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Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. #2712069 11/01/11 08:49 PM
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Tatsun Offline OP
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Hello all, was hoping to get some insight here.

I just recently leased out in Palo Pinto county near Mineral Wells. The landowner recently purchased the land and told me the layout, as well as walked alot of the property with me. I found what I think is a pretty nice area near a good watering hole, and many trails. I worked very hard prepping the area over a couple of days, set up my feeder, and blind and have been anticipating the upcoming season. I already have several big bucks coming into my feeder, and its been making this week drag on and on...

Well, I received a call from the landowner the other night. He stated that he was looking at land maps of the area, and it appears that I MAY, and this is a big MAYBE, be off of the property line by about 500 yards. No keep in mind that area of Texas is very unincorporated and there is nothing but land as far as the eye can see in all directions. Its Mineral Wells! The previous owner of the land stated that the property line runs from where the main house is, all the way south until the main road begins and the front fence ends. Well, there are no fence lines running east to west whatsoever to seperate the property anywhere until you get to the main road at wich point the front fence ends as it meets the obvious next property. I walked that entire property before deciding on this spot. Never did I see any fence line dividing the property anywhere, any type of visible marker to identify the seperation of the property, nor are there any "NO TRESSPASSING" signs present or posted anywhere. There is an old, I mean very old gate that looks like it had not been used in years until I opened that is located right off of the main road near where I would be hunting at. The new owner of the property has said he has tried unsuccesfully to contact the previous owner of the land for confirmation as to where the property line starts and ends. The new owner has also said that he has never seen anybody else on that part of the land since he bought the place, and believes I may still be on his land, but then again I may not be.
My question is this. What if I actually am off of the property by about 500 yards? I have put so much work into the area to hunt and now it is so close to opening day, 4 days as of the writing of this, and won't have the chance to get back to the lease until the Friday before opening day. If I go ahead and hunt my spot, but come to find that if I am off the line, and the owner lets me know, would I get in trouble for it? I mean of course I would pack up and leave immediatly if asked. As stated there are no fences to divide the property, no markers to divide the property and there are not any "NO TRESSPASSING" signs posted anywhere either. We plan to research the property line more and hope the new owner can get in contact with old owner eventually (old owner moved out of state). I just don't want to get into any troouble or break any laws, but man, I would hate to not be able to hunt that area. We did look on Google maps, andd there are divide lines that show up, but those are from when the previous owner had the land on seperated, before he bought the rest and the maps are outdated. I have walked that entire area, have not seen so much as a boot track. There are no other stands, feeders etc anywhere either.

Sorry so long, just wanted to be thorough with my description. Any input or advice would be helpful.
Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Tatsun; 11/01/11 08:50 PM.
Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Tatsun] #2712095 11/01/11 08:55 PM
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I would get on Google Earth and print out your location. Take that with you to the county clerks office and explain your situation and see if they will help you determine if your ok.



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Tatsun] #2712099 11/01/11 08:56 PM
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If I were in your shoes, I would get the GPS or Lat/Long readings for the property lines and get out there with a handheld GPS and find out for sure. But then again, I'm comfortable using that type of equipment.



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Texan Til I Die] #2712129 11/01/11 09:03 PM
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Yepp,County clerks office... should be a survey on it somewhere, If I was buying land I would always get it surveyed if one's not available... Good luck, I would have to hunt it...


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Texan Til I Die] #2712134 11/01/11 09:04 PM
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You are hopelessly screwed.


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: cameron00] #2712207 11/01/11 09:20 PM
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Ok, actually I just spoke to a buddy who referred me to the TEXAS TRESPASS PENAL CODE. I think that, since I have permission from the land owner of the lease on their land, and there are no definitive markers, fences etc posted that divide the land, and there are no "NO TRESPASSING" signs posted I should be ok if come to find out I actually am off of the property line, as I at have no way of knowing for sure. If found to be on seperate property, and am asked to leave by the land owner and I do not comply, then I will get in trouble. Below is the copy of the TEXAS TREPASS PENAL CODE, and this is how I am interpreting it, but if any of you think I may be wrong, please advise.

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.


Last edited by Tatsun; 11/01/11 09:22 PM.
Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Tatsun] #2712227 11/01/11 09:25 PM
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Trespassing is not your concern here. It is Hunting without landowner permission (if you are off the land you leased) which is in the Parks and Wildlife Code.


