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Old October 18, 2013, 06:40 PM   #1
std7mag
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5000 acres, and...

So I get off of work, and decide to run up to the woods. Local spot, about 5 miles from home. Bad thing is it's public state game lands. 5000 acres all told.

I've spent literally all year scouting this area. Have been chasing a 12 point there for the past 3 years. (hey, they don't get big by being stupid)

Have been hunting there for almost 2 weeks, every chance I get. (PA bow season started mid Oct.)

So I park the car, douse myself in scent killer, and walk to my tree, (down the path that I made through the thick brush, and took the time to rake the leaves so as not to make any noise), can't miss it. Beautiful straight as an arrow, 50' tall tree with orange flagging on it.

Although this evening there is a guy parked in his climber sitting in it!!!

I know it's public grounds, but really!!! This is the 3rd time this has happened to me!!!
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
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You said it yourself, it is public land. I am not saying it was the right thing for the hunter to do, but there are all types of people out in the woods these days. In the future, I would not flag it with surveyors tape and certainly not rake a path to the tree. Of course you probably figured that out by yourself.

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Old October 18, 2013, 11:07 PM   #3
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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(A flagged tree of all things.) I guess it was the strangers lucky day to find your trail and walk to your hunting spot and mount his stand on your flagged tree. {I see a lesson to be learned here.} Just how do you intend to resolve this situation std7mag other than the two of you sitting in the same tree next time?_

Last edited by Sure Shot Mc Gee; October 18, 2013 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Misunderstood comment. Tree. Not tree stand.
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Old October 19, 2013, 08:15 AM   #4
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what state are you in?
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Old October 19, 2013, 08:24 AM   #5
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Public property is like that, you can't claim anything. I've always hunted public lands and it just goes without saying that if I find a nice spot to build a ground blind there is a chance someone else is going to be in it at some point.
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Old October 19, 2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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Maybe it was "his tree" for 22 of the past 25 years?

As long as an armed society (hunters) is a polite society it's probably a workable problem.
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Old October 19, 2013, 09:00 AM   #7
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Any good lookin spot on public land, with easy access and is easily identified is gonna be noticed by somebody with woodsmanship skills as good as yours. Put a flag on it and you are just advertising it. Hunting spots like this are one reason the bucks get big on public land......they too know where the majority of hunters spend their time. Find the secondary spot that is a tad farther in, a bit harder to get to and does not stand out like a red-headed step child. Big bucks use the lesser used trails the majority of the time anyway and tend to get away from the crowds once the pressure starts. That's where you need to hunt.
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Old October 19, 2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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I've been in your shoes. I would have said something to the guy.

I understand its public land, but I also have respect for other hunters and expect the same. If it was that obvious that the area had been prepped, I would've avoided it and found somewhere else to hunt. 5K acres, chances are there is somewhere else good to hunt.

And likewise, I have had someone come up to me in the woods and mention they were hunting nearby. I made sure to not walk in/out near them and respect their hunt.

Once I had someone in my stand hunting over bait I had placed. Strong words did not budge him. Catching him at range control afterwards ensured I never had that problem with him again!

As long as poor behavior is tolerated, the more we encourage poor behavior.
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Old October 19, 2013, 05:49 PM   #9
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I'd like to think most other outdoorsman are generally pretty decent people. I would have politely let him know that you had (obviously) prepped that spot for yourself. If the guy refused to leave, or was a jerk about it, well, there is no law against making tons of loud noise on public land
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Old October 19, 2013, 06:34 PM   #10
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Old October 20, 2013, 07:26 AM   #11
johnwilliamson062
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It is public land.
If you want a private spot buy private land.
I hunt public land about half the time. I don't expect the same as I do with a club property or really privately owned property.
Hell, even on private land this wouldn't surprise me, but I would have a different reaction. My buddy has quite the collection of tree stands he has removed from his property over the last 10 years.
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Old October 20, 2013, 07:41 AM   #12
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It sucks, but you have no claim on public land.
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Old October 20, 2013, 10:21 AM   #13
buck460XVR
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Quote:
I understand its public land, but I also have respect for other hunters and expect the same. If it was that obvious that the area had been prepped, I would've avoided it and found somewhere else to hunt.
Hangin' a orange ribbon in a tree on public land is preppin' it? Around here it is littering, no different than throwing a beer can out, and is punishable by a fine. Puttin' a ribbon on a tree is 'spose to save it for you and keep everyone else away? What keeps folks from puttin' ribbons in all the tress and havin' the whole woods to themselves?

