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West River Lockout landowners are bad folks...

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Liberty Belle

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Accidental trespasser: Faulty coordinates cause hunter to bag buck illegally
By Kevin Woster, Journal Staff Writer

The marvels of modern science led Brookings hunter J.C. Holm to his first mule-deer buck last November near Reva.
They also led to a trespassing charge and a $158 fine, as well as a budding friendship with the same rancher who turned Holm in to the local sheriff.

“He was very decent about the whole thing,” Holm said about Reva rancher Gordon Helms. “It was a bad experience for both of us. But I made a good friend in Gordon. He realized what I did wasn’t on purpose. And I realized I should have checked with him to make sure I was in the right place.”

Holm used a Global positioning system, or GPS, unit and directions from a computer mapping service to plan his hunting trip to northwest South Dakota. He planned to hunt on U.S. Forest Service property. But the data he received from the mapping company was wrong, and Holm hunted for almost two days on Helms’ ranch before he shot his buck and got caught.

“He downloaded the data from his computer into his GPS unit, and that’s what he was going by,” Helms said in a telephone interview this week. “He walked around on our place for two days and ended up shooting a deer.”

It was a good-sized mule-deer buck with five points on one antler and six on the other. Although not a monster, the buck was big enough to previously catch the eye of Helms and another hunter who was paying to hunt on the ranch. Although Helms is part of the South Dakota Lock-Out — a group of ranchers who have closed their land to hunting because of a dispute with the state Game, Fish & Parks Department — he still operates a limited commercial hunting business on his ranch. And he was guiding a paid customer in hopes of finding the buck Holm shot.

“We were hunting that deer,” Helms said. “I get $2,000 to $3,000 for a man to hunt on my place. He took a $3,000 deer away from me. And I had a guy who went home empty. How do I get that replaced?”

When Helms discovered Holm on his place, he called Harding County Sheriff Bill Clarkson. Clarkson met with the men, listened to Holm’s story and decided to write him a citation for unintentional trespass, rather than a more serious intentional trespass charge. The two carry the same $158 fine, but intentional trespass can also involve a one-year suspension of hunting privileges.

Clarkson and Helms agreed that Holm didn’t deserve the stiffer penalty.

“He really felt he was on forest ground,” Clarkson said. “He actually did not believe he was on private land. And he was very cooperative. I had coffee with them, and when I left, they were getting ready to go back out and pick up the buck.”

Clarkson also teased Helms for not patrolling his property very well. “I said, ‘Gordon. You got to shape up, if he’s been hunting on there for two days,’” Clarkson said.

Holm said his choice of hunting clothing showed that he wasn’t trying to sneak around and hide from anybody. “I was hunting in blaze orange coveralls,” he said. “I had to look like a big bumblebee going across there.”

Helms blamed the state Game, Fish & Parks Department for the mix-up. He said the agency doesn’t do a good enough job of reducing trespassing problems by making sure that hunters know the boundaries of public land. But Holm said the error came from the private mapping company, not GF&P, which had the correct property lines on its Web site maps.

Holm said the incident convinced him to double check information from maps by talking with local ranchers. Holm also is writing letters to state newspapers to warn hunters to make sure of their map coordinates and to make courtesy stops at local ranches.

“I’m not the type of person who would do something like trespass on private property,” Holm said. “I checked my GPS two times before I shot that deer to make sure I was where I was supposed to be.”

Holm went to western South Dakota planning to stay for a week and take his time in filling two deer tags. But the trespassing incident changed all that. “I took the whole week off, and I’d only been hunting two days,” he said. “After that, I just wanted to go home.”

Helms said he felt badly about turning in Holm, who recently served a tour of duty in Iraq with a National Guard company.

“I had a really hard time doing this, because the man had been over in Iraq, and he had honored our country and everything,” Helms said. “But I had steps I had to take. It’s not that guy’s fault, and it’s not my fault.”

Helms also warned hunters to double-check their map information. “Just because you have a map and a GPS doesn’t mean you know where you are all the time,” he said.

Contact Kevin Woster at 394-8413 or [email protected]
January 21, 2006
http://rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2006/01/21/news/top/news01.txt
 

Northern Rancher

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Geez the guy hunted there for two days and never saw a lockout sign-something sounds a bit fishy to me-but I'm just a Canadian where we have rational relations between ranchers,hunters and game wardens-I really got a good laugh out of Helms 'crocodile tears' about turning in a war veteran-South Dakota is turning into a veryyyy strange state.I wonder if there was a nonresidant hunter boycott how that would fly-I am taking my boy stateside hunting for his grad present-Wyoming or Montana just became my state of choice. (Now insert some cutting and pasting and rude comments by LB lol)
 

Big Muddy rancher

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What I was wondering was since it was lockouedt land to keep Game and fish out. Why would they not be able to check since they were allowing paid hunting. Does NO HUNTING mean unless you pay us.
 

