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Don't hunt near Union Pacific railroad tracks

From the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

-- Union Pacific Railroad is urging hunters to resist the temptation to hunt on railroad property this season. It is not only dangerous, it is against the law - a trespassing violation because railroad rights-of-way are private property.

It's tempting to hunt these areas because wildlife tend to loaf and feed along the edges of freshly harvested fields near railroad tracks, making these areas prime hunting spots.

"As part of our ongoing UP CARES initiative, we're reminding hunters that walking on or near railroad tracks is extremely dangerous because you never know when a train will come along," says Dennis Jenson, assistant vice president and police chief for Union Pacific. "It can take a mile or more to stop a train, and by the time a locomotive engineer sees you on the track, it could be too late.

"Locomotives and rail cars overhang the tracks by at least three feet on either side of the rail, and loose straps hanging from rail cars may extend even farther," he said. "If you are next to the tracks, you can be hit by the locomotive, a rail car or anything that may be hanging loose from the car."

Hunters aren't the only ones who may violate this law, knowingly or not. Through August of this year, nearly 26,000 people have been caught trespassing on Union Pacific Railroad property.

Trespassers on railroad property can be arrested for violating trespassing laws. If they are caught, they could serve jail time and/or have to pay a fine.

And while it seems unlikely that someone near a track would fail to hear it coming, last year, 428 pedestrians died and 346 were injured while trespassing on railroad property throughout the United States, mostly in rural areas, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Don't become a railroad statistic; stay away from railroad tracks this hunting season. For more information, call Mark Davis at (402)544-5459, email mwdavis@up.com or visit the Union Pacific on Facebook, www.facebook.com/unionpacific.

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