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train tracks

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Old 01-10-2019, 11:00 AM
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hello, I have a dumb rookie question. i found a great area for deer on public land, the only issue is that the only way to access it by foot is via 300 feet of train tracks. I would not literally be on the tracks but i would be near them. obviously this is not ideal but is this a complete deal killer. i honestly dont know how if it would be looked on poorly by a game warden. i have not been on them yet i wanted to ask first. the only other way is via a pond but i dont have a boat.
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Old 01-10-2019, 12:13 PM
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I hunt off tracks all the time. And have shot many deer by being able to sneak quietly along the rail bed

-Jake
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:55 PM
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That would depend where you are hunting. Where I live, the railroad arrests people all the time for trespassing on railroad property and the entire railroad bed belongs to the railroad.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:09 PM
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I agree, it com,es down to if there is legal access along the tracks or not, and I would also some day be there when a train or two goes by and see HOW fast they run thru the area
some places they go pretty slow and are a LOT risk deal, some places trains can be going VERY VERY fast and are a higher risk

HERE In PA< almost al railroad beds are still owned by railroad company's and almost ALL are posted to trespassing, but NOT all, some are actually converted to walking trails, even NEAR and next to active railroads(an example will be thru
Jim Thorpe area, there are walking/bike trails next to active tracks, but trains go pretty SLOW thru this area and they even do train tours so can ride trains too)
I live near several active and abandoned train tracks, and the railroad company's patrol BOTH often, they have atv's and trucks and jeeps they use here, and fines can be higher than you think!

so I would check to see if access to the tracks is even legal before proceeding with this idea!
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:26 PM
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Jim Thorpe? Now there was a tremendous athlete!
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:08 AM
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Many states I have hunted consider train tracks and the surrounding rail bed private property. If regulations require permission to hunt private property then using the rail bed would be illegal.
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Old 01-12-2019, 03:38 AM
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Like Old Timr said, the railroad is quite cranky about you being on their property out east. We used to duck hunt a private field next to the tracks and the train drivers would call us in for being within 40 yards of the tracks. We would get a CSX truck come down the rails some times and others had the police or Mr Green jeans show up. We would not stop hunting the spot and the warden later told us they still called, but they knew we were not doing anything wrong, at the same spot. The farmer had a tractor road through the woods to get to this back field. The railroad seemed to think their control reached as far as they could see and not owned. They have a lot of liability from people playing on the tracks and enforce trespassing heavily.

I would see if you could walk on the property next to it. Ask for permission to cross it and not hunt. Call the Game Warden station and ask them directly how you are expected to access this public land if it is truly land locked. Every property is supposed to have access to a road even if its a right of way across someone else's property.
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Old 01-12-2019, 05:42 AM
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I suppose I likely gave bad information in my first post. And don't want to do that.

My experience has been very different than others have mentioned. I grew up with rail road tracks crossing behind my parents property and have 'played' there since I was a kid. Including riding bicycles, running, atvs and dirt bikes, fishing and hunting off of them. I even used to take them to get to school and work on a Honda xr that I used to run around on.

I've never run into any issue, or had any problems.

But it sounds like that isn't the case in many areas.. so I would make some calls and find out for sure. Not worth getting in trouble for.

-Jake
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:26 AM
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I hunted groundhogs and small game along railroad tracks when I was in high school. I walked on the tracks and out of town and hunted for a couple of miles. One side of the tracks going out and the other side coming back. Can't do it today, the railroad companies are too worried about liability from both people getting injured by trains and people doing damage to railroad equipment that could cause a derailment.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:36 AM
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the railroad only own the tracks and so much on each side of the tracks. i grew up right beside tracks that came into the steel mill and never had any problems with the railroad company. we would walk the tracks to get into the woods all the time. i never hunted from the tracks as it was too open. we always stood inside the edge of the right of way. when we heard or saw a train coming we made sure to be away from the tracks. these were always freight trains that didnt move fast. we even crossed the railroad bridge to cross the river to get in the next county.
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