Public Service Announcement: A Law to Keep Unwanted Hunters Off your Property!

The controversial bill that opened three Sundays to hunting in Pennsylvania also spurred a bill to give concerned landowners protection from hunters trespassing on their lands. With little fanfare, Act 103 of 2019 (HB 1772), the “Purple Paint Law”, was signed into law giving landowners a relatively easy and cost – effective tool to keep unwanted hunters off of their property: painting purple stripes on trees or posts. The “Purple Paint Law” is designed to give  landowner’s an easier tool than posting “no trespassing” signs, which can deteriorate over time.

wrcbpurplepaintlaw_1506458714492_11242448_ver1.0No trespassing” signs, while clear in intent, have inherent and frustrating problems. They can be ripped down. They are often made of materials that don’t withstand the elements. They fade. They have to be frequently replaced. Thus, landowners who do not want hunting or furtaking on their lands were in need of a more effective means to communicate clearly to persons entering their lands for such purposes, that doing so constitutes trespassing and is prohibited by law. Act 103, “The Purple Paint Law”, is the answer to that need.

Increasingly, states are adopting purple paint laws as a uniform standard signaling no trespassing and over 12 states have done so prior to Pennsylvania adopting the standard (although Act 103 is not applicable to Philadelphia and Allegheny counties). These laws eliminate the burden on landowners of posting and monitoring “no trespassing” signs by allowing purple stripes painted on trees or posts to communicate the identical message.

The placement of the purple stripes have specific requirements under the new law: they must be vertical lines at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide; the bottom of the stripe cannot be less than three feet from the ground nor more than five feet from the ground; they must be placed at locations that are readily visible to a person approaching the property; and, they must be placed no more than 100 feet apart.

Many paint manufacturers have formulated spray cans and brushable paint specifically 319izL57DlLmarketed as purple “no hunting/no trespassing” paint, and they are readily available on line or in hardware or big box supply stores for as little as about $5/can. These specially marketed paints are generally durable, weather resistant and highly visible, clearly communicating the “no hunting/no trespassing” directive and leaving no room for doubt or misperception.

A hunter who trespasses on private property posted with purple paint commits a summary offense of the third degree, and repeated violations will result in misdemeanor charges along with forfeiture of the privilege to hunt for a period of one year.

A person who disregards the purple stripes and enters your land to engage in hunting or furtaking is acting in violation of the law and committing a criminal offense. The police should immediately be called for enforcement.

Both landowners and law-abiding hunters need to be aware of Pennsylvania’s new Purple Paint Law: landowners to ensure that their property is not trespassed upon and used for an unwanted purpose, and hunters to know where they can and cannot lawfully hunt.


Categories: Pennsylvania Law and animals, Pennsylvania legislation, Spotlight, Uncategorized


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