Senate Bill No. 4
(By Senators Dittmar, Bowman and Anderson)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported January 23, 1996.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seven, article two, chapter
twenty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to natural
resources; wildlife resources; hunting, trapping or fishing
on lands of another; damages and compensation; misdemeanor
offenses; and removing arrest powers of landowners, agents
and tenants in possession.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seven, article two, chapter twenty of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-7. Hunting, trapping or fishing on lands of another; damages and compensation.
It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot, hunt, fish or
trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted grounds or lands of
another person or to peel or damage trees or timber, build fires,
construct permanent tree stands or do any other act or thing
thereon in connection with or auxiliary to shooting, hunting,
fishing or trapping on such lands without permission in writing
from the owner, tenant or agent of such owner, and every person
hunting, fishing, shooting or fowling upon such lands shall have
in his possession such written permission when so doing.
Any person who, for the purpose of, or while hunting,
trapping or fishing, shall, without the permission of the owner,
tenant or agent of the owner, enter upon the land of another and
while thereon shall kill or injure any domestic animal or fowl,
or shall cut, destroy or damage any bars, gates or fence, or any
part thereof, or shall leave open any bars or gates thereon or
damage trees or timber or construct a permanent tree stand
without the express written consent of the landowner or tenent or
agent of the owner resulting in damage to the owner or occupant
thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and in addition shall
be liable to the owner or person suffering such damage for all
costs and damages resulting therefrom.
It shall be lawful for the owner, lessee or the person
entitled to the possession of such lands, or the agent thereof,
to arrest any such person found violating this section and
immediately take him before a justice of the peace for trial, and
such owner, lessee, person or agent is hereby vested with all the
powers and rights of a game protector for such purposes. The
officers charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this
chapter shall have the duty to enforce the provisions of this
section if requested to do so by such owner, lessee, person or
agent, but not otherwise.