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I have a trusted neighbor who recognized where the poachers came from, a log cabin structure down the road about a mile. I've notified the cops, the game warden, and my near neighbors. Put up another no trespassing sign on front gate, too. And I'm gonna buy some game cameras with good night vision so as to catch them in the act ifi they continue.

Here's my question: Would it be smart for me to put a notice of Texas penalties for trespassing into their mail box? No accusations, no return address, just let them know they are being watched. Up to six months in jail, $2,000 fine. The law even states that trespassing within 100 feet of freshwater is subject to double this punishment, 1 year in jail, $4k fine.

I'd rather them get scared and stop than catch them & press charges, which I definitely must do if they keep it up. And what if my good neighbor is wrong & they are innocent of any wrongdoing? Any thoughts?


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Such an important and variable situation.

Just thinking off the cuff, I'd want to learn more about the actual people before I did anything.

If they have no respect for the law, or private property, then I'd have to weigh what my, and my land's real risks are for what kind of retaliation they could inflict.

If they were reasonable people, I'd meet them and tell them I don't want them on the land.


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I would put the notices in a bunch of mailboxes around your area. Just a simple reminder.


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I think it's illegal to put anything in a mail box, unless delivered by the US mail employee in the performance of duties.

You could state the penalties on another sign, under the no trespassing sign. I think those signs are readily available.

Last edited by John Fitzgerald; 08/18/23 06:06 PM.
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IMO,Not an attorney, but former law Enforcement . Working as a Deputy Sheriff, worked with Postal Service Enforcement agents. You don't want to touch a Mail Box, yes you pay for it, but the moment it's put out for use, it becomes Postal Property. They do not allow non postal items to be placed in their boxes. Now, that was 47 years ago, laws change , but I wouldn't risk it. At that time they were very serious about their boxes.

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Many states (including Texas) require that notice be posted warning of the trespass. I would post a few signs in prominent places besides the front gate such that any interlopers can be prosecuted because they cannot reasonably argue they never saw any signs. You might even be able to get pre-printed metal signs at Tractor Supply, etc. that are phrased appropriately for Texas.

So I think you are covered by "posting" your property.

Here is the Texas statute:

Texas Trespassing Law

As regards to giving them written notice, I think I would skip that option. Miscreants deal with offenses (real or imagined) in much different ways than normal, law abiding people. I would hate to see them get drunk one night and burn down the house.

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Thanks to everybody for the info!

Sounds like my mail box idea is legally dubious, and as Rod says, these guys may respond badly to a personal reminder they are breaking the law. Signs and game cameras!


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TX tresspassing Info

Sign distance is very important.

Don't screw with mailboxes. If you find one, don't use an old blue mail box either. IIRC, they were supposed to be destroyed if decommissioned.

Last edited by FireIsHot; 08/19/23 09:02 AM. Reason: ADD

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Game warden tells me that fencing is enough warning

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Pat, be careful with game wardens advice. I've dealt with a few that had common sense, which meant they didn't necessarily follow the rules as written. And then there are those that refuse to budge. I have a buddy that was a foreman on a 900 acre ranch in Eustace, and had trespassers hunting deer at night. Their game warden told them to put up the NT signs every 100 feet, which meant it was almost undoable. Game cameras were pretty much their only option.


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Notice can be given in any one of five forms. First, it can be an oral or written communication by the owner or someone acting for the owner. Second, it can be a fence or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock. Third, notice can be in the form of sign(s) posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to be noticed, indicating that entry is forbidden. Fourth, notice can be in the form of readily visible purple paint marks of proper size and placement on trees or posts spaced no more than 100 feet apart on forest land or 1,000 feet apart on non-forest land. Fifth, notice can be the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested, or marketable if harvested at the time of entry.


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Personally, I would go trail cam to identify them. Push the info to the game warden on possible trespassing and have him notify of the trouble.

- Written permission is required to come on the property. You aren't saying you won't give it, but you don't know who these people are. Would like to know who they are, what they are doing on the property and then you can make a call on if you are good with it. If they are up to no good, ie...poaching, they won't come back.

- If you are good with it....give them written permission. If you give it and they screw up....permission removed.

- If you aren't and they come back....somebody gonna get a spanking from the warden.

I remember as a youngster dad would take me fishing out to Pearl Stits farm. She was an older lady living alone and had a magnificent 5ish acre pond on her property. Each time we went dad called ahead, always caught her a few fish, filleted them and made sure she was rewarded for letting us come out. Helped all three of us. Pearl got some fresh fish, so did we and the pond had a few mouths less to feed after we were done.

Sometimes people just need to know that you know they are there. People are much more careful when they know others are watching. None of it has to be confrontational.

Hope it all works out.


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I have some new trespassers. I believe they/he are coming in via an electrical transmission line that crosses my property. Then a fence is torn down between the properties. They’re deer hunters. I have locked the gates, put up no trespassing signs and painted stripes on the gates with purple paint. I have notified and gotten the ok from the power company. Also notified the game warden and County Sheriff. I will have to repair the fences that are torn down between me and the inner, land locked, neighbor that is leasing out the land. Texas installed the purple paint no trespassing law about ten years ago. I will also have to repair the fence in 2 places.

A consideration is that the owner of the landlocked land is one of the wealthiest land owners and business men in the North Texas area and I don’t live or vote there. I don’t kid myself that money talks and BS walks. We will see.

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 02/08/24 04:12 AM.

It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

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Dave, it sounds like it's time to hire a bulldozer, clear out the brush in a LONG straight like next to the fence there and set up a rifle range.

If a bulldozer won't do it because of the rocks, just go down to the local street corner, drag all the migrants back there, hand them the proper tools and put them to work clearing out a lane!

I bet you could get a nice shooting lane built in a few days that way.


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A rifle range back there could cause issues. It is illegal in Texas to do anything that could be construed as an attempt to harass wildlife. The key is “could be construed”. I have my own range by the house to use. But that kind of stuff would also screw up the hunting on the rest of my own land and neighbors.

I called the Game Warden and told him about it and said I will be giving him keys to the gates. He said he would ease through occasionally. He told me to tell Grandsons not to shoot him or anyone else.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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