This guest post was submitted by Tyler Lannoye, an outdoor sports enthusiast and resident of Churchs Ferry, North Dakota.
I am not a landowner. I am a lifelong resident of North Dakota and a sportsman. I am a member of my local sportsmen’s clubs and I donate money, time, guns and resources to promote youth hunting and shooting sports. I was taught to understand the value of life, to hunt ethically, to respect landowners and to understand that hunting is a privilege, not a right.
I also understand that Senate Bill 2315 is a private property rights bill, not an anti-hunting bill.
Saying that we all have a right to utilize private property, regardless of what that property is, without permission, is absurd, and this is realized in many other states, including those bordering North Dakota. This is also realized in society in general. It would be unacceptable to drive my pickup onto a private golf course to search for a spot for my decoys, and then shoot all the geese in the pond. Why is the same activity acceptable on private agricultural land?
I cannot recall a time when I have hunted an unposted field. Controlling access does not prevent hunting, but it does promote successful hunting by making sure that animals are not overly pressured. It also ensures that multiple groups are not attempting to hunt the same area at one time which helps ensure the safety of hunters and others in the area.
This year, I was fortunate to gain permission from a landowner I had never met to archery hunt. I didn’t pressure the wildlife, and I subsequently harvested a mature trophy whitetail. I enjoyed every moment of preparation and harvest and formed a relationship with that family that will continue for seasons to come. I used a phone app to find the landowner and a plat map book to get their phone number. This is a much more efficient system than relying on a sign. Hunting has changed a lot in the last 90 years, and I think it is time that our system changes as well.
The excitement and joy of a hunt spans far beyond releasing an arrow or pulling a trigger. We should teach the next generation that it is not about killing, but about enjoying the outdoors and forming relationships with landowners and other sportsmen. Every person that I have heard speak in opposition to this bill agrees that relationships with landowners are one of the most important things that ensure their hunting opportunities. This bill supports those relationships.
If it wasn’t for the landowners, who are the most important stewards of wildlife, we would not have these opportunities. They make hunting in North Dakota possible for sportsmen, yet they are required to spend personal time and resources to protect their private property, the people who hunt on that property and the wildlife that inhabit that property.
Senate Bill 2315 would provide a better experience for the ethical sportsmen who value more than a trigger pull. It helps protects the future of hunting and instills appropriate values into young sportsmen. It definitely does not limit my access, but ensures that my preparation and time in the field are safe, enjoyable and rewarding.
I support the passing of Senate Bill 2315 and hope that there are other sportsmen who will vocally advocate for landowners – our partners in our treasured hunting experiences – and their private property rights.