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Deer Stands on Gamelands

4n6Tox

Button Buck
Im new to NC and the public gameland in the state is interesting to me. I was walking this weekend on one to look around and noticed a fairly recent lock on deer stand still on a tree. Hard to say whether it has been abandoned or whether that is someone's "spot". What is the etiquette on that? Seems like i read somewhere it becomes public property at that point, but kind of a bummer if someone claiming an area like that. Who wants that kind of confrontation at 5am in the morning deep in the woods?
 

buckshooter

Old Mossy Horns
Im new to NC and the public gameland in the state is interesting to me. I was walking this weekend on one to look around and noticed a fairly recent lock on deer stand still on a tree. Hard to say whether it has been abandoned or whether that is someone's "spot". What is the etiquette on that? Seems like i read somewhere it becomes public property at that point, but kind of a bummer if someone claiming an area like that. Who wants that kind of confrontation at 5am in the morning deep in the woods?
No one does.

But the way i'd see it

If I didn't put it there it isn't mine to hunt.

This is coming from a person who is fortunate enough to have private land to hunt on.

But , again imho staying out of a stand I didn't put up is just the right thing to do.

That way you're pretty much sure there'll be no confrontation anytime deep in the woods.

It's a simple matter of respect to me.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Legally you can hunt it ethically that's another issue. Seems odd someone would leave it out there in off season. The other thing to remember is to make sure it's not baited around it. A number I've come across over the years I've found corn 🌽 piles near them.
 

4n6Tox

Button Buck
Legally you can hunt it ethically that's another issue. Seems odd someone would leave it out there in off season. The other thing to remember is to make sure it's not baited around it. A number I've come across over the years I've found corn 🌽 piles near them.
I'd never hunt out of it. Was just uncertain because I thought it was odd to leave it all year as well. Was in a pretty good spot though.
 

nhn2a

Ten Pointer
I wont hunt in another persons stand if I find it but they also dont keep me from putting up my own stand if I scouted an area and figured out its a good area to be. There is a spot on Bragg that I see the same stand in the same spot every year. I put my own stand up about 100yrds away facing it. As much as I've hunted that spot, I've never ran into the other person so no confrontation. Clearly we both know about each others stands but hes never messed with mine and I've never messed with his.
 

DarrinG

Six Pointer
Game lands up here are full of hang on and ladder stands lazy people have left. Took effort to get them back in some spots but just too lazy to remove them once season is over. I wish WRC would make it illegal to leave a stand in the woods 30 days before and 30 days past the hunting season. Some people leave them just to lay claim to an area, while others just leave them because they are slobs and too lazy to carry it back out...like people who leave their beanie weenie cans laying around in the woods. About the same mentality to me.
 

nchawkeye

Old Mossy Horns
I would never hunt out of a stand that I didn't hang, you have no idea of the condition until you sit in it...

I put a hang on in the gamelands one time, about 3 days before the season, when I went back to hunt, on opening day of bow, it was gone, lock cut...That has been over 30 years ago...If I don't pack in a climber I either come in with one of those cheap beach chairs with shoulder straps, after the hunt, I hide it if I plan to return....Or, I just sit on a cushion, as I do during turkey season and hunt from the ground...Carry a set of limb shears to camo yourself a bit...

While you are at it, carry a backpack with a ratchet pulley so you can pull the deer off the ground, debone, put in plastic bags, and come out with the meat....Carry a pen as well so you can call your kill in before cleaning...You can also carry a small hand saw to cut the antlers off if you like...
 

berryman26

Four Pointer
The more gamelands you hunt the more stands youre going to find. People put them out and leave them all the time. I've even sat in a couple...
Some are old and rusty so yes be careful if you use one, but I've never had a confrontation or even seen people use the old stands left out there.
 

kilerhamilton

Old Mossy Horns
Game lands up here are full of hang on and ladder stands lazy people have left. Took effort to get them back in some spots but just too lazy to remove them once season is over. I wish WRC would make it illegal to leave a stand in the woods 30 days before and 30 days past the hunting season. Some people leave them just to lay claim to an area, while others just leave them because they are slobs and too lazy to carry it back out...like people who leave their beanie weenie cans laying around in the woods. About the same mentality to me.
Best comment
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
If it’s on public land it’s public property.