One reason most states and federal lands make permanent blinds illegal and make one remove temporary tree stands at the end of the day, or when not being actively used, is to prevent folks from "stakin" out territory in order to prevent others from using that spot. Makin' a good stand easy for the whole world to find is not a sign of intelligence. If you don't have the woodsmanship skills to find your stand in the woods without hangin' a flag on it, don't blame the other guy for sittin' in it.



Quote:
Once I had someone in my stand hunting over bait I had placed. Strong words did not budge him.
Public land is just that. Public land. Open for everybody. Want to hunt someplace special....GET THERE FIRST that day. Otherwise YOU go somewhere else. Dumping a pail of corn or tyin' a ribbon in a tree does not "save" that spot for you all season. Comin' upon someone else ALREADY there and makin' a scene cause it's "your" spot makes you the azz......not them. As for the intelligence of goin' to the effort and expense to dump bait on public land that is accessible to others....I won't even go there.


As was said before....you want your own private stand, buy land, pay for a lease or get access to private land and then come here and whine when somebody else is there. If you hunt public land, you have to realize other folks have every right to every spot just as much as you do, regardless of how many ribbons in the tree or how much bait is dumped on the ground. Courtesy on public land extends to the point of, if someone else is already there, you tip your hat and go somewhere else that day. Even if you've hunted that stand every first morning for the last 40 years. You do not go up to someone else, and ruin their day/hunt by tryin' to get them to move cause you have no where else to go......anybody with any sense knows on public land, you better have more than one option or you will forever be blamin' your ruined hunt erroneously on someone else.

Last edited by buck460XVR; October 20, 2013 at 11:46 AM.
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Old October 20, 2013, 11:26 AM   #14
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I don't know what this post is about, except to bitch. Every hunter I know has 2, 3 and sometimes 4 spots picked out to hunt from during deer season.

If you weren't out there before first light, I am not sure what you are complaining about.

Jim


Quote:
Have been chasing a 12 point there for the past 3 years.
LOL, if you think that 12 point is your's, think again or be there first.
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Old October 20, 2013, 03:25 PM   #15
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Buck460XVR very very well said.

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Old October 20, 2013, 04:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
I know it's public grounds, but really!!! This is the 3rd time this has happened to me!!!
Have you figured it out?
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Old October 20, 2013, 05:37 PM   #17
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There's a big piece of ground in Natchitoches Parish, LA, the Red Dirt National Wildlife preserve I used to own 10 acres that bounded it. Great hunting, over 38,000 acres, and no motorized vehicles. You had to walk in. No four-wheelers, no golf carts, you get the idea. No motors.

Most folks that hunted it got into the woods 300-400 yards, maybe a half mile. Big deer in there, but if you shoot a big deer a mile from the truck, you're going to drag that deer a mile back to the truck.

Except for this one group of guys, who decided to horseback in. They rode into the middle of that wilderness and set up a camp, as far from any road as they could get. On opening morning, all the big deer headed into the wilderness, away from the horde of hunters lining the borders. The guys in the middle reported great hunting, although they decided to not come out until after dark.

That's the problem with public land. It's open to the public. We've got a lot of public land around here, but you never know who's going to set up in your spot.
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Old October 20, 2013, 05:38 PM   #18
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I hunt public land 99% of the time. You don't hunt public land the same way you do on private land. All the rules are different. You have to get way back off he beaten path and 5000 acres is a pretty small tract of land. Let the other hunters push deer to you.

I've had better luck hunting at non-traditional times. I often have to drive 2 hours to get to a spot. I used to leave home at 4 AM and was pretty shot by the time I got home at the end of the day. Now I either camp, or leave home around 7-8 am and get into he woods around 9-10AM as most of the other hunters are leaving.

From 10 AM till about 4 PM the woods are empty and I see more deer moving during the middle of the day. On private property it is usually the opposite. I usually head for home If I don't kill anything by 4 PM.

I would never consider flagging tape on pubic land. It just says "Hunt here" to other hunters.
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Old October 20, 2013, 08:42 PM   #19
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Wow Buck, why don't you tell me how you really feel?

First off, read what the OP said. He RAKED the area, path in/out, etc. not just hung tape. Heck, I've seen a rainbows worth of tape in the woods and generally ignore it. No telling how long that's been there. But raked? If you can't tell that in the woods, you're blind. And your not give a darn reaction says enough.

As for my situation, not really public land (on base) but when a person invests some significant $ on the area, it was generally regarded as good practice to give way if they showed at a reasonable time. Called common courtesy.

