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 31 to 45 of 67 posts
2/17/24 @ 5:30 PM
User since 3/9/03
If you had your name scribed on it somewhere like what you would do with a bike or something you could have a case. Look under the seat you will see my name
2/16/24 @ 5:32 PM
User since 2/6/19
Turkey, nice try but I answered the posted question and said what I'd do if I was the owner of the ladder stand.  I didn't respond as if I was the hunter sitting in someone else's stand.  Geesh!

I would either not sit in someone else's stand or would be prepared to move on if they came.  That is what I would do, but I would respect someone else who reacted differently within the law.

Seems like you just want to attack someone who you don't agree with.  Peace.
2/16/24 @ 3:07 PM
User since 2/2/17
The original question was the guy would not leave the stand, how would you respond? If you want to get into an argument with a stranger... with a weapon... in the middle of the woods and argue about ethics right there then be my guest! I would personally come back later and not make it an issue. 

Again, if you find a stand on public land and choose to hunt it so be it. If the owner comes to claim it - be courteous and let him have it. If you go to get your stand and someone is in it ask politely if they'll leave. If not then come back later. 

2/16/24 @ 2:23 PM
User since 8/28/11
Gillespie - So if you're walking through the woods and see a stand and climb up and sit down you're telling me that YOUR CONSCIENCE wouldn't tell you that gee if the guy that owns this stand shows up I should probably move along??!!  No I'm going to be an a-hole and sit here and make him wait 4 or 5 hours until I'm done before he can retrieve his property because dang it I want to use it and I was here first.  That's what's wrong with everyone today the think they're entitled to anything and everything.  You say put yourself in the hunters shoes and leave him alone to hunt in peace and come back later to get it.  What about the guy in the stand?  He doesn't have to put himself of the shoes of the owner of the stand who wants to take HIS PROPERTY and leave?  Like I've said just because something is legal doesn't make it ethically right to do.  Don't be an a-hole and get out of the stand!
2/16/24 @ 10:58 AM
User since 10/13/05
As stated earlier in this thread, in the end the STAND is his personal/private property, regardless of the land ownership that the stand is on.  Even if he was coming to "hunt" that stand, when he got there his only option(s) were to hunt somewhere else or take that stand with him.  Absolutely has the right to remove his property.  Does NOT have the right to remove the individual in it.
2/16/24 @ 10:58 AM
User since 2/6/19
Pimply, why not let the guy hunt in peace and come back later?  You knowingly took a "risk" of someone legally hunting "your" stand or "spot" by leaving it out on public hunting land.  You probably would have removed your ladder stand even if there was a hunter in their own climbing stand 20 yards away from your ladder stand.  That would equally have been a jerk move.

Let legal hunters hunt in peace and don't ruin their hunt! Back out, and come back later.  You're only thinking of the issue from your perspective.....2 hour drive and being inconvenienced........Maybe the legal hunter in your stand just got some bad news from their doctor or some other personal issue.  Maybe they just wanted to be left alone to think and be in the woods.  Put yourself in others boots.

20 years this has bothered you.  Listen to your conscience. 
2/16/24 @ 8:48 AM
User since 7/20/09
Have to check county ordinances if hunting county land.  This is what I was talking about earlier, can't use the regulation book fully.  Here is Marinette County, few of the relevant ones:

  • Hunting stands are allowed to be placed on county lands for up to three consecutive weeks before having to be removed. Stands must have the hunter’s name and address attached and be visible.
  • Nails, screws, spikes, screw in steps or any object that pierces the tree’s bark and damages the inner portion of the tree cannot be used on Marinette County lands. Climbing tree stands are allowed. Stands can be secured to the tree using a chain or cable and lock.
  • Cutting of trees/shrubs to create shooting lanes is strictly prohibited.
  • All Marinette County lands are open to all members of the public. There is no first come/first serve.
  • State hunting regulations apply.
So Marinette has this 3 week rule for stands.  Now here is Forest County which says basically all season. 


