People walking in my back yard, what to do?

Please help me! I bought a house 8 months ago with a beautiful backyard, a pool and a lake at the back, and as the view is beautiful, we didn’t want to put a fence! However, sometimes people walk at the bottom of my backyard looking at the lake to try to fish… I have already put up signs not to overtake, signs with the words that I am armed and prepared to defend my home in case of invasion and even so, they continue!

I’ve already approached people twice asking if they didn’t read the sign and asking those who don’t walk in my back yard again! Every time they apologized, but in one of them the boy said he would need to go through the backyard again to leave, so I told him to go ahead and find another place to leave!

In all cases I had my weapon concealed! I don’t want to have to use it… I have many doubts about how to proceed in case of an argument, if that happens I don’t know if I should let the person know that I’m armed, I don’t know if I show him that I’m armed and I intend to use it if I continue with the discussion or even walk in my back yard!

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@DanielWesley Wecome to our community, we are glad to have you. :slightly_smiling_face:
Put up a 6’ chain link fence and be done with it, we did and have no regrets.

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Welcome to the community @Daniel503

Sorry to hear about your trespasser problem. Do the signs you put up clearly state no trespassing? Are they clearly visible from all likely access points? Also some states require specific signs with dates on them to be considered legally valid.

I’m not a big fan of the various signs saying or implying trespassers will be shot. They could be used by a DA to show that was your intention and you did not act in self defense. I’d go with standard no trespassing signs and in your case maybe add another row of signs saying something along the lines of - you are trespassing and are being video recorded the police have been notified. Maybe even get some trail cameras or live video cameras so you can document the trespassing for LEOs. Motion activated spotlights might be a good idea if the trespassing is happening at night.

Another suggestion would be to make the access points as uninviting as possible. Such as fencing and/or pokey plants across the access trails.

I personally wouldn’t display a firearm in these circumstances unless faced with an imminent serious threat. It is more likely to escalate the situation and could put you in legal jeopardy for brandishing and other possible charges. Though being your property you are most likely legally allowed to open carry a pistol in a holster or a rifle slung over your shoulder. This could get the point across in a none threatening manner if your signs aren’t threatening.

Wonder if your property used to be a local access point that the neighbors used to use? The previous owner may have allowed all the visitors in the past. Which means it could take time for people to learn they are no longer welcome.

If the signs and asking nicely don’t work you could start calling LEOs on the trespassers. if being nice isn’t working and the LEOs don’t respond you could get a bullhorn to tell the trespassers to leave and that the police are on the way. That way you don’t have to put yourself at greater risk by approaching the trespassers.

Good luck! Hope you get to enjoy the property without having to deal with all the uninvited guests.

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A fence is cheaper than a lawyer.

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Welcome to the community. Very good question. Without knowing the answers to your questions your gun could do more harm than good. Guns are for de-escalating situations not scaring people into getting them to do what you want them to do. They might have a legal right to be there if your property is a thoroughfare. If I were you I would contact a lawyer to find out what your legal rights are.

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@DanielWesley Welcome to the community, and I agree with the input already mentioned, best bet is to put a 6’ chain-link fence, with regular “No Trespassing” signs, remove any type of armed signage that could send the wrong message to some dirtbag that would want to make trouble that you made a treat, that will cause police come knocking on your door.

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We had a big deal about this kind of thing here in Utah, property owners were bent that fishermen would walk along the banks of the mountain streams, in their yards. To make a long story short, the property owners won, sort of, they can fence/stop the fishermen from walking the bank BUT now the fishermen walk in the stream, which is public property. So, be carful, the edge of the water may have some legal meaning.

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Put some fake, floating fish in the lake, no one will fish there. :thinking::grinning:
Putting up a field fence with t-posts, no trespassing signs every 10 feet. If they trespass call the sheriff.

