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Trespassing -- No Need To!

By Frank Biggs
08/15/15 -- Recently there was a great article written in Oregon Hunters Magazine about Trespassing and Trespassing laws in Oregon. How many people know that there could be restitution of up to $6250.00 for trespassing in the State of Oregon! Reality is that there is no need to trespass, unless you truly intend to do so.

Garmin Topo: This is the Garmin topo 24K as it is viewed on Garmin Base Map on the computer. Note: Most National Forest maps would look the same.
Garmin Topo: This is the Garmin topo 24K as it is viewed on Garmin Base Map on the computer. Note: Most National Forest maps would look the same.

There is technology and mapping resources to keep you from unintentionally trespassing in the State of Oregon and many other states in the continental U.S. that has private land and public land in a mix of blocks with fences and without fences.

onXmaps HUNT Base Map View BLMThis is what the onXmaps HUNT mapping software viewing looks like on Garmin Base Map and Garmin GPS. This is a view of tracking and waypoints on legal hunting grounds surrounded, well almost, by private land. You might see this on a BLM paper map, but usually not colored. In the old days we would color the BLM yellow on a BLM paper map. The Steens Mountains map alone taped together would cover the bed of a pickup truck.

onXmaps HUNT Base Map View BLM: This is what the onXmaps HUNT mapping software viewing looks like on Garmin Base Map and Garmin GPS. This is a view of tracking and waypoints on legal hunting grounds surrounded, well almost, by private land. You might see this on a BLM paper map, but usually not colored. In the old days we would color the BLM yellow on a BLM paper map. The Steens Mountains map alone taped together would cover the bed of a pickup truck.

For many years I have been helping hunters find places to hunt for big game in the State of Oregon. In the four years I have been involved with new mapping technology and giving coordinates or waypoints to hunters at NO COST monetarily, none of my hunters that use the technology have ever had an issue. I have expected them to buy a GPS (Garmin) (colored screen) (SD Micro Ready) that interfaces with the Topo Mapping Software from onXmaps HUNT. Recently I have extended free service for those that are using Android and Apple devices. In this case with the onXmaps HUNT software loaded to the device, I can send them a Google Earth KLM file. This keeps it simple and fast for me to get them into the area, saving a great deal of time in the scouting of an area.

onXmaps HUNT Base Map View: This is the onXmaps HUNT mapping software viewed on the Garmin Base Map on the computer. This will look the same on a Garmin GPS. Note the small block of private land in the N.F.
onXmaps HUNT Base Map View: This is the onXmaps HUNT mapping software viewed on the Garmin Base Map on the computer. This will look the same on a Garmin GPS. Note the small block of private land in the N.F.

A bit of humor though, when checking back with the hunters after the hunt, I have asked where the pictures and short story are, some have told me “I didn’t find an antelope at the waypoint!” “But I did get kill one close to the spot!”

For those who are savvy with a computer to have the software on the computer and on a colored screen Garmin GPS there is limitless opportunity with the knowledge gained from using the technology.

The great thing about using onXmaps HUNT is that in many states you have the private, private timber lands, BLM, State Lands and National Forest lands distinctively marked for easy reference. In many counties you will see the blocks of private by land owner name. The onXmaps HUNT Information Technology team is always updating the maps when needed!

Silvies: This is a KML (Google Earth file of Silvies Hunt Unit in Oregon) uploaded from onXmaps HUNT customer’s content file and then to ICLOUD, IPAD or other mobile devices. The picture, sent from the IPAD is a share file from onXmaps HUNT.
Silvies: This is a KML (Google Earth file of Silvies Hunt Unit in Oregon) uploaded from onXmaps HUNT customer’s content file and then to ICLOUD, IPAD or other mobile devices. The picture, sent from the IPAD is a share file from onXmaps HUNT.

What does amaze me daily that many hunters who let’s say have waited 12-20 years for a pronghorn tag, still come back to me when they are using their computer to find me and my services and tell me they can’t afford a GPS or they tell me, “I have a paper map.” I don’t even carry paper maps in the field any longer.

The major problem with paper maps is that most are outdated and most will not show the small blocks of private land that are on Bureau of Land Management, State Lands (sometimes) or National Forest. Just one example is near Sumpter and Granite, Oregon where there are privately held mines on private land. Always interesting to see the names of the mines in some Oregon’s and other state’s remote locations. You won’t see that on most paper maps, little along on other mapping software. I can guarantee with a National Forest map or road map, you’re going to get a trespassing ticket if you rely on that source to keep you legal. A landowner up in this neck of the woods on an active mine, might not take too kindly to someone trespassing. Now if you had the onXmaps HUNT mapping, you might be able to find the landowner and get permission to hunt. Remember, asking is not that hard to do!

BLM onXmap Hunt: This image shows BLM land from Garmin Base Map on the computer
BLM onXmap Hunt: This image shows BLM land from Garmin Base Map on the computer

Yet to this day in a moment of compassion, I will print a map from my onXmaps HUNT program, scan it and send it to a person so they can hunt. It is just not the same doing this rather than to have the waypoints on a GPS and while at camp, look at them on a laptop for the next day’s hunt. You can make a route to get to that hard to reach spot. For those that don’t have a Garmin, they might only get txt files and try to figure them out on a map. Land ownership and boundaries change over the years, just look at the boundaries of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation today versus 15 years ago.

Clarno Elk: This is a snapshot from Google Earth, Clarno, Grizzly Hunt Unit, Oregon, on the computer
Clarno Elk: This is a snapshot from Google Earth, Clarno, Grizzly Hunt Unit, Oregon, on the computer

Having a local tell you, “Once you get to the store in Hampton, there is a road that goes to the north out of town, travel for about a mile, stop at the first tree on the left, turn then once you cross the stream on Grade 7 road, then travel about 1 mile, then turn right at the big boulder with class of 70 painted on it, then up the hill until you see the pine tree, then take the second dirt road to the left” is utterly confusing. Most of us get lost!

I hear of hunters or outdoor people getting ticketed every day for trespassing unknowingly. The fine alone, if they get a good judge with compassion, you could have bought a new Garmin Montana and onXmaps HUNT SD Micro Card, and many sporting goods stores have package deals!

Garmin Montana 600 with a picture of actual spot and hunt spot in the S. Wagontire Unit. I did the computer download and on a blank sd card on this Montana. I like the software and google earth on my computer to review spots and new spots, then send out the gpx file waypoints) to the hunters.

Garmin Montana 600 with a picture of actual spot and hunt spot in the S. Wagontire Unit. I did the computer download and on a blank sd card on this Montana. I like the software and Google Earth on my computer to review spots and new spots, then send out the gpx file waypoints) to the hunters.

The other amazing thing is that the GPS and the mapping software will give the hunter or outdoor person an insight into the unknown. You’ll find places you can go, that you never knew existed. These places aren’t advertised, but once you locate them by using the equipment, you can make the call or let’s say check with ODFW on private lands on which the public can hunt. Do you really think that timber companies advertise for the public to hunt their lands? They might have some lands open, but they also have some not opened to the public and yet both are posted the same way!

Frank Biggs, aka “Bwana Bubba” is a true authority as a rifle and archery hunter. He is particularly well-regarded for his knowledge of hunting in Oregon. He is a member of the Pro Staff of onXmaps HUNT, a Field Staff member of H.H.A. sports, Contributing Writer for “Archery Talk,” a Martin Archery Good Old Boy and Senior Luxury RV Sales Consultant in Portland

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