I agree, there's a reason permanent stands are forbidden on public land, to keep someone from squatting on an area for years. And yes, I cut my teeth hunting public land where it was a 30 minute drive after going through the gate followed by 45-60 minutes hike to get to my stands, crossing 1-2 alligator infested creeks in the process. Even out that far, there were a few other hunters in the area. Out of respect and courtesy, we would chat about where we were going to keep from messing each other over. I didn't know these people personally, nor was I related to them. I was just raised to be kind and respectful of others.

And to be clear, this is all woods hunting for those used to the open vistas like I've seen on where where you are gazing for miles.

Oh, and my truck was usually in the first 5 through the gate when it opened...
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Old October 20, 2013, 11:31 PM   #20
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5000 acres, and...

I agree with Buck. There are no "saved for me" places on public land. Least ways not out in the West. Like others said , two ways to get a favorite spot. Get there before anyone else, or hike way the heck further than other hunters. But if you go out one day to "prep" a handy site and then take your time getting out there the next day? Too bad sleeping was more important. Every day is a fresh start, no hold overs from pre-season or the prior day.

From the Western style of hunting I have a hard time understanding baiting of deer anyway. I accept that is part of Eastern hunting but out here we sort of expect to go find the deer not lure them in with free food. No argument with Eastern style. Just when you add baiting to saving favorite trees on public land it seems lazy. Get up earlier, it's hunting season!
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Old October 21, 2013, 05:22 AM   #21
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Pilgrim, let me play this out where I am from. You scout an area, place a stand, come back at a reasonable time and find bubba sitting in your stand. If bubba is a respectable person and not just a squatter, he ought to move. Now, if this is at 0900 or 1630, generally accepted that you snoozed you losed.

Now, there is some real wisdom in what Buck said about going places people won't go on public land. The purpose is twofold. First, to find less pressured game. Second, to get away from everyone else. I've been there, done that. In a 44,000 acre plot, I hunted the area farthest away from driveable roads. Even then, I still came across a stand or 2. I found somewhere else and did not set up on top of them. Why would I? Lots of other places to go! And I normally had several stands in the woods to take advantage of various factors.

And every year, someone would take a respectable buck within walking distance of the state campground at the gate. Why? Because they watched everyone launch out the gate in the morning and overlook a large area with good cover. It wasn't because they were following the herd of hunters.

Now, don't make too much out of this reserved tree business. Taken out of context, it sounds like there should be a maitre 'd standing there with you harness when you arrive. It's a matter that someone DID beat you to scouting that area. Would I put up a stand in that general area still? Sure! People move in/out of areas, change strategies, etc. But if I planted myself in their stand, or in this case on the tree they took the time to rake, prune, etc, and it was a reasonable time, and the guy showed up, I'd move on.

Now, I tried to indicate this is woods hunting where I am from. Where pilgrim and the guys are going into those beautiful landscapes, I don't know what applies when it comes to situations where you bump into someone. Tad more difficult claiming a rock me thinks.

And this is where I grew up hunting in Florida. Maybe things have changed. I was still dealing with stand thieves despite chain and lock an hauling them in miles. But I also never had an impolite run in until I was stationed in NJ.
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Old October 21, 2013, 11:22 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by globemaster3:

First off, read what the OP said. He RAKED the area, path in/out, etc. not just hung tape. Heck, I've seen a rainbows worth of tape in the woods and generally ignore it. No telling how long that's been there. But raked? If you can't tell that in the woods, you're blind. And your not give a darn reaction says enough.

As for my situation, not really public land (on base) but when a person invests some significant $ on the area, it was generally regarded as good practice to give way if they showed at a reasonable time. Called common courtesy

