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Old 02-22-2022, 01:48 PM   #1
jkelbe
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Default Thoughts on finding tree stands??

I am curious on peoples thoughts on finding Tree Stands on public land. I was recently out scouting some new public land and found 5 stands in one area about 60 acres. Frustrating. While leaving stands more than 72 hours is against the rules, I now know of probably 15 stands on public land that are up all year. It is starting to get to me a bit. I really try and stay away from other people, but sometimes I want to hunt where I want to hunt. I have walked 2 miles for a spot before and I don't want to do that every time, it's exhausting.

So what do you do when find an area loaded with tree stands.

A) take it as a sign of a great area and hunt there anyways
B) just hunt the less desirable areas around them
C) move areas and avoid it due to too much pressure
D) Take a pole saw and cut the stands down
E) Report the stands to GW

I stay away from the last two but curious if anyone does do that.

Also what do you do if you set up near a fixed stand and they come in an hour after you have been on stand? I guess they are not going to leave since they are not mobile.
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Old 02-22-2022, 02:05 PM   #2
RedBear78
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Yes sir it can be frustrating.I hunt Angelina ntl forest and know of several stands left out there.I’ve hunted it enough to know some of the guys hunting and their habitat.Most of em hunt occasionally and I’ll hunt where I want to hunt and then I’m just easy and give them space if I think they may be there.I’ve never reported any one I figure don’t make trouble if I don’t have to.If it got to that point I’d just hunt somewhere else.No mater what things will get tight and close it is public some are idiots but I’ve met a number of good folks that have shared valuable info.
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Old 02-22-2022, 02:36 PM   #3
nocam7
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I was under the impression these stands become public property and I will sit in your spot.

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Old 02-22-2022, 02:41 PM   #4
Bayouboy
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Do you ever find feeders? When I hunted Davey Crockett I used to find pipe feeders and bucket feeders on occasion.
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Old 02-22-2022, 02:45 PM   #5
Planopurist
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I donít hunt much public, but why do you stay away from ĎEí?


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Old 02-22-2022, 02:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nocam7 View Post
I was under the impression these stands become public property and I will sit in your spot.

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This or drop pins and turn them in.

Quote:
E) Report the stands to GW
Unless where your hunting is a WMA game warden has no authority, call the controlling authority.

Last edited by SC-001; 02-22-2022 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 02-22-2022, 03:06 PM   #7
jkelbe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SC-001 View Post
This or drop pins and turn them in.



Unless where your hunting is a WMA game warden has no authority, call the controlling authority.
It is a WMA, but I don't think the GW cares. But it's the same as taking them down myself. I dont want to mess with people's stuff as I don't want them taking my cameras.

Thank you everyone for the feedback so far.
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Old 02-22-2022, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayouboy View Post
Do you ever find feeders? When I hunted Davey Crockett I used to find pipe feeders and bucket feeders on occasion.
Nothing fresh just old stuff destroyed by weather.
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Old 02-22-2022, 03:40 PM   #9
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I couldn't count high enough to count the stands I've found over the years. I used to get frustrated because I don't like to cramp anyone's style now I've just said to hell with it. If the signs fresh enough I'm hunting it. I've carried my climber through a thicket and a overgrown pine stand just to find a nice ladder stand in DCNF. Sure was a good view that afternoon but I didn't see any deer. He also had an old corn sack on the ground. I don't corn but I don't eat cry about people that do bc this is supposed to our public land. If Mr green jeans wants them bad enough he'll have to get out of the truck.
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Old 02-22-2022, 05:02 PM   #10
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E
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Old 02-22-2022, 05:23 PM   #11
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I spent 21+ years working on the Caddo/LBJ National Grasslands. I found many stands over the years and have helped the Forest Service LEO remove hundreds. We had piles of them at our Work Center. The LEO would leave his card pinned to the tree. It's funny that no one ever came to claim them.

There is a reason those rules were put in place by the FS back in the 1980's. Some groups were coming in and claiming areas, feeding corn, cutting shooting lanes, putting up box blinds and even plowing food plots. We even found No Trespassing signs on some units.

It's not fair to the law abiding hunters that they feel they can't hunt an area they want to, because some unethical hunter can't follow the rules.

I'd suggest option E. Report the stands to the Forest Service District LEO, not the TP&W Game Warden.

