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IAW Coot Motivator
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Alright I think I know the answer to my question just making sure, and it's fun to hear everyone's input. If there is an island on the Mississippi river that is privately owned, but has standing water in the middle of it with a small creek leading to the interior of the island where it's a huge lake. Is it trespassing to hunt this area during season? There are no blinds in the area. I know that if you touch the bottom then you can hunt it but was just wondering everyone's opinions.
 

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Have you tried asking the property owner? They might just let you, then you don't need to worry about a thing. They will respect you more for asking, even if they don't have a say in it.

Or, talk to the local CO. He/ she will most likely know the area and be able to tell you where you can go. Also, if the landowner has a problem with it, they will most likely get the law involved and ruin your hunt dealing with that. If the dnr already knows that you talked to them, they will be less likely to interrupt your hunt. This is a depending on if they gave you the green light to hunt.

My family owns a chunk of land (Considered an island but more like a penisula)
on the Mississippi and people hunt directly behind the cabins. State land buts right up to the property. As long as they arent too close to the cabins, we have no say in them being there.

From what I got from my Tresspassing post, it sounds like you are good to go, but I would defiantly ask first.
 

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IAW Coot Motivator
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Discussion Starter #3
Ya I am pretty sure the answer would be a no lol. I have known about this spot for along time now. I joined a website that shows lease listings in the area and this island is on the site. They were asking 6500 to lease the whole island for all hunting but thats a ton of cash for this guy. Last two years the leased land hasn't been rented which is kinda the messed up part and the owners are probably committed to a contract with the company. So not sure if I would even try to hunt it.
 

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As far as I know, you can hunt anything accessible by water as long as you don't touch any sort of land. They own the land, not the water. Therefore you can hunt the lake as long as you are floating in a boat. But you can not touch bottom with anchors, decoy weights, dogs, yourself, oars, or anything for that matter. Maybe I'm wrong, but that has always been my understanding. There are several private spots like this along the Mississippi that are hunted in this manner.
 

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As far as I know, you can hunt anything accessible by water as long as you don't touch any sort of land. They own the land, not the water. Therefore you can hunt the lake as long as you are floating in a boat. But you can not touch bottom with anchors, decoy weights, dogs, yourself, oars, or anything for that matter. Maybe I'm wrong, but that has always been my understanding. There are several private spots like this along the Mississippi that are hunted in this manner.
This is the answer I got from my DNR officer a few years ago when we hunted flooded out property. As long as you can get to it by water and as long as nothing touches the land below the water, you are legal.
 

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IAW Coot Motivator
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Discussion Starter #6
so just do a free float and decoys on a line attached to the boat instead of anchored.
 

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Alright I think I know the answer to my question just making sure, and it's fun to hear everyone's input. If there is an island on the Mississippi river that is privately owned, but has standing water in the middle of it with a small creek leading to the interior of the island where it's a huge lake. Is it trespassing to hunt this area during season? There are no blinds in the area. I know that if you touch the bottom then you can hunt it but was just wondering everyone's opinions.
You've got two options:

1) You can read all of these opinions, accept one as law and then rely on that person's knowledge of your specific area and ruling

or

2) Call the CO in the area you're referring to and ASK. He'll be the one that receives a call and he'll be the one to write you a ticket.

Meandering and non-meandering streams are intended and defined so as the the water is available for public use/navigation in a recreational light. Because navigation on any water could require the need for wading to navigate, touching creek bottom in a recreational manner (wading, fishing etc) would most likely be accepted in a court, however, I don't believe up to this point it has ever been challenged in a court. This is exactly why it's important to contact the CO you'd be dealing with to get his/her take on it unless you'd like to try to set a precedent in the Iowa courts.

Just my $.02
 

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IAW Coot Motivator
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Discussion Starter #9
I recently contacted the DNR and as long as you are not touching anything you are fine but really is it worth the risk...... prolly not and would be a tough hunt just floating around lol. I guess it would be a time of desperate measures for me to do it. :D
Thanks for all the comments guys
 

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I recently contacted the DNR and as long as you are not touching anything you are fine but really is it worth the risk...... prolly not and would be a tough hunt just floating around lol. I guess it would be a time of desperate measures for me to do it. :D
Thanks for all the comments guys
You could get a trolling motor with the Ipilot. It is a gps trolling motor. It has a feature that holds the boat in place, like an anchor would but nothing has to touch the ground. A lot cheaper then a $6500 lease
 

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They own the land, not the water. Therefore you can hunt the lake as long as you are floating in a boat. But you can not touch bottom with anchors, decoy weights, dogs, yourself, oars, or anything for that matter. Maybe I'm wrong, but that has always been my understanding.
You CAN touch the bottom if the water is navigable, which is if it can float a small boat like a canoe for 1 6 month stretch out of 10 years. You are allowed (and this goes for the fishing post as well) to do things "incidental to navigation" in a navigable stream. That includes fishing, canoeing, wading and "some types of waterfowl hunting" exactly what types of waterfowl hunting activities are allowed on navigable water has never been determined in court but we all know all types of waterfowling are common practice in many navigable waters, the cedar river above cedar falls is navigable but not meandered for example.

Meandered streams are simply streams that were surveyed in the original state survey, they are public up to the normal high water mark, not many rivers were surveyed even though many were supposed to be.

In navigable streams the water is public, the banks and streambed are not but you are allowed to do certain things in nagigable streams that include touching private property as I listed above, you can also get out of the water onto private ground to portage around a blockage like a fallen tree.

This is similar to the tresspass laws on land where most people don't understand that you can cross private property with out tresspassing, merely stepping foot somewhere is NOT tresspassing. You may cross private property by the most direct route to access property you have permission to be on as long as you don't damage or move anything and aren't hunting, fishing or trapping. (on the ground you don't have premission for)

To the best of my knowlege this 1996 attorney general's opinion is still the best we have for determining what we can and can not do on navigable waters.

http://www.skunkriverpaddlers.org/files/attorneygeneralopinion.htm

VI. CONCLUSION
It is our opinion that members of the public may float on any stream that is navigable as defined in Iowa Code section 462A.2(16) and engage in activities incident to navigation, including fishing, swimming, and wading. To the extent that waterfowl hunting is customary in Iowa stream beds, some particular types of waterfowl hunting might be considered as incidental to public recreational navigation. The owner of a navigable stream bed has a right to erect a fence across the stream as necessary to confine livestock on the owner's land in a manner that affords boaters safe passage.
Respectfully submitted, MICHAEL H. SMITH
Assistant Attorney General
 
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