It’s that time of year when we brave the heat to go hang and relocate deer stands. What should you do if you find one that belongs to a trespasser?
There are few things more aggravating than knowing someone has been sneaking onto your property and impacting your hunting experience.
Last season I found two stands on one of my properties, so I decided to call my local conservation agent to figure out what rights I had to discourage future trespassing.
This is what I learned:
If you see the trespasser, don’t approach them.
People are capable of some pretty crazy things out in the woods and those who are hunting while trespassing are always armed.
Keep your local game officer’s number in your phone or call your local police department. When you call, relay as much detail about the individual as possible. They’ll handle the confrontation.
If you find a stand, take it down.
Leave a note letting the person know that they are trespassing and that they abandoned their equipment on your property (or the property on which you have permission to hunt).
Leave a telephone number for them to call in order to get their gear back. If no one contacts you, congratulations! You’re the owner of a new stand!
If they are brazen enough to call, try to let it go to voicemail and don’t call them back. Contact your local conservation agent with their information and apprise them of the scenario.
The agent will coordinate with the trespasser to recover their gear, and in the process make sure they are cited for trespassing.
Trespassing is a type of poaching. These people have crossed a line, literally, and are no longer hunters.
They have become poachers, and while they retain certain rights (as much as you may like to, you can’t harm them), you have rights too, which include legally pursuing game on your property.
Here’s hoping you find only deer signs on your hunting grounds this year. If you find evidence that you’ve got company from a trespasser, now you know how to handle it.
Images via Tim Kjellesvik