Wisconsin Hunting Reports/Discussion

Someone sitting in my deer stand.

2/14/24 @ 10:35 AM
User since 1/6/09

This happened to me nearly 20 years ago.  I was wondering how you all would have handled it.

I have a 40 of hunting property up in Douglas Co (close to 2 hours north of where I live).  On one side of me is more private land, on the other is papermill land (open to public).  I put up a ladderstand on papermill land for bow season because the enclosed stands on our land are not conducive to drawing a bow, plus the deer like to hang in the pines and scrub during the warmer weather.

So, one Saturday afternoon sit I was successful on a buck.  It was warmer, so spent the next day skinning/quartering/cutting.  Following weekend I went back up for the day to retrieve my stand.

Hiked up on the ridge and found someone sitting in it, hunting.  I mentioned that he was sitting in my stand, he said "This is public property, I can sit in it if I want legally."  I told him "Yes, you're correct LEGALLY but ethically is another question, and I just drove 2 hours to take it down because I got my deer last weekend and I'm not waiting around."

What would you have done?

Displaying 1 to 15 of 67 posts
3/13/24 @ 3:12 PM
User since 10/13/05
If someone put THEIR personal property on YOUR property, would it be yours?  Participant to this 30 years ago.  We asked him to leave and take his stuff and never come back.  He did, but could we have removed him and kept his stuff?
Same on public land.
You can ask him to leave YOUR property and remove it.  Cannot ask him to leave and then hunt it on public.  But you can come in and remove your personal property.  Maybe not what you wanted to do, but you absolutely can.
3/10/24 @ 2:21 PM
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
Bassmaster+recordracks 2
PRO MEMBER User since 7/24/20
Walked up one of are Buffalo county almost a mountain bluffs. It’s a 30 min climb even with the road we put in. Walked the top of the ridge and seen a coffee cup tucked in the side of the bluff. It was still steaming. They could see me on the road I would have never been able to the other hunter tucked into the side of the bluff. I yelled out you better be running ! He came off one the connecting farms. 3 farms meet at that point. 
3/6/24 @ 7:05 PM
User since 4/30/15
I have a cabin on 40 acres in the north central part of the state that I deer hunt with and old friend and his son.  The 40 to the north is county land as is a large chunk to the south.  A couple years ago, his son was disappointed with his stand by noon of opening day.  I suggested he take the road and walk in to the adjoining 40 from the north side and find himself a new spot for the afternoon.  He took the suggestion and later that afternoon I heard a shot from over that way.  He told us that as he was walking in, another hunter came in and said he was just pulling a trail camera and told the kid to go ahead and use his stand.  The guy said he had bow hunted there, but was gun hunting elsewhere.  The kid got a buck- not a whopper, but his first.  Guess I should have told him to try my stand instead....    I have no idea who the guy was, but he made the season for a happy young hunter.
3/6/24 @ 4:53 PM
Outa line
User since 8/9/21
Dang, I’m jealous of that dude that can chit on demand like that . . . . . . 
3/5/24 @ 1:16 PM
User since 12/14/14
I remember hunting some new forest crop land during the middle of the gun season during the middle of the day. Found a ladder stand and decided to jump up in it to see what all you could see from there. Was there 5 minutes taking a break when I could see orange coming through the woods. I started getting down and the guy gave me the riot act. I want your back tag number and I'm calling the warden. I said have at it. I told him I didn't damage the stand and was just scouting the area. He came from a direction of the nearest house. He continued being an ass. I then told him if I am contacted by the dnr I will pursue hunter harassment and forest crop law owner harassing hunter. Never heard anything from the dnr but was glad I didn't take a dump on his stand.
3/4/24 @ 3:20 PM
User since 2/28/07
I know a guy who hands out his own justice to people that leave there stands up on public. He climbs up and chits on them. 
3/3/24 @ 8:50 AM
User since 9/8/20
I had the same issue, just a couple of years ago. I just asked the hunter to please get down, as I was going to remove my stand from that area. 
He apologized for using it and came down without any issue.
I have seen several instances of deer stand owners getting very upset, that someone is in their stand on public hunting grounds. This is something that's just not helpful In getting someone to comply with a request. 
As for someone being in your stand ethically, he was completely ethical. You were not there hunting at the time. My opinion, of course. 
3/2/24 @ 10:07 PM
User since 11/19/09
Does it have your name on it ?
3/1/24 @ 4:44 PM
User since 12/19/11
How about a trail camera on public land? Do I have the right to swap out SD cards to check those pictures? Or maybe move it to a tree that looks like a better spot? Private property on public land is fair game right?
How about trapping - Can I check other peoples traps on public land, can I take their fisher or coon they caught as long as I reset the trap for them?
How about sap collecting - I believe you need a permit to collect sap on state land. But if I have a permit and someone else is tapping trees in the same area, what's the harm if I collect their sap for the day? Public land nothing is private property right?