Last edited by Froggy; 02-22-2022 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 02-22-2022, 06:31 PM   #12
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E
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Old 02-22-2022, 07:43 PM   #13
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I always leave them alone. I have been surprised by the effort some put in to have a permanent set up. I once walked almost 2 miles into a creek bottom, hunted the edge of the thicket in the morning then tried moving into the thicket the next day only to find a nice lean to that had sign of active use smack in the middle of the thicket. It was a great spot, but I left it alone. I donít think Iíve been back to that spot since because itís such a pain, whoever put that stand there was determined as hell.


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Old 02-22-2022, 08:51 PM   #14
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I never had to hunt deep in DCNF. Few hundred yards off the gravel roads along creeks and thicket edges always put meat in the freezer. Hauling a deer out any farther would be a big
p i a!
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Old 02-22-2022, 09:48 PM   #15
bossbowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froggy View Post
I spent 21+ years working on the Caddo/LBJ National Grasslands. I found many stands over the years and have helped the Forest Service LEO remove hundreds. We had piles of them at our Work Center. The LEO would leave his card pinned to the tree. It's funny that no one ever came to claim them.

There is a reason those rules were put in place by the FS back in the 1980's. Some groups were coming in and claiming areas, feeding corn, cutting shooting lanes, putting up box blinds and even plowing food plots. We even found No Trespassing signs on some units.

It's not fair to the law abiding hunters that they feel they can't hunt an area they want to, because some unethical hunter can't follow the rules.

I'd suggest option E. Report the stands to the Forest Service District LEO, not the TP&W Game Warden.
I would select E, if the GW doesn't care contact the other one in the county you might be surprised different responses you get from different wardens, I have. We used to mostly hunt corp land so we would have to call the fed not the state guys its funny you mentioned piles of them and no one comes to claim them, seen he same thing an this was years ago, they had multiple intermodal containers full of confiscated stands and were running out of room.
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Old 02-23-2022, 12:10 AM   #16
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I don't mess with any stands I come across. I usually prefer to talk to guys in my general area. Just to get there general area they hunting and try to work together as to not mess up each other hunt. If I came across a truck parked near where I wanted to hunt, I'd just keep driving to another spot and hunt. If I wanted to hunt an area that had a stand that was left in the woods, if there was no truck there I'd set up in my saddle and hunt where I wanted to.
Not sure how the law in here in Texas, other than not leaving it over 72 hours. In Michigan we were able to leave our stands out all season and have to remove them after. Our Name and Town had to be on the bottom of the stand, readable from the ground. Any stand left in the woods was deemed public property any body could hunt it. I would never sit in someone stand. My feeling you would be better off sleeping with my wife than to be caught in my tree stand.
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Old 02-23-2022, 01:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sp-bow View Post
My feeling you would be better off sleeping with my wife than to be caught in my tree stand.
Better not say that too loud some of these boys tag out on deer early!
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Old 02-23-2022, 05:42 PM   #18
justletmein
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We hunt Amistad and find stands all the time that have obviously been out a very long time. I just go somewhere else because I'm not interested in having some dude walk in on the area at 5pm (it happens enough as is) but the correct answer I believe is to just sit in or near the stand as it's public land. The rules out there are that it has to be labeled with a date and I think 5 days max. People leaving stands are essentially claiming an area for their own, which is wrong. I do sometimes use tripods out there, and I correctly label mine with the date and my TPWD # per regulations. If I found someone sitting in one I'd ask him to get out and I'd move my tripod to a different location and yield the spot to him as he was there first, or depending on where I want to go I may just leave him in the tripod, most of the spots out there are better without anyway.
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Old 02-24-2022, 12:45 AM   #19
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ďIt's not fair to the law abiding hunters that they feel they can't hunt an area they want to, because some unethical hunter can't follow the rules.Ē

I agree with a lot thatís said here, especially the above, and I understand the frustration. Numerous times Iíve scouted during the summer and found and prepped a few areas only to have someone plant a stand the weekend (day) before opening season and it stays there all season (and often beyond). I know itís brutal, especially early in bow season, to pack a stand in and out, but if everyone follows the 72 hour rule and not claim ďtheir spotĒ I think we as public land hunters as a whole are better off.
To (almost) answer OPs question, I feel like Iíve gone through a few stages. (1) crap, thereís a stand, better move on to the next spot, to (2) crap, there is still a freakin stand (usually right on top of a trail), screw that mofo, Iíll hunt it anyway to (3) there is still as stand, areas probably blown out, better move on. (4) Not there yet but it is either: hunt the suckers stand since it clearly breaks the 72 hour rule or, volunteer to help the GW clean the mess up, or just not let it bother me.
Trying to get to the ďjust not bother meĒ stage, but ainít there yet.


