man in standGot this question one time from a hunter named Dave:

Mike: One day I was sneaking into my bow stand as quietly as I could. When I got about 60 yards away, I looked up and some guy was in my tree stand, hunting! He waved at me to get away. I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there. He kept waving and waving me off. I got so damn mad I was steaming. I just left and I felt bad about it and still do. I feel like I wasn’t much of a man that day, but what else could I done? This was on public land.

Dave: Stop beating yourself up, you did the right thing. Your only other choice would have been to go up and confront the guy, tell him that was your stand and to get the hell out. But the way that clown was acting and waving, I doubt he was going to listen to reason. Things could have gotten ugly in a hurry.

Confrontation in the woods is never good, and it can cause people to do crazy and dangerous things—like, true story, go get a chainsaw and start sawing the tree down!

If this happens again, I suggest you stand back as you did, but as you’re leaving, look back at the guy and holler something like, “That’s my stand man, don’t come back!” Then go. That will at least get him to thinking, and hopefully he won’t pull such a stupid stunt again.

(Knowing how pissed I would be if this happened to me, I was going to suggest above that instead of “man” you yell “a——“ or the like, but that could cause trouble you don’t need. Better to take the high road, make your point and leave.

Then come back in a day or so and pull that stand and go hunt somewhere else, away from that nitwit.

I understand that by law in some states, a tree stand on public land becomes part of the public domain and therefore can be used by anybody. That might be the law, but in our code of conduct it’s a bunch of BS. Anybody who would hunt another man’s stand without permission is a skunk.

You guys that hunt a lot of public land, has this or something similar happened to you? How did you handle it?