Liberty Belle

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I am taking my boy stateside hunting for his grad present-Wyoming or Montana just became my state of choice. (Now insert some cutting and pasting and rude comments by LB lol)
Thanks NR, we appreciate you taking your hunting money anywhere else besides South Dakota. Wyoming and Montana will make much better use of your dollars than South Dakota’s game and fish will and they won’t use them against their landowners.

Again, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support of the lockout.

What I was wondering was since it was lockouedt land to keep Game and fish out. Why would they not be able to check since they were allowing paid hunting. Does NO HUNTING mean unless you pay us
BMR, it’s hard to tell what you’re trying to say from your almost unintelligible reply, but I think you were wondering if GF&P won’t be trespassing on private land because the landowner is accepting pay hunters? They certainly will trespass on private land if there are hunters hunting, pay or not, but that is the penalty some landowners are willing to accept if the amount of money they make is large enough.

Each landowner has to decide for themselves how they want to operate their own land. Trespass by GF&P is the reason that we allow NO hunting of game animals, no matter how much money we’ve been offered. And we have been offered some big bucks for our big bucks that grow bigger every year we stay locked to hunting. :D
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Sorry for the typo. What I was wondering is that if hunters are let on the land do Fish and Game have the right to "Trespass"?

If they do then why wouldn't Fish and Game have the right to "Trespass" to check payed hunters?
 

Liberty Belle

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Read my reply to your question again. GF&P claims the "right" to trespass on private land without the knowledge or consent of the landowner to do compliance checks on any hunters, whether they are pay hunters or just family members hunting for free, which is why we don't allow hunters. When hunters buy a license from the state to hunt game, they have in effect signed a contract with the GF&P allowing those compliance checks.

The landowner DID NOT sign any contract with anyone that allows conservation officers to trespass on the landowner's private property and we refuse to be bound by rules written by GF&P that take away our right to regulate who drives around in our pastures, which means that there will be no hunting on our land until our property rights are protected by state law.

Some landowners have decided that if they can make enough money hosting pay hunters they'll take the chance of GF&P violating their property rights They feel that those big bucks are ample compensation for the loss of property rights and again, it’s the average hunter who can’t afford to pay those big bucks who is the loser in this battle.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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It was a good-sized mule-deer buck with five points on one antler and six on the other. Although not a monster, the buck was big enough to previously catch the eye of Helms and another hunter who was paying to hunt on the ranch. Although Helms is part of the South Dakota Lock-Out — a group of ranchers who have closed their land to hunting because of a dispute with the state Game, Fish & Parks Department — he still operates a limited commercial hunting business on his ranch. And he was guiding a paid customer in hopes of finding the buck Holm shot.



So how could he be part of the lock out group and keep out Game and Fish if he allowed hunting. Don't" for pay" hunters have to buy a tag from Game and Fish. Again are they only locking out the hunter that can't afford the "BIG BUCKS" . I still say No Hunting should mean NO HUNTING not different rules for those that can afford to pay.
 

Northern Rancher

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It's all about da CASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH it's just hiding behind property rights-I don't support your lockout at all I think it's small minded and self serving-get ready for some a cuttin' and a pastin' lol.
 

Liberty Belle

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BMR, read what I posted over again:
Some landowners have decided that if they can make enough money hosting pay hunters they'll take the chance of GF&P violating their property rights They feel that those big bucks are ample compensation for the loss of property rights and again, it’s the average hunter who can’t afford to pay those big bucks who is the loser in this battle.
We DON’T allow hunting, but some landowners, like Gordon here, who risk being invaded by GF&P in order to help finance his ranching habit, are free to do so. It is, after all, their own land and they can do with it what they want.

Northern Rancher – No, it’s NOT all about cash. We don’t make a dime from the lockout. All we get from locking our land to hunters is the satisfaction of not giving GF&P an excuse to violate our private property rights. And if you take your hunting money to some other state than South Dakota, which we really appreciate you doing, you have cut money that goes directly to the GF&P that will be used against landowners, so you are, like it or not, supporting the lockout and for that we thank you.
 

Jinglebob

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Northern Rancher said:
It's all about da CASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSH it's just hiding behind property rights-I don't support your lockout at all I think it's small minded and self serving-get ready for some a cuttin' and a pastin' lol.

Hmmm, small minded. Well then I guess you'd be an expert, huh? :)
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I understand your position LB To you NO HUNTING means NO HUNTING. If you want to do that and stick to your guns fine that is your RIGHT. NO Problem. But in the article it says Helms is part of the LOCK OUT group but allows payed hunting. Kinda Hypocritical isn't it. I understand and agree with your stand. Except The coyote part but that's another arguement.

It kinds looks like Helms is using the Lock Out to keep out game and fish and non Paying hunters to his benifit.
 