my issue with hunting out of a stand another person put up is safety more than anything. I would never hunt out of a lock on. A ladder stand, that’s a different story. If I can inspect the straps and give it a good yank and it seems solid, I may hunt it. I have sat in ladder stands I have found on public land.
I have a a ladder stand that I personally put up, way back in a spot on public. This was before I had a saddle. And that was having the ability to access the public through private land, utilizing an ATV to get the stand to the edge of public. It’s never coming back out. If you can find it, you can hunt it. It’s on one of the the two game lands in Ashe county. I don’t have access to that private land anymore. So the only way to get to that stand is a 2.5 mile hike that gains 2350’ in elevation. I may venture back to it this spring just to see if it’s still useable. I haven’t seen it in a few years.
 

slugoo

Spike
I found a good ladder stand probably a month ago on public land and about climbed in it just because it was nice out and it'd be peaceful. Climbed probably 10 feet up, looked up, looked down, and started heading down. Didn't have a harness and didn't trust the stand enough. I would never hunt in it though. I figure if I follow the golden rule I'll be fine.
 

ellwoodjake

Ten Pointer
If I find an area I want to hunt, I'll hunt it. If there's a stand there, oh well. It's public land. I'm not gonna let someone hang a stand, and call dibs. I'm also not gonna carry my own stand in there, and hang it beside an existing one. If you're gonna leave a stand on public land, you gotta expect that others will use it.
 

Loganwayne

Eight Pointer
Game lands up here are full of hang on and ladder stands lazy people have left. Took effort to get them back in some spots but just too lazy to remove them once season is over. I wish WRC would make it illegal to leave a stand in the woods 30 days before and 30 days past the hunting season. Some people leave them just to lay claim to an area, while others just leave them because they are slobs and too lazy to carry it back out...like people who leave their beanie weenie cans laying around in the woods. About the same mentality to me.
i think there is something about abandoned stands, and removing them. but who you going to call and remove it the game warden or the game lands crew. they both got better things to do then search every inch of the game lands looking for a stand.
 

Downeast

Twelve Pointer
I had two game wardens tell me that when they find a stand after the season they leave a business card and tell them to contact them to get it back. Very few call them.

If you find an empty stand you can take it home too. I was told by the GW that they shouldn't have left it. :)

Personally I might hunt it but I'm to damn lazy to carry it out. It's about the same with duck blinds. If you build a blind on GL it becomes public property and can be hunted on a first come first serve basis.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
I had two game wardens tell me that when they find a stand after the season they leave a business card and tell them to contact them to get it back. Very few call them.

If you find an empty stand you can take it home too. I was told by the GW that they shouldn't have left it. :)

Personally I might hunt it but I'm to damn lazy to carry it out. It's about the same with duck blinds. If you build a blind on GL it becomes public property and can be hunted on a first come first serve basis.
That's my feeling. It's public land, it becomes public property. I have probably a dozen marked on my GPS/phone if I iever get the urge to go hunt there.
 

Dan Apple

Old Mossy Horns
..... When I was bowhunting GL a long time ago...... I knew a guy that would put up a stand not too far from the parking area,,, and then juice it up with some fake rubs, scrapes, etc.... His theory was that it would stop some of the traffic in the back where he was going... People are lazy, and gullible.
 

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
I had two game wardens tell me that when they find a stand after the season they leave a business card and tell them to contact them to get it back. Very few call them.

If you find an empty stand you can take it home too. I was told by the GW that they shouldn't have left it. :)

Personally I might hunt it but I'm to damn lazy to carry it out. It's about the same with duck blinds. If you build a blind on GL it becomes public property and can be hunted on a first come first serve basis.
Hunting it, yes. Stealing it, no. You got told some bad info.
 

JJWise

Ten Pointer
Legally you can hunt it, and it’s very rare that I run into other people hunting those stands. That being said, if there’s a stand in that spot, that means you’re not the only person who wants to hunt there and there’s likely a few others who know of the stand as well. The way I see it, that means that area is getting pressured, and on gamelands getting away from pressure seems to be everything.
 

