South Dakota Game Fish & Parks offers this defense of compliance checks:
Since the earliest days of statehood, conservation officers have carried out their enforcement responsibilities through the use of compliance checks here in South Dakota. These informal contacts with hunters and anglers in the field provide the public with assurance that laws and regulations established by the South Dakota Legislature and Game, Fish and Parks Commission are being followed. By Game, Fish and Parks Policy, conservation officers are allowed to go onto private land to conduct compliance checks in “open fields” only when they have visible evidence that hunting or fishing is actually occurring. Compliance checks provide a critically important deterrent to anyone who might consider violating the wildlife laws of the state. Without the ability to make personal contact with a hunter or angler in the field, it would be all but impossible for a conservation officer to know if that person had the proper license, was abiding by the bag limits, or was adhering to the numerous other restrictions enacted to protect and manage wildlife for the citizens of our state [Emmett J. Keyser, Asst. Director, Field Operations, "Compliance Checks Critical to Wildlife Conservation," South Dakota Game Fish & Parks].
So if we require conservation officers to get landowner permission, will we reduce the effectiveness of compliance checks? Some landowners would surely deny game wardens entry, and their land could then become free-fire zones for those (few, I hope) unlicensed, unscrupulous hunters.
I wonder if there's an analogy to sobriety checkpoints. I'm not fond of checkpoints, but I understand the argument that we're on public roads, driving's a privilege, etc. In enforcing hunting laws and protecting wildlife, game wardens have a tougher job than the highway patrol. The activity the HP is monitoring takes place on public roads (if you want to drive drunk and back into a tree in your own yard, well, I guess that's your business). The public resources GF&P is charged to protect are distributed across private land.
HB 1067 will bring up some useful discussion of private property rights and the Open Fields Doctrine. What do you think? Does the need to manage wildlife for the benefit of all who enjoy hunting and fishing outweigh private property rights? Weigh in here and with your legislators!