Monday, October 01, 2007

The 10 cm. (4 inch) Red Dot

If you drive the Ontario country side, especially near forests you will from time to time see a red circle painted on a tree, rock or fence post. I had been told that the symbol meant “no trespassing”. If you seek out the origin of this custom on the web there is very little information about the custom.
In time I found this custom well described in the Ontario Hunting Regulations for example in
Hunting Regulations 2007 • 2008, ISSN 0882-1936 under General Regulations on page 25 is the following text and I quote:

A person is trespassing if the person enters onto property
or carries out an activity on property that the owner has given
notice is not allowed. Commonly the owner may give this
notice to the general public by having a fence, sign, symbol or
by verbally telling someone.
A hunting licence does not give hunters the right to enter
private property.
ALWAYS ask for permission and obey signs. Signs may be in
three formats:
Red or yellow markings of such a size that a circle of
10 cm (4 inches) can be contained wholly within them.
Red means no entry is permitted. Yellow markings mean no
entry is permitted except for activities that may be allowed.
• Graphic representation of a permitted or prohibited activity.
• A written sign.
If it is not evident what activities are allowed, ask for permission
from the landowner. Not all land is signed. Unsigned
lands may be private land as well. (If property is fenced, no
access is permitted without permission of the landowner.) It is
your responsibility to find out who owns the land you wish to
hunt on and obtain permission. If unsure, stay out. Positive
landowner/hunter relationships are important to the
future of hunting in Ontario.
Be sure you are familiar with the Occupiers’ Liability Act and
the Trespass to Property Act before entering private land. (You
may obtain these two acts from Publications Ontario or online
at You will also be violating the Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Act if the landowner asks you to
leave and you do not do so immediately, or if you do not obey
signs prohibiting trespassing, hunting or fishing.
We know of very little incidence of trespassing on our woodlot, and based on the above, it seems that a fence will suffice and there is no need to “Post” red circles.
Interestingly this regulation is quite well described for Ontario. If one were to look at regulations in other provinces such as New Brunswick or Nova Scotia one will find the regulations have a different meaning not nearly as clear and explicit. New Brunswick rules are described in a later post. 

This information can also be found on:

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