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Old 08-09-2019, 03:33 PM
Idaho Survivalist Idaho Survivalist is offline
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Default Open range states experience?



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Got a neighbor with a hundred acres and some 30 head of cattle. I am continually shoring up his fence between his property and mine. Been putting in 8 hours a day, driving in T-posts and repairing used wire and then making a line tight, three wires to a post on a property line between me and another neighbor. Yesterday and for the past several days, a bull got through the fence between this cattleman and another neighbor and then sauntered onto my 10 acres. (That's where I am building the fence.) The bull is one of the biggest I'd seen in a long time, a herford) and although I could bluff him a bit with my 19 hp diesel tractor, eventually getting nudged with the front loader didn't scare him a bit. I figured he could easily tip over the 2200-pound tractor with me on it. My grass, the parts I couldn't get my mower to, is greener than the bull's usual home grass.

I complained to the sheriff's deputy, but he couldn't reach my neighbor. All he could do was tell me he would try to find him and if he could, ask him to come get his bull. But the deputy reminded me that Idaho is open range and the law has been in effect since the 1860's. I haven't seen the bull today so far. I am taking a rest until tomorrow when I will return to fence building down a rather steep hill through a forested area. Hard work for a 74-year old.

Have any on this board had any experience with Open range laws? And how would you handle such a problem if there was a civil breakdown is some parts of the country?
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:25 PM
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https://idrange.org/wp-content/uploa.../9319781_3.pdf

Can you change it to herd district zoning?
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Old 08-09-2019, 04:25 PM
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Wisconsin isn't open range but if a neighbor wants his land fenced in it is his neighbors responsibility to install and maintain half of it. In the last few years in my local area there have been claims of shots fired over fence fights. In two cases, neighbors were forced to put up fences then the original land owners who wanted the fences never ended up having livestock.

It is a law that made sense when every single piece of property had dairy cows but now it is an antiquated law that causes lots of fights.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:03 PM
Idaho Survivalist Idaho Survivalist is offline
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Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
https://idrange.org/wp-content/uploa.../9319781_3.pdf

Can you change it to herd district zoning?


Seems like a lot of work. Might be cheaper to fence. Thanks for the info, though. I'll check into it more. This county does not like change of any kind. That's why building permits are not required here.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:07 PM
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Beef in the freezer would taste mighty good this winter!
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:15 PM
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I guarantee that bull could tip over that tractor. I have had them stab a horn through the fender panel of the 3/4 ton truck I was in and lift it nearly two feet off the ground.

As for open range, it can kind of suck.. My last foster dad Cliff in central Oregon was forever battling the LS ranch neighboring us over their cattle. He could never really push it too hard as two miles of our driveway went through their ranch to get to ours.

We had an agreement with them that they build a fence along 120 acres of our farm and theirs but they never would do it and so cattle were constantly getting onto our farm and causing problems in our hay fields and with our ponds etc.

Cliff and I finally spent three months working 12 to 14 hours a day 6 days a week putting in almost two miles of fence bordering the LS ranch to keep the cattle out. We went farfagnugen on that fence, we put in a rock jack every 100 feet and 8"x 8" creosote treated posts set 36 inches into the ground every 25 feet between rock jacks. Cliff was so anal that even if the post landed on open bed rock he made me bore a 36 inch deep hole with a 60 pound digging bar to set the post... We did four wire barbed and used old valve springs in the wires every 200 feet to keep the wire tight without having to go out and tighten it up each spring after the snows.

That cost a pretty penny in materials and took a lot of man hours. But that fence is still standing today after 30 years.

The LS ranch was tough to deal with, they had a lease on 3 million acres of BLM land on Rudio mountain and they would bring in thousands of head of cattle each spring charging so much a head to graze them until fall.

It also never failed that every two or three years someone hauling cattle in or out would take out the bridge across the creek and we would go another year or so fording the creek until all of us could get together enough materials to build a new bridge. We finally managed to buy an old flatbed railroad car and put that up, no onae has managed to take that bridge out yet.

In an open range state it is tough to do much about roaming livestock. Best bet is to figure out how to get your materials and get your fence in because you won't likely accomplish much with your neighbors.

I now live in Idaho which is also an open range state though I don't have too much trouble with peoples animals. I get a few herds of cattle coming in to my ponds in the fall when it starts to get dry but it isn't really a problem for me.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:20 PM
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AZ is also open range. Though I am not aware of any of the issues the OP describes.
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:45 PM
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A reminder to the neighbor that all beef found on my property is in the form of steaks might encourage them to fix the fence.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:04 PM
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A reminder to the neighbor that all beef found on my property is in the form of steaks might encourage them to fix the fence.
Some states have harsh penalties for cattle rustling.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:34 PM
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Some states have harsh penalties for cattle rustling.
Especially open range states....

