Just what constitutes a "deer stand" in your neck of the woods? A bunch of 2x4 steps leading up to a few more 2x4s nailed into the crotch of a tree? A commercially-manufactured tree stand? A climber? Or is your stand the arboreal equivalent of a furnished, one-bedroom apartment? Some officials in Minnesota are saying "enough is enough" when it comes to the increasingly complex and extensive "deer stands" some hunters are erecting on public lands.
From this story on dlonline.com:
It used to be that a deer stand was a couple of aspen saplings nailed between two trees, just a place for a hunter to see above the brush for a better shot at a trophy buck. But increasingly across St. Louis County forests, including on public lands, permanent deer stands have become a whole lot more elaborate -- some far too elaborate for county land managers.
And hunters are cutting more trees near those stands so they can see deeper into the woods. Some hunters are even planting crops on public land to attract deer to their stands. "We're getting over-built. We're seeing mansions out there -- basically hunting shacks on stilts," Bob Krepps, St. Louis County land commissioner, told the News Tribune.
According to the story, authorities are finding bigger and more elaborate deer stands, complete with decks, shingles, real windows, carpeting, heaters and even generator-supplied electricty. One stand recently discovered in Minnesota's public forest was an 18x20 cabin. The result leaves the woods a mess and, in essence, locks out other hunters from those areas.
From the story: "What they are doing by building these palaces is claiming a piece of public land as their own. That's not right," Krepps said. "A lot of these cross the line of what's appropriate. ... If I'm out walking and come across one of these buildings on posts, am I going to feel welcome to hunt there? Probably not. And if I do, there's likely to be a fight. That shouldn't happen on land that belongs to everyone."
Thoughts? Reaction? Just how big is your "deer stand" and what amenities does it (or does it not) have? At one point does the line from "deer hunting" to "deer lounge shooting" get crossed?