I’ve had neighbors of all stripes ranging from wonderful to not so hot. Fortunately, never any really bad ones. One neighbor we had in KY liked to, as another neighbor put it, stir up shit and sit back and watch what would happen.
My family has owned the land I live on for 75 years, 40 years of which they were absentee owners. When I moved here in 1986, it took me several years to convince people that they could no longer have free use of our land. They thought all those years of unhindered use conferred some form of permission to continue. It was necessary for me to inform them how lucky they had been to have had the free use of our property for all those years but that would no longer be the case going forward. I now have little problem with chronic trespassers…other than ginseng thieves which is a whole different level of aggravation.
I like the response of John Wolfram. Working with your neighbors is a great way to build a positive relationship. You may be able to limit a neighbors incursions by “giving him permission” to use a piece of your property if he abides by your rules. Give him the exclusive right to ride his 4 wheeler through your place as long as it doesn't turn into a ATV highway and there isn't trash lying around. He may then help you keep others out.
Hopefully, you had the seller survey the property before you purchased it. If that is the case, you could contact the surveyor to confirm the location of the corners. If stakes are already present, you could drive fence posts….deep….to emphasize the stake's presence. Marking the lines with tree marking paint would help as well. I try to err on my side of the line just a bit when marking. Flagging is nice because you can change it if you make a mistake. Flag your lines and ask your neighbors to confirm they are in the correct location and then paint the line when everybody is on board. Fences have a way of becoming the established line once built, so you better get it right.
People should try to have lines surveyed before a land purchase. It will need to be done sooner or later, either when you fence, log, sell your property, etc. It’s difficult to blame people for trespassing when the lines are not marked. When lines are not well established, loggers have a way of helping themselves to trees as well. We have had trees swiped by loggers cutting on adjoining property on multiple occasions. If you think logs have been taken from your property, the burden will be on you to show that- i.e. you will need to have a survey done. If you can establish theft, here in Indiana, the victim is awarded triple value for the stolen trees. Loggers will usually not take enough trees to make it worth wile to have a survey done. If the line is surveyed and well marked in advance, loggers should not be a problem.
I like to accommodate my neighbors need to hunt and just wander and enjoy the outdoors. I try to coordinate hunting so we all get a chance to hunt and hopefully kill some deer. Deer are a horrendous problem here and I need all the help I can get. My general policy is that anybody is welcome to walk through my property. I just don’t want them to take anything or leave anything. Most of them feel the same way.