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Old 02-24-2022, 01:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElfEyes View Post
Better not say that too loud some of these boys tag out on deer early!
lol. Both wouldn't end well, just one above the other on the list.
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Old 02-24-2022, 09:43 AM   #21
jkelbe
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It seems most agree with reporting to game warden as we all enjoy a level playing field. Not sure my local warden will do anything but I can pass it along and move on with my off season.

The stands I was finding were not bothering me much until this last spot. It was every time I said oh this looks good... stand. Saw lots of animal sign but even more people sign. It tells me the area is heavily pressured but may be worth it. I have an idea of where people are hunting and I need to figure out how to adjust and hunt accordingly.

Overall I have learned through my very short time hunting public that hunt your best spots and don't worry about people. If you worry about other hunters (who will likely not show up on the same hours as you) you will miss out on great opportunities. But I also try and avoid people as it ruins both our hunts.
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Old 02-24-2022, 09:58 AM   #22
warrington
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I'm guessing this is similar to hunting a duck blind in the bay

If not tagged then it should be open property to hunt

A duck blind I believe is the same way
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Old 02-24-2022, 09:27 PM   #23
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I've seen the "72" hour rule brought up a few times here. I've also heard guys mention the "48" hour rule in east texas. While some projects may have this rule its not universal in TX. Be familiar to the rules on the project you hunt because your property left may become deemed abandoned and become public property well before "48" or "72" hours.
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Old 02-25-2022, 02:11 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElfEyes View Post
Better not say that too loud some of these boys tag out on deer early!
Excellent!
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Old 02-25-2022, 02:53 PM   #25
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I've found quite a few climbers at the bottom of trees. Most were old, but one two seasons ago looked brand new. Bad thing about that one is I didn't see it until I was completely set up in the tree and noticed it 30 yards away. I wasn't going to take the stand and sticks down to start over though.
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Old 02-28-2022, 10:34 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkelbe View Post
It is a WMA, but I don't think the GW cares. But it's the same as taking them down myself. I dont want to mess with people's stuff as I don't want them taking my cameras.

Thank you everyone for the feedback so far.

Just curious... do you leave your cameras up for an extended period of time??
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Old 02-28-2022, 12:31 PM   #27
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Just curious... do you leave your cameras up for an extended period of time??
I do.
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Old 02-28-2022, 12:39 PM   #28
justletmein
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That's what trail cams are for though. I like to make faces at them and leave deer carcasses in front of them so they can get cool pics.
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Old 03-01-2022, 09:38 PM   #29
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Good topic. I just pin them on my map, so I might be able to avoid them if a car is parked nearby or I can check with binoculars.
It is frustrating to see a camouflaged 2x4 ladder stand nailed to a tree.
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Old 03-01-2022, 10:28 PM   #30
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This post is kinda silly. No it doesnt bother me when I see someone's stand. They're people trying to hunt, and what I've noticed is many times they don't hunt much.
What if its someone with a bad knee and wants to hunt?
Betting if the stand is there in the spring they probably dont care if you take them. You walk 2 miles with a stand, put it up, take it down in 72 hours? really? consider a saddle or light stand ? Use it to your advantage, use them to push deer to you. decent bucks aren't usually (maybe sometimes) by the heavy traffic anyways.
Sounds like you don't want anyone around in the short walk perimeter and that's not gonna happen in Texas with so little public deer land.
Not trying to offend, just shaking facts around
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Old 03-01-2022, 11:34 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkelbe View Post
I am curious on peoples thoughts on finding Tree Stands on public land. I was recently out scouting some new public land and found 5 stands in one area about 60 acres. Frustrating. While leaving stands more than 72 hours is against the rules, I now know of probably 15 stands on public land that are up all year. It is starting to get to me a bit. I really try and stay away from other people, but sometimes I want to hunt where I want to hunt. I have walked 2 miles for a spot before and I don't want to do that every time, it's exhausting.



