H. B. 3002
(By Delegate Talbott (By Request))
[Introduced February 13, 2003; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the
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 providing that persons may
not be guilty of trespassing or hunting without permission
merely because the person's dog pursues an animal or wild bird
onto another person's private or leased land.
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 trees or timber, build fires 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 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: Provided, That no person may be held criminally liable
under this section merely because that person's dog, while beyond
the control of the person, pursues an animal or wild bird onto private or leased property.
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 magistrate 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.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to
provide that persons may
not be guilty of trespassing or hunting without permission merely
because the person's dog pursues an animal or wild bird onto
another person's private or leased land.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would