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.
About 10 years ago, I shot a nice 8 point buck on mid afternoon of the opener on a VERY popular track of public land in south central wisconsin. Typically, I would have waited until after dark to start dragging it out, but I had a family obligation that I did not want to miss, so I started dragging. I was hoping to get back to the truck and on the road before the season closed, but I didn't make it. After the season closed, several guys passed me on their way out. A couple of them asked me if I was the guy they saw on the way in "X" spot on the way in.... Yup...
Fast forward to the next season. I show up at 3 am, first truck in the lot and walk out. Sure as you know what, there is an empty stand in a tree 20 yards from where I shot my buck the previous year! I hunted that spot for 10 or 12 years straight by getting my dead butt out of bed at 1 a.m. and getting there first. No way in the wide world of sports was I going to find another spot, so I put my stand up and waited for the fireworks.
Around 5:30 a.m. I saw 3 hunters walking towards me. As I always, do, I shined my light into the tree above me. INSTANTLY, one of the 3 guys started to swear. A lot. He carried on for about 30 seconds - I was about to tell him to shut his pie hole or I was going to call the police. Thankfully, one of the guys from his group spoke up and set him straight about first come, first serve on public land. Pretty much told him to stfu and find a new spot.
No one will ever convince me that it is OK to leave stands on public property. I should not have to worry about a situation like this (or worse) when I do everything right.
A forum by definition is a place to to express idea's, and opinions. Not trash people who disagree with you. With that said I vote leave one stand on public for a 14 day period. Identified with name and number. I disagree with the claiming ownership to the area argument. Do you own it for the day if you are sitting in your climber? No you don't. Grant it I don't know what happens down south on public land or how small it really is. Fact is laws change depending on how we as sportsman choose. So I still have my opinion and those who don't agree are just wrong. That was a joke. Thanks everyone for your time and thought. But remember no need to vent and call names.
Why not,Jkb?...Everybody gets a say and nobody ever in the history of the internet sways anyone else's opinion.
You contributed to the thread,the input had value. That's better than the folks who visit every day to find out where to fish but never ever contribute to the site themselves. Aint it?
I've got two climbers - a Lone Wolf and a summit. I haven't used either of them in several years. I got tired of hunting for (just the right) trees instead of hunting for deer.
My Lone Wolf Alpha is - with practice - easy to set up. With quieting mods I have literally set up within 50yds (yes,downwind) of feeding does and did not spook them.
Key is using a safety harness with lanyard. I use a Black Diamond rock climbing saddle modded with hip loops to attach a "work positioning" safety lanyard. Now I can have both hands free as I set sticks and stand.
Also replaced the stupid shoulder straps the Alpha had with some good backpack-style straps and I changed the attachment system. I added a hip-belt and back pad. It now carries like a good quality backpack....I bungee my daypack to that,carry my bow...
I did some of that with Mil. Spec. webbing and the help of a shoe repair place to do the stitching.
Ain't bragging. What I'm saying is it's possible to do it safely,quietly,and without bustin' your ass.
Ya,you'll sweat more than they guy walking in with just his bow - especially if you're in a hurry. I carry a change of inner layer and a 1 gal Ziploc bag to deal with that. Ya,it takes 20 minutes to set up quietly and 15 minutes to take down in the dark safely....But when you harvest an animal in an area where others have been unable to get a shot - and you do it "right" when the others are not - it's particularly satisfying...
But especially you young healthy guys taking an illegal advantage over other hunters in your area: Your harvest is slightly tainted. No,you didn't shoot it from your pickup at 1am with a buddy holding a spotlight but you still cannot take the same pride in your kill as if you'd done everything you could to follow the law.
Still eats the same though.
AND...I still wish you guys who do "that" a safe and successful hunt...unless you're doing it where I hunt. Then I just wish you a safe hunt. lol
jkb- As you can see from all the posts from hunters hunting public the proper way, it can be done, and it is being done by many, many hunters.
Yes, it is more work.
Yes, all of us that do it would much rather have a ladder stand already set up in place, but we do it the legal, ethical way that doesn't screw other hunters over.
If people would stop thinking only of themselves...well things would be better.
I primarily use a climber and shoot most of my deer out of them. I don't have a Lone Wolf but its still quick and quiet to climb up a tree. Any deer that could hear me climbing already ran away from me walking in. I've had deer come by within 5 minutes of climbing already. I've even climbed down without spooking deer that were in easy ear-shot.
That said though, I have no problem with stands up north. Its actually kind of nice to know where guys will be sitting. But there is enough woods that even if someone is in a spot, I can easily go down and cut them off yet. Everyone can really cut each other off in the big woods for the most part. That's sort of gun hunting in general though too. I just find it better than having it get light out and seeing a guy 50 yards away. That happened to me on public properties in the NE part of the state, but I think there were just more people there in general than where I am now.
If stands are a big deal, you can always walk and sit. I could have shot a deer this year doing that, its plenty effective. I've shot a number doing that over the years and you won't get cold.
I do not like seeing stands around my house on state public though. It is illegal and its clear to see why, more people around by far. Anywhere closer to population will be like that.
It must be a miracle or just dumb luck that most of us aren't dead already. I mean, attempting to use a climber in the dark? Have you ever heard of such foolishness? Isn't that what head lamps are for? Isn't that what quiet climbing stands like Lone Wolf is for? Isn't that what safety straps are for? I can set up and be 25' up in a tree in about 2 minutes without making hardly a sound. Like some guys said previously, maybe some of these guys shouldn't be hunting from stands if it's too much work to carry one in like a back pack. Maybe some of these guys shouldn't be in the deer woods period if the dark is a challenge for them. Public land should not be a dumping ground for "disposable" deer stands, nor should it be an opportunity for slobs to claim squatter's rights to areas simply because they put a stand in a tree. There are hundreds of trees I have hunted from long before anyone ever thought about putting a stand in them, but you'll never know that and you won't find me claiming it to be "my" area because I remove my stand always. At least if you have a portable stand, if someone beats you to an area, you can move on to option B, I have never seen that happen when a guy is expecting to hunt "his" ladder stand. All you end up having is confrontation. I don't feel sorry for folks who leave their crap out in the woods and expect it to be there when they get back, only to find it missing or damaged. Yes it's crap, because no one with gear of any value would do such a stupid thing. Take your chances if you so choose, but don't complain.