This is in response to the Payson Roundup dated Dec. 11, “Fools always mess it up for everyone.”
While we argue the merits of whether or not the town has a right to allow hunting in the Town of Payson, we must remind ourselves that our form of government has a myriad of checks and balances.
While the state may allow towns such as Payson the luxury of deciding whether or not to allow hunting within the city limits, there are other rights and laws that are designed to protect landowners.
Owning private property gives the owner certain private property rights to protect themselves and their property from the unwanted entry of others on their property, which includes hunters. These rights include the right to post signage to alert and prevent others from entering their property. A property owner may post “private property” and “no entry” signs, or advise others to “keep out.”
According to state law, trespassing on signed private property could result in arrest and a fine of up to $2,500, pursuant to A.R.S. 13-1503, a class three misdemeanor.
Think about this. If a hunter while hunting accidentally injures or kills someone on your private property, and there is no signage, would you not be liable?
Obviously, if a violation occurs, the owner should immediately report the incident to the police and not handle it themselves.
The end result of all of this is if enough citizens post their property with “no trespass” signs, this will have the same effect as ending hunting within the town (city) limits as the hunter will not have a legal right to access designated private property.