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State v. Brandborg

Supreme Court of North Dakota

December 18, 2014

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Penn Charles Brandborg, Defendant and Appellant

Appeal from the District Court of Logan County, Southeast Judicial District, the Honorable Daniel D. Narum, Judge.

Gerald A. Kuhn, State's Attorney, Napoleon, N.D., for plaintiff and appellee.

Penn C. Brandborg, Fergus Falls, MN, defendant and appellant.

Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J. Opinion of the Court by Kapsner, Justice.

OPINION

Page 84

Kapsner, Justice.

[¶1] Penn Brandborg appeals from a criminal judgment entered upon a jury verdict finding him guilty of hunting on posted land without permission in violation of N.D.C.C. § 20.1-01-18. We affirm, concluding there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict.

I

[¶2] In January 2013, while hunting coyotes in Logan County, Brandborg and a companion entered onto property owned by Joyce Haag and operated by her son, Keith Haag. To enter the property, Brandborg drove off of the main road onto an access approach road entering Joyce Haag's property. Joyce Haag owned the property on both sides of the access road. At the intersection of the main road and the access road, there was a no hunting sign posted on the north side of the access road. Anyone entering the property by the access road would have to drive right by the posted no hunting sign. Brandborg claimed that he believed the no hunting sign applied only to the land north of the access road, and he proceeded to drive into the field south of the access road to hunt.

[¶3] One of the Haags' neighbors, Howard Schultz, heard shots coming from the direction of the Haag property and drove over to investigate. Upon seeing Brandborg's vehicle on the Haag property, he called Keith Haag and was told no one had permission to hunt on the land. The Brandborg vehicle then returned to the access road, and Schultz briefly spoke with Brandborg. Schultz provided the license number of Brandborg's vehicle to the local game warden, who subsequently located Brandborg and the vehicle at a gas station in the area.

[¶4] Brandborg was charged with hunting on posted land without permission in violation of N.D.C.C. § 20.1-01-18. Following a trial, the jury found Brandborg guilty and a criminal judgment was entered. Brandborg has appealed, alleging the land was not properly posted and there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find him guilty.

II

[¶5] Hunting on posted land without permission is prohibited by N.D.C.C. § 20.1-01-18:

No person may hunt or pursue game, or enter for those purposes, upon legally posted land belonging to another without first obtaining the permission of the person legally entitled to grant the same. . . . A person who violates this section is ...

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