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nik

It Happened Twice!

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The hunting season hasn't even started and I am off to some bad luck. I have had two things happen to my hunting areas that were out of my control. The first thing happened earlier this summer. Me and a buddy went to retrieve some ladder stands that we have had out on public land for a few years. These stands are miles back into this piece of land. We were relocating to a new area because the hunting pressure has gotten a bit insane where we were. After crossing the swamp, we noticed the smell of burned wood. Turns out they cut a giant path through the woods and slashed and burned several hundred acres of brush. My stand was stashed in this brush. I was able to retrieve it, but it took some work to get all the rust off and to get it repainted. The second thing happend this last weekend. We went out to make sure all of our sites were ok for the upcoming bear season. This area is no where near the area that was burned. About 40 miles apart. After walking on the path for a while, we noticed signs of heavy equipment. Once we got to my site, we confirmed the worse. They logged the exact spot where I bear hunt. It's not like the entire forest was logged, just some select areas and one of them happened to be mine. You could actually see tire tracks go right over my bait bin. What are the odds? Twice in one year. Luckily I start my season early and had plenty of time to relocate. This just goes to show you. If you hunt public land, be prepared for different scenarios that could affect your hunt. Twice in one year. Maybe I should play the powerball this week. smile

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I wasn't baiting. I was just getting everything set up for when I do start to bait. It is much easier that way.

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It could have been done by DNR or CO's. A couple of years ago DNR and CO's were going around some parts of the public lands we hunt to remove or destroy treestands that was made permanently, left behind, illegal, or was reported to them from the year before. They said this was to keep the public hunting area clean and prevent any confusion with/towards other hunters. Plus it's illegal to leave anything behind on public hunting grounds.

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I understand that leaving personal property out on public lands is illegal. That is not the discussion. I accept all consequences that would come along with leaving a stand out there. Whether it gets stolen, ripped down, taken by DNR, or getting burned up in a slash and burn situation. I was just commenting on how you never know what is going to happen on public land and that you need to be prepared.

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I had something similar happen to me when I was living in Bemidji. I hunted some public land west of town and I planned to leave my hang-on stand out there and just move around until I found a spot I liked. Two weeks after I got out there I went back after a three day break from hunting and it had been logged about 2 miles back. Luckily I had my stand marked on my GPS since there were no trails or roads back there. My stand was still in the tree but there were no other trees around. Whoops.

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Burning and logging will change deer patterns a bit but for the most part will provide better and more feed. Wildlife has returned to burned areas while still smoking. Sometimes after logging it may take a year for the deer to establish new routes or continue using the old ones. Potlatch logged right up to our gate ending a week before rifle season last year. Got mine, but we didn't see much as a party. The lease members that hunt closer to the road did real well. Also it gave me some great new spots for food plots, got nice soy beans coming up in four plots.

To your point, good that you check your hunting area way before the season. The first year Potlatch leased the land adjoining ours, the Potlatch NO Trespassing signs had gone up in May but of course many would be hunters never knew until that opener. Hard to feel sorry for those who don't prepare.

By the way, feedback from the other neighbors is that since the lease they can sleep in on a Saturday without being woke at the crack of dawn by endless gunfire and ATV traffic. And the five truck loads of garbage hauled out of there haven't reappeared.

The logger also knocked down a brand new tripod put up since you can't nail to Potlatch trees. Potlatch made the logger send me a check!

I'd still hunt it, maybe adjust a few yards to cover. Good Luck!

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