Originally Posted by pags
So, I've been trying to wrap my head around the thought process that goes into rationalizing trespass. I'm of the belief that unless you have permission, own it or lease it, you have no right to set foot or wheel on it. How do you end up with the belief that it's ok to use another's property, as long as they don't know about it? The common hunter/trespasser's refrain of "I ain't hurting nuthin." reminds me of my young son's response when he was caught doing something he knew he should not do. Would you want someone driving your car when you weren't using it without your permission? Ask for permission, have some respect for others.
I do agree with you, but for rural areas where hunting is commonplace there is a court ruling that says that hunting on unposted lands is not criminal trespass. ...that there is a fare assumption that unposted lands is open for sporting usage.
The Game Codes though do require you to have permission of the property owner. ...but the ruling and that code are in conflict. Rulings generally win over law, but its not to say that you wont be cited and the ruling challenged in a higher court.
For other lands - yes, just merely being on someones property is common law / civil law trespassing. For it not to be a common/civil violation you need to have permission in some fashion - like, explicit or implied consent. Which in PA we address those forms of consent as "license" or "privilege".
License is a formal agreement either in written or spoken contract. Privilege is less formal, and typically is under the terms of usage of the facility - like an expectation that you will be doing business with an establishment. Both license and privilege are subject to terms of the property owner, his lawful representatives, and in the case of privilege, his lawful tenants.