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Tatsun] #2712235 11/01/11 09:26 PM
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Well, there's another one, Hunting without Consent...

I'd hunt. If it turns out it is not your property, don't mention that you actually had any doubt. Just say you thought it was the property you leased...


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Bill Waldschmidt] #2712250 11/01/11 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bill Waldschmidt
Well, there's another one, Hunting without Consent...

I'd hunt. If it turns out it is not your property, don't mention that you actually had any doubt. Just say you thought it was the property you leased...


Thats what I am going to do, especially being so close to opening day. I am about 75-85% sure that I am on the leased land however, and that area of Palo Pinto is so large, and there is so much land, I am sure things like this happen quite a bit. Like someone said, Palo Pinto is like the "Wild Wild West"...all land and no people.


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Tatsun] #2712271 11/01/11 09:35 PM
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There has to be a survey somewhere, I would check for it.


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: westtexaswatkins] #2712280 11/01/11 09:37 PM
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This can be a major problem here in Texas where there are large sections of land that haven't been surveyed in a long, long time. Many years ago surveyors didn't have the technology we have today. I heard a story of a guy who bought a property and discovered that he actually had several hundred acres more than was fenced. What a deal, guess what happened to his neighbor? Well nuts and bolts....he got screwed.


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Enter Standman] #2712298 11/01/11 09:42 PM
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Lol... I was just reading a lease that stated a boundary marker was an old wagon wheel by the creek crossing and another was the old dead stump by the southern most stream..another was a tree with a spike driven in it... Them LaSalle Co folks can't get things right grin


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: rifleman] #2712327 11/01/11 09:49 PM
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I would not risk hunting on someone elses land. It's the landowners responsibility to clearly mark the boundries for you if you are leasing from him. Hold him to it.



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: rifleman] #2712358 11/01/11 09:56 PM
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Yep, I'm sure it's all land and no people...until opening morning of deer season.

You better check into it or risk gettin' yourself into a lot of trouble. It's not someone else's responsibility to tell you where the property line is. It's your duty to know where it is and only hunt the property that you have consent to hunt.



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: rifleman] #2712376 11/01/11 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: rifleman
Lol... I was just reading a lease that stated a boundary marker was an old wagon wheel by the creek crossing and another was the old dead stump by the southern most stream..another was a tree with a spike driven in it... Them LaSalle Co folks can't get things right grin


to add this was all written in 1898


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: westtexaswatkins] #2712382 11/01/11 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: westtexaswatkins
Trespassing is not your concern here. It is Hunting without landowner permission (if you are off the land you leased) which is in the Parks and Wildlife Code.
X2


Doesn't matter what you think or say when the GW or sheriff shows up and you're hunting on property you didn't lease.
When that happens,
Originally Posted By: cameron00
You are hopelessly screwed.



Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Texan Til I Die] #2712656 11/01/11 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texan Til I Die
If I were in your shoes, I would get the GPS or Lat/Long readings for the property lines and get out there with a handheld GPS and find out for sure. But then again, I'm comfortable using that type of equipment.


X2





Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: quackaholic1] #2712672 11/01/11 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted By: quackaholic1
Originally Posted By: Texan Til I Die
If I were in your shoes, I would get the GPS or Lat/Long readings for the property lines and get out there with a handheld GPS and find out for sure. But then again, I'm comfortable using that type of equipment.


X2


Roger that! It's pretty easy to learn as well. May not be as accurate as a survey but will be pretty good.

Be sure to check what is called the Datum year and set your GPS to that Datum.



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: TurkeyHunter] #2713299 11/02/11 02:17 AM
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I can't believe the new landowner bought it and be doesn't know where the boundaries are. How does he know how much land he actually bought without a survey?



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Stompy] #2713336 11/02/11 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: Stompy
I can't believe the new landowner bought it and be doesn't know where the boundaries are. How does he know how much land he actually bought without a survey?


Likely had no new survey, which isn't uncommon. Likely relied upon the old survey. Not real uncommon in realty transactions.

JJ


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: JJSeabrook] #2713341 11/02/11 02:29 AM
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but it's the first thing you do (survey) for liability reasons.


Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: JJSeabrook] #2713346 11/02/11 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: JJSeabrook
Originally Posted By: Stompy
I can't believe the new landowner bought it and be doesn't know where the boundaries are. How does he know how much land he actually bought without a survey?


Likely had no new survey, which isn't uncommon. Likely relied upon the old survey. Not real uncommon in realty transactions.

JJ

I understand that but the guy should have an old survey. You can bet on all the different properties I've bought, I knew exactly where the boundaries were before I bought them.



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: Stompy] #2713471 11/02/11 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted By: Stompy
Originally Posted By: JJSeabrook
Originally Posted By: Stompy
I can't believe the new landowner bought it and be doesn't know where the boundaries are. How does he know how much land he actually bought without a survey?


Likely had no new survey, which isn't uncommon. Likely relied upon the old survey. Not real uncommon in realty transactions.

JJ

I understand that but the guy should have an old survey. You can bet on all the different properties I've bought, I knew exactly where the boundaries were before I bought them.


Don't disagree with you in any way. Personally, if there wasn't at least old stakes, or markers, marking survey boundaries that I could identify, I'd require a new survey. This guy evidently didn't do so. That leaves the lessee in a quandary. Somewhere in the records there IS a survey...you can be assured of that and that survey IS on file at the County Clerk's office. The clarity of that survey would depend upon when it was done, i.e. if it was done in the early 1900's, or before, versus a more recent survey. The landowner should be able to tell you what you leased. If not, you have a problem with what you leased. This is something you should have clarified before leasing the property, as you well now know, but I'd still go back to the landowner to have him set the boundaries. If he doesn't know where they are, then he may need a new survey, which will not make him happy, but he shouldn't have leased the land without knowing his own freakin boundaries. Open range is fine, but the landowner should be able to tell you that from this marker to this marker, through all four markers, if not more if there are zigs and zags, is my property and this is what you are leasing. Doesn't fix your problem, but you leased a property with no boundaries, which is kind of silly on open range property.

You should IMMEDIATELY go back to the landowner and ask him where the boundaries are for the land you leased. IF you put your stand and feeders that are not on your leased property, you have a problem. DOCUMENT any discussions you have with that landowner. DO EMAILS AND FAXES! Get it in WRITING! If he says it's part of what you leased, you have no problems BECAUSE YOU HAVE IT THEN DOCUMENTED.

Not offering you legal advice, and I'm NOT an attorney, but IF you get that landowner nailed down IN WRITING before season opener, I think you'll be okay. NAIL HIM DOWN IMMEDIATELY IN WRITING! MAKE HIM clarify those boundaries.

What does your lease recite? X acres and no clarification of any boundaries?

JJ





Last edited by JJSeabrook; 11/02/11 03:10 AM.
Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: JJSeabrook] #2713515 11/02/11 03:19 AM
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One way to clarify the boundaries would be to have the landowner provide you with a copy of the legal description of the property and a survey, if available. Armed with this info (and maybe some help from someone who can read "metes and bounds" you can get pretty close to finding the boundaries. The Central Appraisal District in many counties have a property boundary overlay available for Google Earth. Do some internet research and see what you can find. Also, you can call the Central Appraisal District in that county and they may be able to provide you with a map / aerial photo with lines drawn. I wouldn't go stumbling off in the dark on opening morning if I wasn't certain that I was where I was supposed to be.....



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Re: Question regarding leases property line, and law regarding it. [Re: D Red Raider] #2713799 11/02/11 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted By: D Red Raider
One way to clarify the boundaries would be to have the landowner provide you with a copy of the legal description of the property and a survey, if available. Armed with this info (and maybe some help from someone who can read "metes and bounds" you can get pretty close to finding the boundaries. The Central Appraisal District in many counties have a property boundary overlay available for Google Earth. Do some internet research and see what you can find. Also, you can call the Central Appraisal District in that county and they may be able to provide you with a map / aerial photo with lines drawn. I wouldn't go stumbling off in the dark on opening morning if I wasn't certain that I was where I was supposed to be.....


This is the best advice. Listen here, the land owner has told you that you may be 500 yds off the property line. You have been notified. It is your responsibility to check into this. The way I understand the situation he thinks your not on his property. If you go ahead and hunt and get caught your looking at a possible felony. You asked for knowledgeable advice and we have gave it. In 30 minutes you can find out for sure by contacting the clerks office, why wouldn't you do that?



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