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lindylair
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12/12/2019 08:07PM
My buddy and I camped on an Ely area lake in mid-September this year. On one of our bushwhacks in the area around camp, we started seeing small orange dots on some trees. Intrigued, we followed them for a bit and came upon this:


So I guess my question is, to hunters and non hunters alike, how do you feel about this? Is this a violation of the LNT ethic? As I understand it stands are allowed but must be removed when you leave.

On the one hand, not sure what it harms. On the other hand it is against the rules, as I understand them. I think I was more surprised than anything.

Curious to hear opinions on this.
 
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andym
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12/12/2019 08:41PM
If it is in the BW then it violates the rules not to cache gear between trips (assuming the owners weren't somewhere nearby) and the orange dots are also a trace. If it was outside the BW then it violates LNT but not everywhere requires that.
 
lindylair
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12/12/2019 08:56PM
It was in the BWCA just a ways back in the woods behind a campsite. Nobody else was around.
 
Jaywalker
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12/12/2019 10:01PM
Were the orange dots spray painted on the trees, or were they tape or some other?
 
Jaywalker
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12/12/2019 10:29PM
I was curious about this and did some reading. At first leaving a stand unattended in the BWCA seemed wrong, but my read of the MN 2019 Hunting Regulations (page 123) suggest they can leave a temporary stand during season in wilderness designated sections of national forests. MN archery season runs mid September to the end of the year. Anyone know if I read that wrong?

Orange dots of any kind seem to violate the regs, IMO.

From the regs....
• Special designation areas within national forests, such as designated Wilderness Areas, Semi-Primitive Nonmotorized Areas, and Research Natural Areas may have additional restrictions:
> Only portable stands or blinds that do not damage natural features and are removed at the end of the hunting season are permitted.

 
lindylair
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12/12/2019 10:43PM
 
andym
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12/13/2019 01:15AM
Interesting that there is an exception for hunting stands. I’m ok with that.

 
GearGuy
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12/13/2019 03:27AM
Legal or not, I'd have packed it up with me and taken my new stand home. Sorry not sorry!
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1111)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/13/2019 07:35AM
GearGuy: "Legal or not, I'd have packed it up with me and taken my new stand home. Sorry not sorry! "
Really? Then I'd call you a thief.

This is not a portable stand. A ladder stand like that is not something you take with you in and out each time you hunt. They very well may have been in a camp nearby and had this set up to use on days of certain wind conditions, etc. When their hunting "vacation" was over, they'd come and get it and take it out with them. That's not hard to figure out.

The BWCAW belongs to more people than just canoeing enthusiasts.
 
voyager
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12/13/2019 08:01AM
This is one of my pet peeves here in Michigan. Hunters put up ladder stands and hanging stands, on public land, and leave them there permanently. Some of them I know, they only hunt Thanksgiving week. They are supposed to be removed within a few days of the end of season. Some are in the beautiful Nordhouse wilderness area along Lake Michigan. Oddly enough, the law here reads, anyone can hunt your stand on public land. It's first come first served. I would like to see a law that considers them abandoned and free for the taking after a certain date. There's one by our farm, with a trail camera that has been abandoned for years. Some people have more money than brains.
 
12/13/2019 08:37AM
My initial thought - how terrible. Then I read Jaywalkers post and it looks like this is legal as long as the hunter removed it at the end of the season.

I’d report it to the DNR. They can check it and remove it if needed, then possibly fine the hunter if it was a violation. If the hunter violated any laws, let them throw the book at them.

The worst option would be Gearguys suggestion. I am guessing tongue-in-cheek to be funny, but depending on the cost of the stand could be charged with felony theft (I can’t stand thieves!)...and also charged with harassment. It is also illegal to interrupt any outdoors person in their pursuit of game/fish in Minnesota. Messing with a blind or stand is the most frequent citation given out by the police or DNR.

