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QUESTION: dear Keith, I've been hunting with friends for over 20 years. I know them for 52 years. Both of these friends are partners in 77 acres of land where we all hunt. My problem is that I can't get to hunt as much as I like so with that one of the owners puts his son-in-law in my stand. We all have spots to hunt and stands on them. That's the way it's been for all these years. Well for the past 2 years the son-in law managed to bag a nice 6 pointer and an 8 pointer from my stand and he's only been hunting with us for a few years. I didn't see any reason to go hunting since these dear were probably in there core area. My questions is do you think it's right for my friend to put someone else in my stand even though he owns the property and it's only my stand he uses since it's a big stand and comfortable. I call it the condo stand. Can you please help me with this dilemma since it's weighting heavily on my mind. I will honor any decision you make in this matter. Thank you in advance.


I want to clarify something first.  You say partners in 77 acres. Are you a partner, or were they just letting you hunt on their land?

Was there any kind of agreement or just an understanding?

You say, "your stand".  Do you own it or build it?

Now I will assume that the partners and not you own the land, but allowed you to put up a stand that you hunted.  In your absence, he put his sone in law in the stand and has in a way evicted you. That is what is referred to as squatters rights.  Common law looks favorably on those who use something and in time will give ownership to that person.

Now having said all that, I would invite the guy, the decision maker out for a drink, just you and him, and let him know how you feel.  He might very well say, "Oh, I didn't know you still wanted to hunt the stand. We can put a stand up for him somewhere else."

He might just figure that your hunting days are behind you and let his son and law take a crack.  I can understand your feelings, especially if he got some decent deer in the stand and you didn't.  I would speak to him, and then make a point to go out and use the stand this coming season, else it might just make you look like you were suffering from sour grapes and resented the kid getting the deer when you didn't go hunt.

I know how it goes. I used to hunt some land, and I resented others getting a nice buck when I wasn't even there, since I think we all develop an attachment to our favorited hunting areas even if we don't own it.

You could even play the sympathy card and say you need the bigger stand because of your age, its easier on the old bones.  

I hope this helps.  I would not let it ruin a long term friendship.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Keith, First I'd like to say thank you for answering my questions, but I feel I should clarify some things with you. No I'm am not a partner in the property but all of us have free range of it. We can hang a stand anywhere we want so long as were not close to one another. Yes I own the stand as does everyone else own a stand. you mentioned taking me friend out for drinks and discuss the problem, but I don't think this will work because he feels he still owns the property and can put his son-in-law anywhere he wants. I haven't been hunting as much as I want because of an illness and financial problems but I didn't abandon my spot or tree stand. I like to know that when I do go hunting, no one was in my stand before me. This bothers me because it's my stand that's always used and nobody elses. I hate to tell my friends that I wont be hunting with them anymore since my chance of seeing a big buck will be nill if someone else is in it. Thanks and let me know your take on this.

I guess aside from going out and beating him to the blind on opening day, there isn't much you can do.

I understand the frustration. I had a quarter section goose lease for five years and one year the guy who controlled the property started putting day hunts on the property thinking we would not know. Those slobs really tore up the place, not even policing their hulls.  The light reflecting off of spent hulls is enough to flare birds down here in Texas since they've been shot at since leaving Canada.

I severed my association with the guy as well.


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Keith Patton


I can answer questions about whitetail deer hunting using modern and black powder firearms. I can address questions on still hunting and stalking. I am also knowledgeable on the hunting of ducks over decoys in the central flyway, and goose hunting over rag decoy sets on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I can answer quesitons regarding dog preparation for both these hunting areas


Over 26 years of waterfowl and deer hunting in Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma. Over 34 years of range and target shooting of small and big bore long guns and shotguns.

National Rifle Association Texas Rifle Association

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