Around here clearing/cutting brush, and clearing paths to your stand are also against the rules. Somebody raking the area clean around their stand would be obvious to the blindest of fools. That's why one would be foolish as 'ell to do it....unless he was trying to "stake" out that spot. I call 'em "yelp tracks' or "Bud scrapes". Turning an area of public land into your own personal spot does not make it that. Just makes it more attractive to other fools with the same mindset. The OP would have been better off to spend the time he wasted cleanin' his spot and making it inviting to other other hunters, by scouting out alternate areas. My reaction is not from not giving a darn, but from dealing with folks on pubic land that can't find their way 100 yards off the road without leaving a trail of tape like Hansel and Greta. The same folks that butcher a tree or set their stand up a week early to ward off folks and many times set up another within sight just to keep folks farther away. These are the same folks that holler and scream whenever someone else "invades THEIR space". Get a clue....it ain't your space if you ain't already there. These folks feel the rules and "public access" don't relate to them. That they are only driving a few nails into the tree and changing the landscape a tad. Those small oak saplings they cut for a shooting lane aren't important and the rules against it don't really apply.....not to them. The empty poly bags that had the corn for bait are wadded up behind their stand from the last 4 years and the rubber gloves they used to gut their fawn they shot are still layin' on the gut pile. Most of these folks spend an hour two weeks before season scouting a area and think the first easily accessible spot that looks good is gonna be ignored by other hunters, or they have the mindset that markin' it somehow makes it "theirs". The real sportsmen that use public land do not need a nature trail to walk in on nor do they need to advertise their tree so it can be seen for a hundred yards to find it. They leave the spot they hunt from looking as it did before they got there and pick up the litter the other idiots leave behind. They don't sit on those idiot's stands because they don't want to be identifies or mistaken for the idiot that made the mess. In Wisconsin, you leave a portable stand unattended between sun-up and sundown, it better have the owners name and address clearly marked on it or it is public property and can be used, moved or taken by ANYONE, legally. Leave it up overnight other than the Friday before opening day of the regular gun season and it becomes public property, even if it is marked with the owners name and address and can be used, moved and removed legally by anyone. Pails to sit on, lawn chairs, marking tape are all considered littering if left after you leave, as the rubber gloves on the bait pile are. The local warden loves it when folks report these things, as it irritates him more than it does me.
As for the idea that if one spends money to bait an area on public land, it somehow "saves" that spot for him exclusively, what part of "public" do you not understand? You hunt public land and you expect other stupid folks not to take advantage of someone else's stupidity? You expect courtesy from those folks, you need to extend that same courtesy to them. They beat you there, you should be courteous enough to move on. Yes, it only makes sense to talk to folks you know are hunting the same area to avoid conflict.......but markin' out and stakin' out an area is only gonna invite controversy. Folks going to the local high school football games here, got into the habit of thinkin' if they put down a blanket it should save that spot for them on Friday night. Other folks should be courteous and find another spot, regardless of how early they got there. Got so by Wednesday night half the bleachers had blankets duct taped down to em, and come Friday night it was a constant argument because someone with a blanket shows up 20 minutes after the game started and someone else was sitting in THEIR spot. The school custodians now remove any blanket on the bleachers earlier than a half hour before the game and rightfully so. Cleanin' an area in the woods or setting up a stand is no different.
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Old October 21, 2013, 11:47 AM   #23
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Wow Buck! The vociferous pontification you provided proves to me a couple things...

First, you have never hunted outside your own woods and think everyone operates by the same rules as you.

Second, I qualify as a "real sportsman" in your book.

Third, you are one grouchy dude...

The rules where I have hunted, in all 6+ states, differ in great detail. Every place I have hunted permit a stand to be placed all season. Not a day, not a weekend, not a month, but all season. It's the law! It's not littering. You take a stand, and you are stealing. Get caught by the stand owner taking his stand, and you are in for a world of hurt! Period! Game wardens where I am from take a dim view on stand thieves! But, despite chaining them and locking them to the tree, it happens. Seeing someone with bolt cutters in their vehicle or in the woods where I am from is a quick way to get labelled a stand thief and treated as such!

And in showing this same thread to four other military hunters here in my unit, all of whom have hunted multiple states, and they were unanimous in their feelings on the topic. Does it make sense to highlight your stand's area? No, we are in aggreance there. Would you set up on the guy's tree or sit in his stand? Heck no. Set up nearby? Maybe, depending on the situation. What would you do if you found someone in your stand when you walked in? I was the kindest of the bunch.

I think I might be familiar with the types who might have jaded you this way. Although it was public land, I stayed the heck out of their way. Although I might have had "equal access" to the spot, it was not worth the slashed tires, armed confrontations, or bullets through the windshield it would have cost. Those same jokers are the ones I am opposed to as well.

Let's not run through another discourse on baiting where legal. We've been through that here plenty. But, it's generally accepted in the areas where I have used that tactic not to mess with someone else's spot. Don't like it? Too bad! Get ready for a direct confrontation if you cross that line and don't back down. That's how it works in those places.

EDIT....We also agree on the litterbug problem!
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Old October 21, 2013, 12:08 PM   #24
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As someone else alluded to, that man may have been hunting that stand for years before. But I feel your frustration, as I have been in your shoes. That's how it sometimes goes on public lands. Personally, I never tape or modify an area I'm hunting. If anything, I might set a few bright eyes tacks. That helps keep a lid on my location.
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Old October 21, 2013, 12:34 PM   #25
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Stories like these are why I'll never hunt on public land nor on military hunting reserves. Too many stupid people with guns of which I'm sure about 1/4 are drinking.
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