T
 
mutz
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12/13/2019 09:07AM
In Michigan, tree stands on public lands have to be removed no later than January 2nd. If you know of one, go out in May, GPS the stand, call the DNR rap line and a CO will go out and remove it. Law also requires name and phone number to be attached to the stand. They will locate the owner and cite them.
 
mutz
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12/13/2019 09:23AM
KarlBAndersen1: "Really? Then I'd call you a thief.

The BWCAW belongs to more people than just canoeing enthusiasts. "

+1
 
Savage Voyageur
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12/13/2019 09:47AM
Two things are at play here, the stand and the blazed trail markers.

1) I don’t like the thumb tacks stuck in the trees. I much prefer the biodegradable paper ribbons you tie onto tree branches. Just a piece of paper that will break down over time. There’s no way hunters are going to remove all those thumb tacks at the end of the day or hunt. Hunters never remove the tacks. They are worried about fitting out a deer and hauling it out of the woods. Most of the time they can’t find where they put them. They only reflect light in the dark, hard to find them in daylight. Most hunters just leave them from what I’ve seen. If it’s your own land, then this is a good idea because the tacks will be there next year and for many years after.

2) As far as the tree stand, it is perfectly legal to leave it out there in the woods “IF” the stand doesn’t harm the trees and they remove them at the end of the season. To take a deer stand home that does not belong to you is simple theft. It’s not finders keepers out there.
 
missmolly
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12/13/2019 10:04AM

The possibly abandoned stands in Michigan remind me of the definitely abandoned boats in northwestern Ontario. Just imagine the first few years following the boat's owner becoming too weak or too dead to use the boat again. For those first few years, the boat would still float and had value, but no one knew if it was still to be used by the owner or not, so there it lay, year after year, decade after decade, and now, century after century, for those old boats are seriously thick aluminum.
 
riverrunner
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12/13/2019 12:38PM
missmolly: " "
Over the years, I found several of those aluminum boats to be useful in fishing remote Ontario lakes.
 
voyager
distinguished member (139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/13/2019 12:42PM
While leaving the woods in a popular hunting spot, in the dark, I turned on my headlamp. There were tacks going in all directions, dozens of them. It was quite humorous. As to how anybody could distinguish their own, I'll never know.

Yes, I'll try contacting the DNR in the spring on abandoned stands. Almost no one labels their stands here. Most of the areas I hunt are far from roads, (I have this unfounded idea that's where the big bucks are) so I'm not too sure how ambitious the DNR would be removing them.
 
hobbydog
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12/13/2019 01:05PM
I really have no issue with this. They need to mark the way into the stand to find it in the dark. I trust they will remove them. Biogradable tape is much more obtrusive and last a long time and is not likely to be removed. The stand is legal. Every time the USFS issues a permit they trust that you watch the video and comply. Yet how many 100% comply? Campsites themselves are littered with human traces. From woodchips, littered fire grates, carvings, to camp "enhancements". The area within 100 yards of busy campsites are trampled and combed clean of firewood. The OP said they were bushwacking. While this can simply mean they went for a walk in the woods, many bushwacks can leave trails marked with slashes or some other means of markings.


I found this one on state land this year. A relic from the past, before portable stands were a thing. It was unsightly, but more thoughts drifted more to wondering about its vintage and imagined a hunter dressed in red wool with his lever action sitting waiting for a deer.

I am sure it could elicit much different emotions from others who stumbled across it. With modern portable stands, it has helped cut down on this type of do it yourself stuff that is left forever in the woods.
 
mutz
distinguished member(1132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/13/2019 01:09PM
voyager: "Most of the areas I hunt are far from roads, so I'm not too sure how ambitious the DNR would be removing them."
I know a couple of CO’s, pretty good friends (hunt and fish with them) you will be surprised as to how far they will go to remove illegal tree stands.
 
hobbydog
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12/13/2019 01:33PM
Getting stuff into the wilderness is a lot harder than getting it out. Manitoba is much worse than Ontario when it comes to abandon stuff. I like the really old stuff.



I wish these old boats could talk. I would love to hear their stories.
 