DarrinG

Six Pointer
I'd never climb into a stand someone left. They may have just left it overnight to return the next day. Plus if someone is hunting a spot, theyve probably already stunk up the area and I'm going the opposite direction. And a stand left on GL is not free for the taking.....finding an empty stand and taking it is, well, theft, in my book.
 

4n6Tox

Button Buck
I'd never climb into a stand someone left. They may have just left it overnight to return the next day. Plus if someone is hunting a spot, theyve probably already stunk up the area and I'm going the opposite direction. And a stand left on GL is not free for the taking.....finding an empty stand and taking it is, well, theft, in my book.
To be clear, I'm not taking anybody's stand or even hunting out of it. Was just curious about etiquette on public land for this type of scenario. I kinda feel like leaving a stand is like calling dibs on an area of public land and that seems silly. Pack in, pack out.
 

pcbuckhunter

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
..... When I was bowhunting GL a long time ago...... I knew a guy that would put up a stand not too far from the parking area,,, and then juice it up with some fake rubs, scrapes, etc.... His theory was that it would stop some of the traffic in the back where he was going... People are lazy, and gullible.
I knew of a guy who did something similar in PNF. The feller had a reputation for killing some nice mountain bucks, and had picked up a “parasite” hunter as he called it. So he made an obvious, but not too obvious trail to a dummy stand. Put it in a spot with virtually no real sign, but then spiced it up a bit.
Came back and bit him in the ass... the buck he was after, took over those fake scrapes in his prepared gar hole, and was killed by the very person he was trying to throw off his trail. LOL!!!
 

ellwoodjake

Ten Pointer
..... When I was bowhunting GL a long time ago...... I knew a guy that would put up a stand not too far from the parking area,,, and then juice it up with some fake rubs, scrapes, etc.... His theory was that it would stop some of the traffic in the back where he was going... People are lazy, and gullible.
If I did that, some joker would kill a Boone & Crockett out of it
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Twelve Pointer
Saw three stands on public today . 2 climbers and a ladder within 150 yards of one another all along the edge of a wood line facing a creek bottom. My wife asked me about them and I said “oh they just left those in here so they have their spots reserved in advance.” She looked super serious and said “well it’s public land , so that doesn’t mean other people aren’t allowed to hunt here just cuz someone leaves their stand in here all year.” I said “that’s why I love ya honey. You’re really starting to pick up on all this stuff. As a reward I’m gonna set up a stand for you here this winter.” Without missing a beat she said “ummm no. If I’m gonna be out in the cold I’d much rather be chasing bear hounds, not freezing my butt off sitting in a tree.”
 

DRS

Old Mossy Horns
..... When I was bowhunting GL a long time ago...... I knew a guy that would put up a stand not too far from the parking area,,, and then juice it up with some fake rubs, scrapes, etc.... His theory was that it would stop some of the traffic in the back where he was going... People are lazy, and gullible.
I killed a good buck out of that stand. Thanks!😉

LOL thought about doing that but, sure as the world, that is exactly what would happen. I learned to hunt close to the parking lot on GL, you would be surprised.
 

slugoo

Spike
I killed a good buck out of that stand. Thanks!😉

LOL thought about doing that but, sure as the world, that is exactly what would happen. I learned to hunt close to the parking lot on GL, you would be surprised.
how close is close?
 

DRS

Old Mossy Horns
how close is close?
Setting in the truck! Honestly, at one time I hunted a gameland were it was walk in only. I always hiked way back. Then I realized most people went in 500 yards or so. One day I was running late and sat near the gate and I saw more deer there. After that I started hunting within a hundred yards of the truck and saw deer all the time. Might have been a stroke of luck but it worked there. Haven't hunted there in years, now they allow vehicles to enter.
 

slugoo

Spike
Setting in the truck! Honestly, at one time I hunted a gameland were it was walk in only. I always hiked way back. Then I realized most people went in 500 yards or so. One day I was running late and sat near the gate and I saw more deer there. After that I started hunting within a hundred yards of the truck and saw deer all the time. Might have been a stroke of luck but it worked there. Haven't hunted there in years, now they allow vehicles to enter.
geez, the area I hunt is walk in only past the parking lot and my most productive spots are all a mile as the bird flys away from the parking lot. Maybe I should hunt smarter and not harder. Maybe both.
 
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