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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105


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For Immediate Release: March 6, 2007

Senator Kenneth Corn
Senator Kenneth Corn

Senate Passes Measure to Increase Penalty for Hunting or Fishing Without Permission

A bill that would increase penalties for hunting or fishing without permission on land primarily devoted to farming, ranching or forestry was approved by the Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 95, authored by Senator Kenneth Corn, would remove the requirement for the landowner to post warning signs and would require the forfeiture of hunting or fishing licenses for individuals caught violating the law.

Corn said the legislation would amend existing statutes which discouraged trespassing, but offered little punishment.

“There’s no question that in some parts of our state today it’s very difficult to make a living as a farmer or rancher,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “One of the few assets some of our farmers and ranchers have is their land. Landowners have continuing problems with people coming on their property and damaging
machinery, cutting fences and shooting animals.”

Corn said concerns over the problem had been voiced by landowners throughout his district, and his hope was that the legislation would cause people to ask before choosing to hunt or fish on a farmer or rancher’s property.

“Trespassing can cost people thousands of dollars in damaged fences, and even livestock get shot,” Corn said. “I know a lot of farmers and ranchers who are more than willing to allow people to hunt on their land as long as they ask for permission and leave the land as they found it. We have people who have their entire livelihood invested in this land and the property they have, and it’s not fair for people to trespass on it and do as they wish.”

Debating in favor of the measure, Senator Jeff Rabon said the Legislature has waited far too long to pass legislation strengthening punishment for trespassing. Rabon noted that he often finds deer carcasses on his land and has repeatedly had fences cut and warning signs removed.

“If people come into your home uninvited there would be outrage, but we look the other way when it comes to land and property,” said Rabon, D-Hugo. “I’ve had a lot of constituents that contact me and tell me they have their fences cut and property damaged and they feel like they can do nothing about it and their sheriff says he can’t do much about it. Farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma are sick of it, and this body finally has a chance to take a look at the issue and put some teeth in our trespassing laws.”

The measure will now advance to a House committee for consideration.

For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office - (405) 521-5576

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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