Q for Tx G.W's

Mike Mathena

New member
My Q is about trespassing, we have located hogs and bobcats on a power line easement that backs up to a job we are on, there are no gates or signage, is it ok to to hunt these easements? Also, what's the law on crossing barbed wire fences into big open fields with no signage or purple posts anywhere along the fence? It is down in a couple of places. There are no residents or cattle on the land.
Thanks in advance
Not a Texas Game Warden but I think they take trespassing pretty serious down there. If you don't own it I think you better have written permission to be on it. A lot of utility companies and the railroad have really cracked down on trespassing on their properties due to the liability factor.
Originally Posted By: Mike MathenaI reckon i knew that about the fences, figured I'd ask anyway.
Shouldn't the easments be marked or gated though?

Not trying to be a smartazz here, but following that mindset what difference would that make? Again, shouldn't you know that if you dont own it you need permission of the property owner to be there? My front lawn isn't posted or gated, should I expect people to bring lawn chairs and a picnic basket and put out a spread for the family? Build a fire and roast some hot dogs, make s'mores, fly a kite and all that? They could expect to be told leave quickly or go to jail, right? About the same difference I think.
Exactly sir. I didn't/ wouldn't cross any fence lines. My main question was about the easments.
We asked the local LEO's this morning about the PowerLine easments, the reply was "I'm not a game warden but i don't have a problem with it, have fun and be safe.
An easement is just that, an easement across Private Property. A utility company or other commercial entity has a legal easement granting access to private property. An easement does NOT give access to private individuals for recreation.I would suggest looking in the regulations booklets put out by Texas Parks and Wildlife. I am sure that trespassing laws are clearly stated and knowing those laws could save you a lot of headaches. To be safe, never assume. Know the law before you enter property that you do not own or have express written permission to be on.

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TPWD website states;
"it's un lawful to enter a property that is fenced, posted with signs or pruple rings without the property owners permission."

I've searched their rules and regulations, that's all i could find on trespassing.
I'd recommend you consider not engaging in this behavior for several reasons.

You might also consider that trespass with a firearm in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by jail time not to exceed a year, a fine not to exceed $4,000 or both, fine and jail (penal code 12.21). You'd probably at least be arrested for the offense.

Depending on your activity on the property, you could also end up with charges of hunt without landowner consent.... Which depending on what is hunted, could cause you to face State Jail Felony charges. This could be anywhere between 180 days to 2 years in jail, a fine up to $10,000 or both, the fine and jail time. (Penal code 12.35).

For your convenience, I've included the penal code text for trespass.... The last line adds the enhancement for doing so with a firearm. Again, I'd recommend you consider a different course of action.

Sec. 30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person:
(1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or
(2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) "Entry" means the intrusion of the entire body.
(2) "Notice" means:
(A) oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;
(B) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;
(C) a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden;
(D) the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks are:
(i) vertical lines of not less than eight inches in length and not less than one inch in width;
(ii) placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground or more than five feet from the ground; and
(iii) placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than:
(a) 100 feet apart on forest land; or
(b) 1,000 feet apart on land other than forest land; or
(E) the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested, or marketable if harvested at the time of entry.
(3) "Shelter center" has the meaning assigned by Section 51.002, Human Resources Code.
(4) "Forest land" means land on which the trees are potentially valuable for timber products.
(5) "Agricultural land" has the meaning assigned by Section 75.001, Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
(6) "Superfund site" means a facility that:
(A) is on the National Priorities List established under Section 105 of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. Section 9605); or
(B) is listed on the state registry established under Section 361.181, Health and Safety Code.
(7) "Critical infrastructure facility" means one of the following, if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders:
(A) a chemical manufacturing facility;
(B) a refinery;
(C) an electrical power generating facility, substation, switching station, electrical control center, or electrical transmission or distribution facility;
(D) a water intake structure, water treatment facility, wastewater treatment plant, or pump station;
(E) a natural gas transmission compressor station;
(F) a liquid natural gas terminal or storage facility;
(G) a telecommunications central switching office;
(H) a port, railroad switching yard, trucking terminal, or other freight transportation facility;
(I) a gas processing plant, including a plant used in the processing, treatment, or fractionation of natural gas; or
(J) a transmission facility used by a federally licensed radio or television station.
(8) "Protected freshwater area" has the meaning assigned by Section 90.001, Parks and Wildlife Code.
(9) "Recognized state" means another state with which the attorney general of this state, with the approval of the governor of this state, negotiated an agreement after determining that the other state:
(A) has firearm proficiency requirements for peace officers; and
(B) fully recognizes the right of peace officers commissioned in this state to carry weapons in the other state.
(10) "Recreational vehicle park" has the meaning assigned by Section 13.087, Water Code.
(11) "Residential land" means real property improved by a dwelling and zoned for or otherwise authorized for single-family or multifamily use.
(c) Repealed by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1138, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.
(d) An offense under this section is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor, except as provided by Subdivisions (2) and (3);
(2) a Class C misdemeanor, except as provided by Subdivision (3), if the offense is committed:
(A) on agricultural land and within 100 feet of the boundary of the land; or
(B) on residential land and within 100 feet of a protected freshwater area; and
(3) a Class A misdemeanor if:
(A) the offense is committed:
(i) in a habitation or a shelter center;
(ii) on a Superfund site; or
(iii) on or in a critical infrastructure facility; or
(B) the person carries a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense.
I know it’s an older post but I’m gonna add my $.02 anyways as someone who lives and ranches in Texas and deal with several easements. Easement is basically a lease on the road/ power line . You’re not allowed to hunt or shoot on private land unless given permission by the landowner. Do so and get caught and you’re opening yourself to a world of legal trouble…not to mention most people in Texas respond to unauthorized gunshots on their land with a firearm of their own. Hot landowners with guns can be bad. Texas mostly private property everyone knows this so bs excuses don’t fly very well either.