Quit crying. If it was the DNR you deserved it, If it was someone trying to hunt leagally in that same area You deserved it. That simple. Stay within the law and things like this wouldn't happen.
2008 I was at the start of my bow hunting vacation when I had an arrow shatter on release. Shard shot right into my hand. After an ER visit and some pain pills I spent the week scouting for rifle since I couldn't use my left hand.
Ran into a guy setting up an illegal stand later that week on a prime pinch point. He wasn't much for conversation and claimed this area was his for rifle. Maybe it was a lack in judgement from the pain pills or the fact they had made me constipated that past four days. Anyways, on the way out I had finally had a bowel movement. I pinched off the most epic deuce on his seat two days prior to opener. One of the more enjoyable throne experiences of my life, fantastic view. I don't think I broke any laws.
I just wanted to share that story. Corn chili the night before he probably ended up shooting a big one anyways.
Everyone is talking about opinions. The answer is, if in your area, it's illegal to leave stands out, it's illegal. If yours got stolen I don't feel bad for anyone. I don't agree with breaking one of the 10 commandments, but you were also stealing in a sense. Stealing others right to be there also.
Even if its the world's hardest to get place, if its illegal then you really should not be defending your actions.
If the law says a treestand can be left, your complaints to other hunters accomplish nothing. Well maybe some mutual hatred, but even then you are in the wrong. You just end up looking stupid and wrong. Imagine the confrontation and a warden showing up. You tell the warden, "I don't like that they can do this." That will go over well for you LOL.
I don't like everything I run into on public lands but it is what it is. Good hunters overcome it anyways, all part of it.
Holy moly did this thread ever blow up! I haven't been back to look since a couple days after the op, lots of good conversation. I'm just glad hunting season is over and we can all go back to hating the guy drilling holes 10 feet away from our tip-ups. I think I'll be up north for hunting next year, lower densities of blaze orange sounds great. Have a nice day gentlemen.