farmers have a fence between their fields and the roads. That is because they often put cattle out on the fields after the corn is picked to clean up the leftovers. Note that the farmer may technically own the land to the middle of the road, and they may pay taxes on that land. However, that land is under a perminent government easement and in effect, no more there land than the public. I think it is fair that they pay taxes to the middle of the road because their land is more valuable with a road adjacent to it. Without a public maintained road nearby it would be more difficut to do their farming operations. They would need to maintain their own field road. The vast majority of farmers are OK with the roadside hunting law. I think it really works well for hunters as during pheasant season gunshots are often heard and the farmers seem not to think a cow will get shot everytime a gun goes off. I think that makes it easier to get permission for hunting on private land. There are a few farmers who just plain seem to hate hunters, like the ones that harrass me about once per year. A few years ago my son and I flushed and shot a couple pheasants along the roadside. Two grandsons were with, both about 8 years old. One pheasant crashed in a field of tall grass. My son and I put our guns in the truck and my grandsons laid their toy guns on the short grass along side the road. We all then went into the tall grass field to try to find the pheasant. The farmer drove over my grandson's toy guns and started yelling at us. My son and I explained the tresspass law to him, but I am sure he already knew it. We even showed him the regulations which we had with us. It did not calm him down but he finally left. I contacted a game warden about that with the farmers liscence plate number and asked him to talk with the farmer. However, I doubt if the game warden did. I think it is more important careerwise for them to side with farmers rather than hunters.