LindenTree
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12/13/2019 02:09PM
mutz: "

I know a couple of CO’s, pretty good friends (hunt and fish with them) you will be surprised as to how far they will go to remove illegal tree stands."


Agreed, I worked with a few Conservation Officers during my career.
When my fire crew came across an illegal tree stand, our direction was to let the CO's know their location. The CO's would come back and take the portable stand and leave their business card on the tree stating that if they wanted their stand back, they would have to come into the office and reclaim it. I'm not sure if anyone ever did because they would most likely be sited.
Sometimes the CO's would stake out the area, waiting for the offender to come back so they could contact them on scene.

This was on US Fish and WIldlife Service land in Minnesota, where any tree stand cannot be left up over night.
There were only a coupe times when my fire crew was directed to remove a portable stand and bring it in.
 
lindylair
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12/13/2019 02:50PM
There seems to be some disagreement(or lack of knowledge) as to whether this stand was there legally or illegally. From what Linden Tree says, and from what I have been told by USFS personnel is that it was not there legally, a violation of law and arguably the LNT ethic.

Now I am not committing to an opinion one way or the other, after my initial surprise I wasn't particularly offended. I was just trying to see how other folks felt about it. The point was made that many break the rules in some minor form or another, so is this just another "minor" infraction or something bigger?

I was also curious if the sentiments would be different between hunters and non hunters, locals and non locals. For sure I do not want to raise any hackles, everyone is entitled to an opinion and it's just not worth arguing about.

By the way, obviously our site was open when we got there but there were also a couple other sites nearby not taken. Don't think they were anywhere around.
 
LindenTree
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12/13/2019 04:25PM
lindylair: "There seems to be some disagreement(or lack of knowledge) as to whether this stand was there legally or illegally. From what Linden Tree says"

I was only telling a story and relating to United States Fish and WIldlife Services policy on National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota and tree stands being left overnight.
I can't speak for USFS policy in the Superior NF, sorry for the confusion.

National Wildlife Refuges are managed under the US Dept of the Interior, USFS lands are managed under the US Dept of Agriculture. Both have very different mission statements.

This link from the Superior National Forest may answer your question.
 
Jaywalker
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12/13/2019 04:31PM
lindylair: "There seems to be some disagreement(or lack of knowledge) as to whether this stand was there legally or illegally. From what Linden Tree says, and from what I have been told by USFS personnel is that it was not there legally, a violation of law and arguably the LNT ethic. ..."

Actually I don't see Lindentree saying that THIS stand is illegal - just that they can not be left up overnight on USFWS manages lands which require removal of stands overnight (page 120). Different land designations have different regulations. Lindentree - please correct me or clarify if I incorrectly state this. I'm not trying to be argumentative here - I'm just fascinated by this because I would not have expected this to be a legal stand. And yet my reading of the Minnesota DNR Hunting Regulations 2019 seem pretty clear that it is legal.

I added the red lines to highlight what I think are key sections below. Note the BWCAW is not mentioned specifically here, but it is (to my knowledge) the only "designated wilderness" are in Minnesota managed by the USFS.


So how do I FEEL about it (assuming it is a legal stand)? It seems odd and out of place relative to all the other regulations and principles, but I am really just not that bothered by it. I get why a hunter would not want to put up and take down a stand every day, it is well out of the way at a less used time, and since the have paid for the stand they are very unlikely to abandon it. The orange dots still seem wrong, but not enough for me to worry about - provided the hunter takes them down when the remove the stand.
 
Stumpy
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12/13/2019 05:16PM
hobbydog: "Getting stuff into the wilderness is a lot harder than getting it out. Manitoba is much worse than Ontario when it comes to abandon stuff. I like the really old stuff.



I wish these old boats could talk. I would love to hear their stories. "


Me too.
 
missmolly
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12/13/2019 05:27PM
riverrunner: "missmolly: " "
Over the years, I found several of those aluminum boats to be useful in fishing remote Ontario lakes."