Pretty good penalties for hitting cattle on the road even. In an open range state there have to be pretty good penalties for such things otherwise people "would" take advantage of the situation.
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Old 08-09-2019, 08:49 PM
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My open range experience came when I was PCS'ing to Ft. Hood. I bought a mustang while home on leave & drove it down there. I kept seeing signs that said "open range" but it didn't compute to me what they were trying to relay to me. I was supposed to report in by midnight & it was getting later & I was getting worried so I started going faster. I came over a little rise at about 110mph & standing just over it was a longhorn steer. I stomped on those binders (drums on all 4 corners) for everything I was worth & stopped about 5 feet from hitting it. It just stared at me. I honked, it just stared at me. Finally it decided to mosey off. So I finally realized the importance of the signs & decided, screw it, I'd rather be late. As it was I checked in at maybe 1/4 after midnight & they didn't say a word about it. My state has lots of livestock & I used to help out on farms & ranches of friends & family. Letting livestock wander around like that is frowned upon around here, not to mention losing the livestock. Also if someone did hit one of yours that got out, you could get in trouble & be liable for any damages or injury.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:21 PM
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My open range experience came when I was PCS'ing to Ft. Hood. I bought a mustang while home on leave & drove it down there. I kept seeing signs that said "open range" but it didn't compute to me what they were trying to relay to me. I was supposed to report in by midnight & it was getting later & I was getting worried so I started going faster. I came over a little rise at about 110mph & standing just over it was a longhorn steer. I stomped on those binders (drums on all 4 corners) for everything I was worth & stopped about 5 feet from hitting it. It just stared at me. I honked, it just stared at me. Finally it decided to mosey off. So I finally realized the importance of the signs & decided, screw it, I'd rather be late. As it was I checked in at maybe 1/4 after midnight & they didn't say a word about it. My state has lots of livestock & I used to help out on farms & ranches of friends & family. Letting livestock wander around like that is frowned upon around here, not to mention losing the livestock. Also if someone did hit one of yours that got out, you could get in trouble & be liable for any damages or injury.


God help you when one wanders onto the range during night gunnery.
Cease fire, cease fire, CEASE FIRE!!!
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:38 PM
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God help you when one wanders onto the range during night gunnery.
Cease fire, cease fire, CEASE FIRE!!!
I was one sending rounds downrange (11C), so rarely got to see the range we were shooting at (except 1 in wildfecken iirc) We did have some troubles with boar hogs in Germany though. Then there was an episode during AIT in benning deer kept wandering onto the range during live fire. The drill sergeants & range cadre kept yelling at people not to aim at the deer, but you'd still some tracers slowly moving towards them, like nobody would notice. One other thing that I didn't mention but another sign I kept seeing when I got to TX was these "FM" signs with numbers under the FM. I thought is that a radio station that has info or something? Some of the numbers seemed like they would work for FM, others I thought that has to be AM. Others didn't fit for anything. I was really hoping one would tell me what was so special about all the "open range" signs I kept seeing. After a few days there I found out what they meant. Then I felt really stupid.
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:54 PM
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I was one sending rounds downrange (11C), so rarely got to see the range we were shooting at (except 1 in wildfecken iirc) We did have some troubles with boar hogs in Germany though. Then there was an episode during AIT in benning deer kept wandering onto the range during live fire. The drill sergeants & range cadre kept yelling at people not to aim at the deer, but you'd still some tracers slowly moving towards them, like nobody would notice. One other thing that I didn't mention but another sign I kept seeing when I got to TX was these "FM" signs with numbers under the FM. I thought is that a radio station that has info or something? Some of the numbers seemed like they would work for FM, others I thought that has to be AM. Others didn't fit for anything. I was really hoping one would tell me what was so special about all the "open range" signs I kept seeing. After a few days there I found out what they meant. Then I felt really stupid.


As a tanker (19kilo) we did gunnery 2x a year and lots of FTX time. Only saw one guy actually shoot a cow and it was right next to the Widowmaker (long range night engagement with 2 movers). I still think it was accidental but the guy lost rank and is probably Still paying for it. They take that serious.
Germany was even worse. Animals were less common (in my experience) but vegetation and private property seemed like constant complaints.
By far though the most infuriating to me was downrange. Some guys goat does in the middle of a firefight and it isn't long before habibhas his hand out for Uncle sugar to pay up.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Justme11 View Post
https://idrange.org/wp-content/uploa.../9319781_3.pdf

Can you change it to herd district zoning?
No

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Old 08-09-2019, 10:58 PM
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Open range means fence out. You don't want my critter somewhere you build the fence. That being said general rule of open range fences are. My fence is everything to the right yours is to the right. Meaning you stand in the middle of your field and face the fence. Every thing to the right is yours. I do the sams thing . I've got neighbors on both sides of me who won't build a fence but sure cry fowl if something gets on to their side.. They call the sheriff and pitch a huge fit.. Scream and yell at me... I tell them fix your fence. They say we don't have stock why should we... So itsca big battle. One option you have is. You have grass.. Sell it to the neighbor. Lease out your place to him. Then you won't have to mow... And a lot less fencing

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Old 08-09-2019, 11:03 PM
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A reminder to the neighbor that all beef found on my property is in the form of steaks might encourage them to fix the fence.
In Open range states that can get you in a lot of trouble... Trouble you might wish you didn't have

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Old 08-09-2019, 11:05 PM
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Some states have harsh penalties for cattle rustling.
Although not enforced I believe hanging is still on the books in some. And when we were having trouble with cattle theft in the area the sheriff said if possible call us before you shoot them. If not possible we'll figure something out.

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Old 08-10-2019, 06:59 AM
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A reminder to the neighbor that all beef found on my property is in the form of steaks might encourage them to fix the fence.

In an open range state, if I kill the animal, I have to pay for it.
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Old 08-10-2019, 07:03 AM
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In an open range state, if I kill the animal, I have to pay for it.


And probably several generations that animal would have sired.
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