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Shamrock. I have a five foot fence all the way around my 4 lots that are , 1,20,/60, feet , and then I have a thirteen foot,tall fence with in , my drill collar , fence that I park my vehicles :bangbang:and trees are all around my in side fence so that no one can see that there is even a fence with in a fence , it’s so kool :bangbang:when Debbie ann and I die we are giving back the four lots to the county so in, All 1,20 by 1,20 fenced in with drill pipe , and I pray they will make it a park for little kids to play and have pin nick’s , and , just call it Debbie ann park , I have a friend that is a welder that’s making the KOOLEST Debbie ann GO,ROUND​:latin_cross::chile::heart::sparkles::sparkles::sparkles::sparkles::dizzy::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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We never had anything children but our little CHEWAWAs jake ann & chopper six. And they are brothers 3months old and they are little monsters, and they put so much Love and happiness in our lives , and Debbie ann ,is so blessed that I have to remember to breathe when I think about how much the Devil has truly tried to take her happiness joy and peace away, and it,can not be Done :latin_cross::100::heart::two_hearts:I AM so very blessed and she has never , asked anyone to have a benefit for her , and when she wakes crying ,she just says she was just dreaming , she helps me take care of my 83,year old mom, she has made the VIELENT, anger in me , disappear with the power of the holy spirit ,BLESSED , I, am,Bobby Jean ,silver,bird ,

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Welcome Daniel/Wesley !
My views mirror some of the others above. Please don’t brandish your firearms to fishermen/women.
Especially if they are NOT armed themselves. You don’t need the gubment coming down on YOU!
Fence it off, call the local Poe-Poe (as Shamrock suggested ‘pokey-plants) work good also…a little poison IVY really makes a fashion statement! If skells/predator’s/ home invaders are kicking in your door ‘Weapons free Brothers!’ Otherwise you open up yourselves up to a big stinkey pile of manure that you don’t need on your shoes. Just because you have guns doesn’t mean you are Wyatt Earp and you can threaten people w/ them. This is simple trespass to go fishin’, YES it’s annoying, At the waters edge are they impacting your quality of life? Are they littering? smokin’ dope? Havin’ a beach party? My view is hang a life-size skeleton from a tree in a fishin’ vest and a rod in it’s hands w/ a sign sayin’ something like NO TRESSPASS, This is the last fisherman to disregard my warnings… maybe a couple of arrows stickin’ out of it! … or…maybe be more subtle: Warning Jellyfish ! Lock ness’s younger Brother swims here! Try a little humor. If that doesn’t work out Landmines work real well, leave the corpses rotting in the sun. Sometimes you just have to shoot a hostage! (I’m kidding folks!)

In a world gone mad you don’t need any intrusion from an Alphabet Agency to crawl up your Ass.

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BRUCE 26 THE CARTELS ARE HERE NOW AND LETS GO BRANDED IS A JOKE COMPARED TO THE MS13 GANGS THAT ARE HERE IN OUR COUNTRY RIGHT NOW AND THEY ARE GOING TO ATTACK THE USA PEOPLE AND THEY ARE HERE AN THEY ARE COMING HUNDREDS OF THEM AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR OUR LIVES IN THE STREETS OF AMERICA AND THEY ARE READY NOW AND BRANDO :bangbang: IS A SAD BAD JOKE AND THEY ARE NOT THE MONSTERS THAT ARE HERE TO TAKE OVER THE UNITED STATES THEY DID NOT COME ACROSS FROM MEXICO THE MS13, CARTEL HAS AN THEY ARE HERE NOW SAVE YOUR AMMUNITION KAZ YOUR GOING TO TRUELY NEED IT NOT FOR BRANDEN OR AMERICAN PEOPLE FORENERS Defense of our country

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Really, really, really bad idea, as suggested by several comments above. Authoritative sources explaining why include Massad Ayoob, Andrew Branca, the Armed Lawyers, articles from the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, and others.
Principles of civil versus criminal trespass; castle doctrine and curtilage; defense of property versus defense against deadly threat; and evidence of ability, opportunity, and jeapordy all come into play. Signage declaring deadly force options plays into the hands of social justice prosecutors for swaying jurors who will not in fact be truly your peers.

