Union County hunters want 'No Trespassing' signs taken down - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Union County hunters want 'No Trespassing' signs taken down

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Hunters say the new restrictions block the quickest route to their favorite hunting spot. Hunters say the new restrictions block the quickest route to their favorite hunting spot.
The signs were posted a year ago and line the creek for about a quarter mile. The signs were posted a year ago and line the creek for about a quarter mile.
Johnson says the signs have helped bring down the number of trespassers and poachers and hopes they stay. Johnson says the signs have helped bring down the number of trespassers and poachers and hopes they stay.
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UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - This fall, hundreds of hunters will take to the Shawnee National Forest for the opening of deer season.

But a group of hunters say they're confused about a road block that has prevented them from getting to their favorite hunting spot for the past year.

Kerry Johnson owns 300 acres bordering the Shawnee National Forest for the past five years.

Over the years he's dealt with a fair share of problems.

"This came from one of my game cameras, this is guy stealing ginseng," said Johnson

Just one reason why he said the state put up these signs to keep trespassers out.

The signs were posted a year ago and line the creek for about a quarter mile.

"They decided to post the area that had been off limits and enforce any trespassing and that worked well for me," he said.

But a group of hunters say it's been an inconvenience for them ever since.

For decades James Brown and Kenny Pind say they've been crossing this area of land along Clear Creek Levee Road to get to the Shawnee National Forest.

They say the new restrictions block the quickest route to their favorite hunting spot.

"I can find other places to hunt, but again that is not the point. The point is, the place that I once hunted and have hunted for many, many years is suddenly posted and I prevents me from hunting the Shawnee National Forest in that area," said Brown.

They're fighting to get the signs taken down through government involvement and a petition that has gotten over 500 signatures.

They say they won't stop until they are taken down.

"I think the signs were put up for the sake of one person," said Pind.

But for Johnson, the signs have helped bring down the number of trespassers and poachers and hopes they stay.

"It is more than just a deer; it is a much bigger thing. I just want the rules enforced," said Johnson.

According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, refuge property has to be posted in the state of Illinois and it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm on refuge land.

Both Brown and Pind say they've spoken with state representatives in the hopes of reversing the decision.

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