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Bird-Man

Private property ethics???

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I am just wondering what your modus operandi is when observing/harvesting mushrooms on what you know to be private property.

As for me, if I do see mushrooms on someone's property I always go to their door to ask permission before inspecting/harvesting the mushroom. If I get no response I treat it as a "no" and I leave. If it is a mushroom I am planning to sell, I offer the property owner money for the mushroom. So far, no one has wanted any payment for their mushrooms. I try to think about how I would want someone to respect my private property rights.

This is just what I do. Is there anything you would do differently? Do you have any thoughts, insights, experiences?

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I totally agree. I own 160 acres of nice forested property and I bought it specifically for my own use. Be it mushrooming, hunting, or fishing walleye on the river that flows through it. Often I find people on my property and I ask them to leave. Usually they are just trying to get river access because I have a boat launch, but sometimes I find them foraging or even cutting firewood. I am neighbored by crown (government owned) land in all directions, yet they choose to ignore the no trespassing signs I put out. This fall I am putting up a locked gate at the road access and hope that will deter people.

Always ask permission. Not only for courtesy, but to prevent charges of trespassing.

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I read an article that was in a local newspaper written about the recent surge in interest fire wild mushrooms. In it the author admitted to jumping out of her car and harvesting wild mushrooms from someone else's property. Trespassing and theft I say. It is so easy to ask permission. 

Funny story. My grandparents owned 40 acres in southern Illinois where I would spend all of my summers. One of my uncles was walking down the public road that ran the length of their property when he saw a man with 2 grocery bags full of morels walking out of my grandparent's woods. When my uncle informed the man he was trespassing he apologized and offered to give the morels to him. My uncle declined and told him not to come back without permission. When my grandma heard him tell that story she shouted, "NEAL, YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE MUSHROOMS!!!" Live and learn I guess . 😂

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The problem with buying land in illinois is that it’s so expensive to pay the robotic, machine gun toting security guards in May

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6 hours ago, BastedBrew said:

The problem with buying land in illinois is that it’s so expensive to pay the robotic, machine gun toting security guards in May

Hahaha, you are alluding to morel season! I use a local property tax assessor map website to find public land in my area and then go search there. I don't ask if it is allowed or not. I figure most people don't care. And yes, you are correct, our property prices are ridiculous, especially when you include the property taxes we must pay!

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16 hours ago, Bird-Man said:

Hahaha, you are alluding to morel season! I use a local property tax assessor map website to find public land in my area and then go search there. I don't ask if it is allowed or not. I figure most people don't care. And yes, you are correct, our property prices are ridiculous, especially when you include the property taxes we must pay!

In Canada, over 50% of all land is government owned "crown" land. With our low population and vast expanses of forested public land there really is no excuse for trespassing here.

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I do most of my shroom hunting on public land. I live in Pa. We have a lot of public land and I spend a lot of time there hunting... and just being in the woods. I hunt mushrooms in state parks, city parks, state game lands, state and national forests, etc. It's actually easy for me because those types of properties are all around where I work and live. I just got back from picking Sheepshead in a city park(they were PRIME by the way, perfect). Many, many folks out today bicycling, running, walking, having parties at pavilions, etc.... I was the only one shroomin' as far as I could tell. Beautiful cool day. Too many people out. I was being seen. Can't have that! I bailed out and will check those more 'public' spots during the week before folks get off work. One bicyclist today was really studying me as I harvested 10 Maitake from around a single tree. I have to remember not to go there on the weekends from now on.

 

But private property? I respect landowners like it was my own place, and I certainly wouldn't want anyone sneaking onto my property and stealing my mushrooms. Would you? I don't trespass while hunting deer, squirrels, turtles, mushrooms, or anything. Any time I've asked, I was granted permission. I generally offer half of what I find to the landowner. Unfortunately for them, nobody has taken me up on it. Folks usually think they're gross, or don't trust that they won't be poisonous. I know where I could go right now and get Sheepshead growing in folks' yards(as they do every year), but won't, because I just haven't stopped in 'yet' to ask permission. Yesterday a friend and coworker called me to come pick Sheepshead that was growing along his driveway. I tried repeatedly to get him and his wife to keep some and try it, told them how to store it and cook it, but they wouldn't. They said they're rather get their mushrooms from the store.  I also found a half dozen old Chanterelles less than 6' from the 4 Sheepshead there. Gonna have to remember that :^) They probably wouldn't want them either :^)

 

I've picked a lot of mushrooms on private property the last few years. I always ask. Never been turned down. I give a bunch away throughout the year too, to folks who appreciate getting and eating them as much as I appreciate others allowing me to hunt them on their property.

 

Just ask. Ya might make a new friend.

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Hahaha, Staveshaver, I snickered to myself when you said that nobody wants the mushrooms you pick from their land, unfortunately for them. So true. I understand people's caution, but I do feel bad for the wonderful flavors they are missing out on. We have a decent amount of public land here as well, but I am VERY busy and a lot of the prime public land is a good 45 minute drive, one way so I resign myself to hitting my few very local spots.

A friend of mine showed me a picture sent to him by his brother today-a large flush of very fresh chickens he found in a state park in our town. I was envious, to say the least. Happy for him though. 

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It's easy to take an abundance of public land for granted, and I try not to. I try to remain grateful. But I (we, including the relative few others who do it) can only cover so much ground, and I can't help but think about the thousands.... millions... of mushrooms left to rot on lonely public land... so I go more often, walk farther, try harder... but as I do so, I'm getting older... the hills get steeper... creeks get wider :^)

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Opinion of a police officer.  Being on private land without permission is trespassing and you can be prosecuted.  You are right by not going on private land if you don’t make contact with the owner first.  You have to be careful.  A lot of rural land owners don’t take trespassing lightly.  Not worth something bad happening.  I have caught a few folks on my land and I try to be nice about it.  I haven’t had any real bad issues thank goodness.  If there’s any ginseng in your area, the owners are even more serious about trespassing.  

@Staveshaver Have you had any run-ins with Park Rangers when hunting on state parks?  Some of ours in AR get quite testy if you try to take something from the park.  As long as someone isn’t being destructive they shouldn’t care.  

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I have talked with them a few times. Most are nice guys, but a few are buttheads. Some don't even know the laws. But it's legal to pick mushrooms, berries, and such on Pa state parks. It's in the Game Commission rules and regulation summary book that they give you when you buy a hunting license here.

 

The last time I ran in to a DCNR Park Ranger, I no sooner got out of the truck and he pulled in right behind me. I thought.... Oh boy, here we go. But he was a nice guy, knew exactly why I was there(there were over a dozen giant, ancient oaks there), and it turned out he was a mushroom hunter too. He said he's seen other guys checking the spot, so I actually never went back. I have enough other, more secluded spots and don't like the competition.

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I'm in Pa as well and have quite a bit of Corps of Engineer property all around me I hunt. As far as I can tell, I'm the only one who hunts these areas for mushrooms. I also have a camp in Elk Co which borders Allegheny National Forest I hunt. I've found land owners who don't permit hunting of animals on their property don't mind if you hunt mushrooms as long as you ask. I grew up on a small farm, surrounded by other farms and learned as a youngster you don't go anywhere without asking first, even if you know the answer will be yes. 

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Amen, I was raised with the same ethic. It sounds like you folks in PA have a lot of hunting grounds. I've noticed there are also a lot of members here from PA.

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