So what do you do when find an area loaded with tree stands.



A) take it as a sign of a great area and hunt there anyways

B) just hunt the less desirable areas around them

C) move areas and avoid it due to too much pressure

D) Take a pole saw and cut the stands down

E) Report the stands to GW



I stay away from the last two but curious if anyone does do that.



Also what do you do if you set up near a fixed stand and they come in an hour after you have been on stand? I guess they are not going to leave since they are not mobile.
Report to GW let them know that and handle it. Send drop pin so they can find. Shame folks think public land is their territory

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Old 03-05-2022, 01:32 AM   #32
Beargrasstx
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I usually try and find another spot to hunt. However, if it is a really good spot and the stand doesn't look like it has been hunted I will set up in the area that I want to hunt. I try to find areas that are not getting pressured to the best of my ability.

To be honest, it used to bother me finding stands. The game wardens dont really care. They have other work to do than worry about taking someone's stand down and hauling out. At least that is how it feels, I haven't told a game warden where a stand is but it isn't hard to find stands if you walk around a bit. I am sure game wardens spend their time in the parking lot areas. They have to cover lots of ground and best bang for your buck until they get a call to respond to. Plus, they have to haul a stand out, taking valuable time and no citation given when they can be giving citations out in parking lots.

Second, it is really hard to prove that someone hasn't been there in the last 72 hours unless you have been there every day during that time to document it. I do understand all or some require some information like a name and date on stand but I don't think I have ever seen that. It just feels like snitching to me and I have decided to not let it bother me but use that information to my advantage. I usually try and find out who the other hunters are in the area and make friends. Works out better that way if possible. Found quite a few tbh'ers that hunt the same public area I do

If you found 5 stands in 60 acres...I would go somewhere else. That is the point of scouting, to not only find where to go, but where not to go. Now use that information to your advantage. If that area is heavily hunted, probably has a lot of young bucks and does with mature bucks visiting at night if the pressure hasn't pushed deer away. Now look at a satellite map and try and figure out where those mature bucks are bedding and the trails to get to that area

Last edited by Beargrasstx; 03-05-2022 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 03-08-2022, 07:34 PM   #33
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If your the wanna be scout pro from TBH you just mark all their locations and try to sell them to whoever you can.
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Old 03-10-2022, 03:24 PM   #34
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So if a stand is still up after 72 hours can you legally dismantle it, haul it out and claim it as your own?
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Old 03-10-2022, 04:02 PM   #35
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D.
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Old 03-10-2022, 05:53 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
So if a stand is still up after 72 hours can you legally dismantle it, haul it out and claim it as your own?
The way this reads if someone isn't sitting in it, its deemed abandoned...

Stands must be removed when not in actual use. Hunting blinds must be removed and transported off of public lands after each hunt. The abandonment of property is prohibited and will result in the items being confiscated.
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Old 03-10-2022, 06:21 PM   #37
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Ive never see the actual use that's above ,most are 72 hours ,some like benbrook lake are three weeks , I personally have left stands way back there and view them as donated to first come first serve,if your willing to hike there and beat me there then imok ,if someone steals or the state takes it, again I'm ok ,not claiming an area ,it's public ,a stand doesn't mean an area is yours ,I have been I my tree saddle when someone else comes in before daylight and sits at the bottom of it same tree, butthole only moved about 40 yards after I spotted him with my light. Just seemed like too much work back out of $100 stand back and forth back and forth, I do leave my name and information on it and a note please feel free to use but please don't it steal it, I do work hard for what I have
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Old 03-11-2022, 10:33 AM   #38
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Make a YouTube and post GPS coordinates along with key words like FREE, PUBLIC, HUNTING, TEXAS, WMA, NATIONAL, FOREST, & everything else worthy
Those who decide to find a place a week before opening season need all the help cuz it was too hot and much work to scout
Trust me advertising works! Seen plenty of good spots ruined by YouTube videos with some posted on here on TBH.

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Old 03-11-2022, 03:12 PM   #39
Mule Skinner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warrington View Post
I'm guessing this is similar to hunting a duck blind in the bay

If not tagged then it should be open property to hunt

A duck blind I believe is the same way
A duck blind in the bay is considered abandoned property as soon as it is build.