ET Doc

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NR,
Back in the early 80's, I was one of the few who were doing embryo transfer in this part of the country.
Several of my clients who lived along the N.D. and Canadian border had friends in Manitoba who wanted ET work done, and no Canadian vet (that they knew of ) would come there.
As a favor to my N.D. clients, I went into Manitoba and took care of their ET needs.
After a few years, a Manitoba vet started doing some ET, and the Manitoba VMA sent me a letter saying that I was practicing without a liscense in their province, and should cease and desist. Or, I could join their association at a cost of $1,000 per year.
At that time N.D., S.D. and Nebraska, where I held liscenses, cost $25 per year.
I said, "Let's just let the Manitoba vet do it, and I'll stay on this side of the border."
" It's da caaaaaasssssh"?
Guess it just depends on whose ox is being gored, eh? LOL :) :) :)
 

ET Doc

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Liberty Belle,
Is Jerry Janvrin still flying predator control in Harding county? Several years ago, I had him fly me from Spearfish to eastern S.D. when I was booked too tight to get back any other way.
Jerry was not only an excellent pilot, but really interesting to visit with about coyote hunting.
It sounded like a risky way to make a living though.
 

Liberty Belle

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Yes, Janvrin is still flying and still killing coyotes for us, in spite of the best efforts of GF&P and a rival pilot to get him grounded. You're right about it being dangerous though. The day the wiry Finn crashes his little yellow Cub is the day we go out of the sheep business. He’s so conscientious that he won't let anyone else gun for him while he's hunting coyotes - he's afraid he'll kill them too when he wrecks – so he built the stick up with yards of athletic tape and holds it between his knees while he does his own gunning.
 

Liberty Belle

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It kinds looks like Helms is using the Lock Out to keep out game and fish and non Paying hunters to his benifit.
BMR – I just told you above – if you allow hunters, pay or non-paying, GF&P is going to be trespassing on your land and there’s not a *%@# thing you can do about it. As I said before, Helms, like every other landowner, has always had the right to close his land to free hunting and only allow pay hunters - it's his land and his decision. But if the landowner charges for hunting, he had better charge enough to make up for his loss of private property rights because they are going to be violated, which is why we don’t allow hunters.
 

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Helms said he felt badly about turning in Holm, who recently served a tour of duty in Iraq with a National Guard company.

Not bad enough to not press charges?

Helms also warned hunters to double-check their map information. “Just because you have a map and a GPS doesn’t mean you know where you are all the time,” he said.

Last year a guy near here claimed he "owned over to the tree line" after filing charges and being pretty antoginistic about "his property" he had a friend of mine jailed for riding along "his property" we used county maps and a gps to check......

according to the GPS, this guys property ended about 400 feet before where he claimed it to be..... so instead of getting a record and paying the fine, we contested the charge and paid for a survey.......My friend now owns almost 400 extra feet of field....

GPS is seldom wrong.......
 

Liberty Belle

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Steve,
In this case the GPS was most assuredly wrong. Helms' land joins the National Forest and the hunter came off the forest land, crossed a plowed field of Helms' back and forth for two days before he shot the deer. I don't know how it is elsewhere, but here there are no plowed fields on forest service land and that alone should have clued the hunter that he was probably on private land.
Holm used a Global positioning system, or GPS, unit and directions from a computer mapping service to plan his hunting trip to northwest South Dakota. He planned to hunt on U.S. Forest Service property. But the data he received from the mapping company was wrong, and Holm hunted for almost two days on Helms’ ranch before he shot his buck and got caught.

“He downloaded the data from his computer into his GPS unit, and that’s what he was going by,” Helms said in a telephone interview this week. “He walked around on our place for two days and ended up shooting a deer.”
I had a visit with Helms in church this morning and he and Holm have become friends. Holm knew he was wrong and is sorry he cost Helms the money pay hunters would have paid for the deer and Helms declined to have the sheriff throw the book at the hunter, which he had every right to do. I guess all’s well that ends well.
 

Steve

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Liberty Belle,

The local guy here thought his land went as far as the tree line,,,and had his horses pastured on it...he was wrong.....by a little under 400 feet....

I have seen several cases of were property owners thought it was thier land......and that surveys proved them wrong.....

GPS are very accurate.....Maps can be wrong...

Land bordering state and fed lands property lines can be ignored for years. until a property dispute.....I actually cut hay (about 20 acres worth) for several years on city owned property, ajoining a field I used to lease...until someone complained...it was a simple misunderstanding and since the city didn't really care where the property line was they just let it drop....
 

Steve

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there are no plowed fields on forest service land and that alone should have clued the hunter that he was probably on private land.

I agree.......I used to get pretty fed up at Quad riders "claiming" they diidn't know it was my land, after they opened the gate, and drove through...
 

Northern Rancher

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Well Jinglebob nice to see how you treat an Iraq war veteran who made an honest mistake-I think shame is what some of you should be feeling right now-the guy put his life on the line for your country but he 'HAD' to be turned in what a load of crap.
 

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