If You See THIS on a Fence Post, Quickly Turn Away and Go Back

If You See THIS on a Fence Post, Quickly Turn Away and Go Back

If you are planning a hunting trip, or even just a walk, there is something you need to know before you head out. If you see purple paint on a fence post or a tree, turn away and go back, or you will be considered a trespasser.


The Pennsylvania State Game Commission has issued a reminder to hunters about a 2020 law known as the “Purple Paint Law.” This law has also been implemented in at least 15 other states.

Purple paint on trees or posts is a sign that you are entering private property.

“At the beginning of 2020, this law, the ‘Purple Paint Law,’ as it’s commonly called, was enacted, and it allows landowners to use purple paint as a means of posting their property against trespassers,” said Bill Williams, the Game Commission Information Coordinator.

The Purple Paint Law gives landowners an option to use purple paint instead of paying for a printed sign to designate the boundaries of their property. These markings inform people that the land they are about to enter is private, and trespassing is not permitted.

“Purple is a kind of unusual color to see on a tree. It’s an easier way for landowners to post property, and it’s less time consuming for one thing. A lot of times, these posters are nailed into trees which don’t do good to the trees anyway,” Williams said.

Fox 43 gives detailed instruction for landowners who choose to take advantage of the Purple Paint Law: “If you do choose to paint a purple line instead of using signs, there are a few things you should know. Number one, the purple line must be painted vertically. It needs to be at least eight inches long and one inch wide. It also needs to be at least three feet above the ground so hunters can see it.”

The Purple Paint Law applies across Pennsylvania, with the exception of Philadelphia County and Allegheny County. Other states that have implemented this law include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
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