Legally, it's first come, first served. Ethically though...well that's a discussion with lots of different opinions.
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Old 03-11-2022, 03:29 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
So if a stand is still up after 72 hours can you legally dismantle it, haul it out and claim it as your own?

Even though the original owner is in violation for leaving it there, it would be considered "theft of property". Already been discussed with both Feds on fed property, and TP&W.


Two wrongs don't make it right.
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Old 03-12-2022, 08:15 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
So if a stand is still up after 72 hours can you legally dismantle it, haul it out and claim it as your own?
Would just make you a thief.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:00 PM   #42
Mule Skinner
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10-4. The reason I asked the question was because I don’t hunt public save for drawn hunts and did not know whether or not COE and TPWD encourage the removal of abandon property.
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Old 03-14-2022, 01:20 PM   #43
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10-4. The reason I asked the question was because I donít hunt public save for drawn hunts and did not know whether or not COE and TPWD encourage the removal of abandon property.

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Old 03-14-2022, 05:18 PM   #44
justletmein
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: San Antonio \ POC
Hunt In: Public lands
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Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
10-4. The reason I asked the question was because I donít hunt public save for drawn hunts and did not know whether or not COE and TPWD encourage the removal of abandon property.
I mentioned seeing a couple trail cams once to a federal warden and he asked me to cut them down and haul them out. I brought him out three cameras. That's a one-off though and it still felt really weird pulling those cams down. That was a drawn hunt property so nobody should have access unless they draw.
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Old 03-14-2022, 07:24 PM   #45
Blessed to hunt
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I leave it alone, first it's not mine and second it's not hurting me , well consider sitting in it though instead of carrying mine back there next time, I I've only left my stuff once and that's cuz I simply couldn't find my way back to it, I know what the grasslands they confiscate and auction them off ,I believe Tpwd also auctions off confiscated blinds and feeders
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Old 03-18-2022, 05:06 PM   #46
Kirby86
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Location: Fort Worth
Hunt In: Camo that doesn't match
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My struggle with finding other stands is whether I setup near it and try to take advantage of the stand being there, or whether I just find somewhere else because of the chances that the guy shows up and messes up my hunt.

It ain't cheap, but being mobile has really paid off for me. Plus, at the same time I have no idea how the guy who hung that stand hunts it. Did he pay attention to the wind direction? Did he care about access routes? I'm blessed enough job wise that I get to hunt mid week so the chances of someone else showing up tend to be less, but my gut is to just push on to somewhere else.

In the age of digital scouting, if the spot looks good from google earth/OnX, chances are there will be a stand near that spot. Deer pattern hunters more than we pattern them, so I've had to put myself in the deer's mindset. If I wanted to move past that guy's stand without him killing me, from point a to point b, how would I do it?

Sometimes it can be less than 40 yds that makes the difference.
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Old 03-19-2022, 09:46 PM   #47
justletmein
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Location: San Antonio \ POC
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Originally Posted by Kirby86 View Post
Deer pattern hunters more than we pattern them, so I've had to put myself in the deer's mindset. If I wanted to move past that guy's stand without him killing me, from point a to point b, how would I do it?

Sometimes it can be less than 40 yds that makes the difference.
Bingo
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Old 03-21-2022, 09:41 AM   #48
Low Fence
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Location: Quitman, Tx.
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If I go into a spot to hunt and there’s a stand there …. With nobody in it. I hunt that spot from my stand that I have with me anyway. I won’t take their stuff…. But I will hunt an area. They don’t own the land anymore than I do

If they are there… then that’s just the nature of the game and I have to move on
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Old 03-21-2022, 09:47 AM   #49
Rick
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: White Oak
Hunt In: Sonora
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I would just mind my own business and leave it alone, my decision on where to hunt would not be influenced by seeing a stand. But that is all in theory since i never hunt public land lol
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Old 03-21-2022, 09:47 AM   #50
tdwinklr
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Leonard, TX
Hunt In: N. Central and N. East TX
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Originally Posted by Mule Skinner View Post
So if a stand is still up after 72 hours can you legally dismantle it, haul it out and claim it as your own?
No. TPWD personnel at the area's office will ask you to just report them, how many and locations. They're supposed to take them down themselves but don't know if that ever happens.
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