I've used them too, but it's best to bring a bailing bucket! ;-)
 
missmolly
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12/13/2019 05:27PM
Stumpy: "hobbydog: "Getting stuff into the wilderness is a lot harder than getting it out. Manitoba is much worse than Ontario when it comes to abandon stuff. I like the really old stuff.




I wish these old boats could talk. I would love to hear their stories. "



Me too."


Here's some transcription of one that happened to be talking when I approached it: "Oh, oh, is it you? Is it YOU? Dang it. I thought you were my ol' buddy. I haven't seem him for half of forever. We were best friends, you know. We'd fish and fish, but now I can't even reach the water. It's so close, but so far. If you don't mind, can you give me a little flip and push? Maybe my buddy's out yonder on the water, looking for me, so I best get busy looking for him."
 
Pinetree
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12/13/2019 07:11PM
lindylair: " "

As a deer hunter I always hated seeing those orange tacks,usually reflective,or pieces of reflector tapes in the woods. They look awful and destroy the setting and usually illegal.

Many areas of the state portables suppose to come out of the woods at the end of deer seasons. Many don't. I am amazed with the amount of money in them,how many will be abandoned. Always hated permanent artificial stands,especially those Tower stands. I or friends of found those even with old barber chairs in them,school desk chairs and often piles of carpet.
Lot of two legged pigs in the woods. But think it is getting better by most people. But still a long way to go.

I know USFS did fine individuals from Ely area for having I believe a permanent stand just west of ELY in the BWCA about a decade ago or so.
 
Pinetree
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12/13/2019 07:26PM
LindenTree: "lindylair: "There seems to be some disagreement(or lack of knowledge) as to whether this stand was there legally or illegally. From what Linden Tree says"


I was only telling a story and relating to United States Fish and WIldlife Services policy on National Wildlife Refuges in Minnesota and tree stands being left overnight.
I can't speak for USFS policy in the Superior NF, sorry for the confusion.


National Wildlife Refuges are managed under the US Dept of the Interior, USFS lands are managed under the US Dept of Agriculture. Both have very different mission statements.

This link from the Superior National Forest may answer your question. "


The USFS statement says the end of the Hunt. That may mean like the whole Bear or deer season I think?
 
Zwater
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12/13/2019 08:16PM
Geez.. This is why I use a Summit climber stand. Am I hurting the bark of a tree when I go up?
 
Pinetree
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12/13/2019 09:04PM
Zwater: "Geez.. This is why I use a Summit climber stand. Am I hurting the bark of a tree when I go up? "

I have no problem with that.
 
Zwater
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12/13/2019 09:56PM
Pinetree: "Zwater: "Geez.. This is why I use a Summit climber stand. Am I hurting the bark of a tree when I go up? "


I have no problem with that."


What if I go up a birch tree and peel off strips?
There was a stand back in the woods. Not really a big deal during hunting season. Was there a bear bait pile? Not with ID? Don't think so. A guy deer hunting with orange pin markers to find his stand in the dark. Does this ruin anybody's "experience" in the BWCA?
 
Pinetree
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12/13/2019 10:26PM
Zwater: "Pinetree: "Zwater: "Geez.. This is why I use a Summit climber stand. Am I hurting the bark of a tree when I go up? "



I have no problem with that."



What if I go up a birch tree and peel off strips?
There was a stand back in the woods. Not really a big deal during hunting season. Was there a bear bait pile? Not with ID? Don't think so. A guy deer hunting with orange pin markers to find his stand in the dark. Does this ruin anybody's "experience" in the BWCA?"


I will just address the orange pin markers. Absolutely yes it degrades a experience and almost 100% of the time they are never removed. They look terrible when you think your walking-hunting in a natural looking area and see a line of pins.
I never met another hunter whom said he appreciated those ugly reflectors or flagging tape marking his trail in.
Also now you would find it easier using GPS. No need for it.

I have no problem with your birch tree either. Relax a little.
 
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