If you want to save money and maintain the generally open view across the yard, consider two fence segments that are only on the beach and a few feet into the lawn, with simple NO TRESPASSING / Private Beach signs on them as well as along the property boundary lines farther up into the lawn. If that doesn’t work you can finish the fences up to the house later.

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Don’t be the next guy we read about in the news that shot at kids walking through his yard/pulled into the wrong driveway/rang the wrong doorbell.

As previously said, a fence is cheaper than a lawyer. And take down those stupid “I’ve Got a Gun” signs.

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As others have said, take down those signs saying you’re armed. All they are is a threat to shoot, and thats really bad. Also, keep your gun concealed, and don’t escelate a situation. Its not worth it over someone just wanting to fish, you’d destroy a family of whomever you shoot, and your own life, besides the awful fact of killing someone.

The reality of waterfront life is that you give up some privacy. It’s an unavoidable fact, unless youre able to buy the entire lake.

First, be absolutely sure where your rear property line is. I live on a lake and my line is the actual water line, so it moves with the lake (making a fence difficult). Other properties around here end at mean high water, which means that if the lake is down a foot, and someone is walking along the edge of the lake, they’re not trespassing at all. No matter where your property line is, if they’re even in an inch of water, they’re not trespassing.

The problem with a fence is that yiu can’t fence all the way to the waterline in most locations, so you’d be leaving an uncontrolled strip between your fence and the lake that would really look like public land.
Even with all that, you’re stull likely to get people pulling right up to your shore in boats to fish, as I’m assuming it’s a navigable, fishable lake.

Honestly, if its just local neighborhood kids looking for a spot to fish, what’s the harm in sometimes letting them? I’ve had the neighborhood kids in the past ask if they can fish my dock and I say yes. I realize I’m fortunate to be able to have the water, and I think that fishing is one of the best things kids can be doing. It’s a great way to do something good for the kids and build a community at your new home, which makes everyone safer all around.

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I had exact the same problem in my last house. My backyard faced the largest golf course pond in the development and because the golf course had an easement around the pond so they could do maintenance on it, the neighbors had decided it was “public land”. They used to trespass and fish with no regards to my privacy.

It took me 6 months of calling security, the police and the development management and having people removed from my property before the neighbors got the message. I finally had the development put up “official” signs that said private property on my boundary. Pissed off a few of my neighbors but quite frankly I didn’t care. One guy actually called me out on it and I told him every time I saw him in my backyard I’d trade places and go sit on his patio set and smoke my cigars. He shut down really quick.

Do some research on the law. Then take down those types of signs, no one respects them. But place official POSTED signs and call the police every time someone trespasses on your property. If they repeat it bring charges of criminal trespass on them.

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My number one suggestion is to avoid the case of argument, it’s probably not worth getting into a situation where your life is on the line.

No Trespassing would be my preferred verbiage, but I am not a lawyer or anything like that.

I would, and again I’m not a lawyer, *not even consider telling the person I am armed just because they are walking at the edge of the lake at the end of my open backyard. Just my opinion, but I don’t see any value to introducing a firearm, by name/otherwise, into what sounds like a situation that is very far removed from use of lethal force. To me, a concealed firearm is for defense from imminent serious bodily harm or death, not to help persuade against walking on the lawn

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I would consider No Trespassing signs, and a minimal fence/barrier. Not something attempting to physically keep people out, not something that blocks your view, just something that matter of factly signals a barrier.

Like parks often have

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To say “I’m armed” could easily be interpreted as a threat. That would be the beginning of a slew of legal problems, both immediate and down the road.

Lawyer: “Your honor, the defendant (you) has a reputation of making threats to his neighbors. We have documentation and witnesses that he intimidated many of his neighbors by warning them he was prepared to take potentially violent action if they stepped on his property.”

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First off is this a Public or Private lake? I would check with the local DNR about laws regarding public lake access easement laws. In Wisconsin, all public lakes must have an access point.
I want privacy also.

Good Luck.

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