WHEREAS, portable tree stands may be used, provided that they are erected after September 1 of any year and completely removed no later than January 1 of the following year

2/15/24 @ 9:11 PM
Fv.screaming drags.com
Fv.screaming drags.com
User since 3/29/20
Someone sitting in my deer stand. photo by Fv.screaming drags.com
Someone sitting in my deer stand. photo by Fv.screaming drags.com
2/15/24 @ 9:10 PM
Fv.screaming drags.com
Fv.screaming drags.com
User since 3/29/20
Here's some of what I  found. I hunt marinette County forest land alot and you are allowed to place and leave treestands overnight and  what I've always understood is that anyone can use a stand they come across on public land and the owner cannot make them leave for any reason unless they were going to remove it. It's just a unfortunate side affect of leaving private property on public land ​.
2/15/24 @ 2:24 PM
PRO MEMBER User since 1/22/21
This is a funny thread!!! Lol
2/15/24 @ 12:49 PM
User since 12/14/14
If you can't handle someone sitting in your stand on public land take it out when your done hunting. Problem solved. Years ago I hunted federal land there were ladder stands pretty much everywhere. Some were installed by my group for drives. Once in a while you would run across someone in the stand when we were setting up for a drive. No worries, simply I would let them know what was going on so they knew a drive was coming through for safety reasons. One year we had a guy following us around on drives to sponge off the deer movement in the area. That's public hunting.
Use the stands at your own risk. I wouldn't take the bottom section off the ladder stand because someone will still try and use it and the stand will get damaged or they will get hurt. Each to their own. It is amazing what you see so called ethical hunters doing on public land but usually you just move to plan B.
That being said I would of got down so the guy could take his stand with him. Either way it wouldn't be a big issue.
2/15/24 @ 11:34 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 6/13/06

I have no interest in hunting someone else's stand for the exact reasons you listed.  If I am out hunting, I either have my own hang-on and sticks or sticks and a saddle.  I have zero interest in using someone else's stand. 

You think it is a jerk move to use someone else's stand...I think it is a jerk move to leave your stand in a spot and not take it with you, legal or not.  IMO, it says I have claimed this spot as my own.  Now whether or not that is true, it limits other hunters of opportunity.  If it is the only straight tree with no limbs and someone brings in a climber, that hunter is out an opportunity.  If a hunter wants to hunt that area and that ladder stand was hung with little cover and sticks out like a sore thumb and every deer sees it from a mile away, it limits other hunter's opportunity.  If the OP comes to get his stand and I hang my stand next to his and he disturbs my hunt, it limits my opportunity.  

I am also in favor of banning cameras on all public lands in Wisconsin.  Again, putting cameras out gives the impression to some hunters that this area is taken and is off limits.  Nobody should ever have to feel threatened or intimidated to use land that belongs to the citizens of Wisconsin because someone leaves their personal property on land that is open to all.  Climbing sticks and hang-on stands have become so portable and light weight along with saddles, that again, IMO, there should be no reason to leave any stand out on any public land.  That is just my opinion.
2/15/24 @ 11:13 AM
User since 2/2/17
There's two issues getting confused here. Is it ethical to hunt someone else's stand on public land? And how do you respond if someone else is hunting your stand?

1) hunting someone else's stand is perfectly legal
2) hunting someone else's stand is a gray area ethically we will never all agree on
3) if you find someone legally hunting your stand and refuses to leave, accept that they are a jerk who is within their legal rights and you take the high road and come back later. 

2/15/24 @ 10:41 AM
User since 5/19/06
The default regulation is no tree stands are allowed over night on MFL-O or FCL lands without landowner permission. Not saying that the paper companies didn’t explicitly allow this, but in the absence of such a policy it would be illegal. Also, on FCL lands, which probably included most paper lands 20 years ago, only hunting and fishing is allowed. Scouting and hiking are not included as allowable activities so unless actively engaged in hunting, you’d need land owner permission. I’m not arguing the circumstances of the situation in question, this is just what the MFL and FCL rules state. It’s in the DNR website on one of the FAQ sections. 
2/15/24 @ 10:32 AM
User since 1/6/09
Good discussion.  I appreciate everyone's input.

To answer some questions that have been raised - I had no issue with someone else hunting that spot, but I would never climb up in someone else's stand.  He wants to hunt an area, he can bring his own.

As far as using a climber - not a lot of straight, limbless trees to hang one on an oak ridge or pine plantation, and the papermill people frown on you cutting their trees.

That was back before you needed to put identifying info on your stands, and on papermill land you were allowed to leave them overnight.

What did happen was I explained to him that I got a buck the week before and didn't have time to remove the stand, so I came up to do it now and had to go directly back home.  "Whatever.  I'll find another one."

I do like the suggestion of taking the lower ladder section off.  Thanks.

No shortage of people in that area who have blurred ethics.  Lost count over the years of the number of footprints meandering through our private property between the 2 November weekends we hunt it, and the garbage and cigarette butts left in our deer stands.  We've had it in MFL-closed and just renewed last year, although it sounds like property tax would be cheaper now to take it out.
Displaying 31 to 45 of 67 posts
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