Just seems like a double standard because it's a tree stand. I 100% agree that tampering with the guy while he's hunting would be considered hunter harassment, but I'm genuinely curious about whether the hunter still has the right away if a non-hunter is coming out to collect private property that was legally left on public land. I personally feel like the fact that the OP wasn't hunting completely changes who is in the right in this situation.

Let's just get rid of public land altogether and start charging $400k for 40 acre parcels. Oh, wait...
3/1/24 @ 9:43 AM
User since 5/19/06
Some 20 odd years ago I was renting a place in SE WI that was on 80 acres and included hunting rights that unbeknownst to me at the time weren’t  necessarily exclusive. My first order of business was to scout every inch and it became apparent really quick that pretty much every spot worthy of putting up a stand already had one. So I bought a climber and started hunting the in between areas, only running into one other guy who seemed like a decent dude, we exchanged notes and agreed on how we can share, no big deal. Since he was the only guy I ran into over the first few weeks, I started hunting one of the stands that appeared to have been up for years, even slayed a doe out of it. Fast forward to the first week of November, on a Tuesday night, I’m sitting in the stand when I hear a “WTF” from behind me. Some high school aged kid came walking in with 45 minutes left to sit in “his” stand. He proceeds to tell me where I can hunt and where I can’t. I told him I will hunt wherever I please on this property and if he doesn’t want me in his stand I will put a climber up in the tree next to it. I then proceeded to do the mature thing and leave, once out of sight I walked the whole property jumping several deer. After that, I still hunted there in my climber but found some public spots that were just as good with less competition from other hunters. 
3/1/24 @ 6:03 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 3/9/11
From what I understand, if there is a dock or a swim raft, the homeowner is liable for any injury that may occur on said property. For that reason, it is private property. My feelings are a tree stand should be considered private property just for liability reasons. If you want to hunt that spot, no problem with you setting up in the tree next to me. If you feel that you are the better hunter, you are not going to sit there if I'm already in my stand when you walk in.

2/29/24 @ 9:20 PM
User since 1/7/02
Many varying opinions and even more controversy on the subject. Legally placed stand on what is considered public property as far as hunting. So explain the difference between that deer stand and your ice shack on a lake. Lake is public property and then anyone should be able to use said ice shack. Your dock extends out into the water. It is now on public property and anyone is free to fish from it. Your cut in sturgeon spearing shack is occupied by a stranger when you arrive, what do you do it’s on public waters. Maybe it’s time for a spring hearing question for the state to draft regulations for such situations. Push the limits even further, your boat tied to your dock but both on public waters, someone gets in that boat fires up the live well starts fishing filling the live well. Where do you draw the line on what could be legal versus moral and ethical????
2/29/24 @ 8:58 PM
User since 10/3/12
LOL you guys still beating this dead horse
2/29/24 @ 6:42 PM
User since 2/28/13
Reality is, even though it is private property, it was left on public land.and unattended, that would make it part of the public land and use. 

The amicable thing to do would to politely talk it over, and if the hunter gives up the stand, done deal.  However as said before the hunter has the right to hunt from the unattended stand, and if he doesn't exit stand on request, he has the right to stay and hunt from it, and the person attempting to retrieve the stand would have to come back another time.
  Another reality is if the retrieving person attempted to disrupt the hunting from that stand while the person is actively hunting from it, they could be charged with hunter harassment. 
To further complicate the issue, with no name on the stand, how could the person even prove it was his or his friends stand. The attempted retriever person could be a jack wad attempting a fast on.
It really doesn't make any difference why the stand was left there, The stand was unattended on public land. 
2/29/24 @ 5:45 PM
User since 12/19/11
I just don't understand how the owner of a tree stand wouldn't have the right to take down his/her stand at any time they desire. If you are walking into public land, without a firearm or bow, to retrieve a stand, how do you not have the right to do so? Do regulations specify that the hunter has the right of way to a stand over the owner? If the owner of said stand is planning to hunt, I think that changes things. But the OP wasn't a hunter at that point, he was the owner of personal property. For all of you saying "go to the bar and come back at dark", I'm surely not going to put myself at risk of injuring myself trying to take down a ladder stand solo in the middle of the night. I can barely do it in daylight.

I know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I don't think posting it on here would be appropriate   
Displaying 1 to 15 of 67 posts

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