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Duckblinds on the St. Louis

38 posts in this topic

On my recent fishing trip, I noticed quite a few duckblinds on the St. Louis. A lot of these are on public land, so I'm wondering if anyone can use these things? In the area I used to hunt, the standing rule was "if you didn't build it, don't use it," but I don't want to assume anything. Anyone know the story with those?

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It is a common curteosy to use that rule around here as well, however, it is public land, and legally, its more of a "first come, first serve" deal.

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I have a couple of blinds up the river. I guess the rule is if you don't build it don't use it, but law say anything on state land is fair game and technicially they are to be removed after every season.What I would do is check with the hunter and see about using that blind on certain days. His or her name , address, phone number ,and hunter I.D. should be legally posted inside the blind. There is nothing worse than getting to your blind at 5 or 6 a.m. and finding someone in it.

Jar Jar

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If I did not build it I would not hunt out of it. This is some one that must like to hunt out of it and it is not mine. It is like if you did not lock your Ice house and you get there and some one was there would you like it confused.gif. I would not hunt it, Build your own and have fun out there.

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Totally agree with Skippers kid. So...on another note...for those of you who do have blinds out there....how often do you find others hunting in your blinds w/o asking first? (assuming you have name/number etc written on your blind?)....

Most sportsman will follow common courtesy...but...as always....there are those few who could care less..

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Name/number, etc is not required under WI law. The blinds are under the legal definition of first come - first serve. Even if you built it, if somebody beats you to the blind some morning, you can ask once to have your blind for use. If you're turned down and you ask twice, you're breaking the law and guilty of harassment. There is no such thing as private ownership of said St Louis Bay duck blinds.

And, none are ever removed after the waterfowl season as they should be. Next time you're on the water, count how many you see...they should all be invisible during the waterfowl off-season, but they never are. But heck, it's only a state law.

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I was trying to avoid getting into this but I can't resist. I have a question for all you guys. Suppose I scout out a spot for duck hunting or deer hunting, for that matter, and I go there in the morning and I find a blind or stand but the guy isn't in it? He has laid claim to public property and I can't use it but he isn't either. I've done my scouting so I say what the heck and climb in or set up my portable right in the area. Then he shows up, what do I do then? This would never come up because I would feel uncomfortable using someone elses stand or blind but I really understand the point that this is public property and first come first served should be the rule. If not, then it should be illegal to put permanent anything up on public land. It's fine to say "do your own scouting" but when I arrive in the dark, by the time I find a new spot it's usually too late. This happens enough on public land as it is.

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Public land is just what it is "public". Anything set up on public land is public. I did have a couple young guys in my blind one morning when we got there and we said that we are the owners of the blind and they said they were sorry and went on there way, but by law they did not have to do that because it was on public land. So by law no one owns the blinds on the bay ( except for the ones on Clough Island)but common sense should take effect when it comes to using a blind out there. JUST ASK.

Jar Jar

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If its on public land i would have hunted it. Not to be a jerk buy why should someone build a blind and then think its his private land. Public is Public first come first served. Building a blind on public land you should know you run the risk of not being able to hunt it if you are not the first one there and asking some one to leave is just plain wrong!

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Ok, Im gonna get into this for two reasons, one, is the fact that its public land and you should remove the blind at the end of the day, thats the law. If you want to hunt it every day, either a) take it with you, or B) get there before everyone else. If it were a tree stand built out of 2x4's in a tree on public land the CO could issue a ticket to whoever is in it, not who built it. For some reason, the duck blinds are left alone.

Now for reason #2. In 1990 I was stationed in Duluth as a Navy recruiter. I was then as I am now a tax paying legal resident of WI. Although at that time I lived in Gary. This particular fall I scouted some places on the river to hunt, most of the good places were in that little bay on the sconni side east of the Oliver bridge. Several blinds were there and one in particular was very run down and mostly just 6 posts sticking out of the water. I took the time and effort over several weekends to rebuild it. Low and behold if opening day rolls around and some jerk has affixed his name and address in it. Well, too bad, I was there first. About 2 hours after shooting time this dude that goes at least 300 lbs pulls up with a buddy in a white boat. They idle around behind the blind and he says I am in "His" blind. My reply was, "no sir, I took the time to rebuild this blind from 6 posts PLUS I was here first and snce its "public" land, its first come first serve". Suddenly I hear a pump shotgun rack and I turn around to see a 12 ga pointed at me. His reply then was, "I have never had to shoot anyone for a duck blind". So being the cooler head, I said, "ok, no problem, if you want it that bad...." I packed up and moved on. I setup in he reeds about 200 yds away and hunted from my boat. He proceeded to skybust everything within 100 yds for about 3 hours and left.

They may have been built by someone, but being on public land makes them public blinds....end of discussion. THATS THE LAW.

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After challenging the state law prohibiting blinds on public waters, I was told by John Kruk, WI DNR CO, that SLB was considered a river, and not a lake. The law only applies to lake, so says he. As to why he doesn't police the blinds left after the season, he claims he has no time to enforce that law at that time of year.

Different brand of hunter out there - ownership and proprietership issues all over the place. On public property, none the less.

Who said the good old boy club was dead? Try SLB in mid-October some time - plenty of characters from "Deliverance" out there...

PS - I have fairly strong feelings about this issue - could you tell?

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Quote:

Suddenly I hear a pump shotgun rack and I turn around to see a 12 ga pointed at me. His reply then was, "I have never had to shoot anyone for a duck blind".


This is why I don't hunt anymore except for the occasional grouse hunt. Too many of this type out there. Would rather be threatened with a hook to my ear than a back full of shot

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Yes, 83walleye, your strong feelings are plain. But you've potentially libeled/slandered a Wisconsin CO. No evidence, all attitude. Enough, please.

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It would take some balls to hunt out of someones blind/ stand that they took the time and effort to build. I would NEVER do such a thing. Thats just me though and my belief.

Wade I sure hope you called the police/DNR on the guys who threatened you with a gun. I would have done so as soon as I moved. I always have the DNR on my cel and 911 isnt that hard for me to remember. grin.gif

I have had a few scares on the river in the fall when duck/goose hunting is going. Drove by a Island one day and BANG BANG BANG! Dang near had to go back to Boyscout for new pants. crazy.gif

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norhtlander i quit duck hunting because of all the hassle involved of blinds, people fighting over them, skybusting and sitting to close. i would not take a persons deer stand ever on public. but duck hunting you dont even know if they are coming out to hunt that day. I built a few blinds on public land and always figured go ahead and hunt them. public land means access to all. That being said i always had enough places to hunt that i ever needed to take anothers blind but i have seen guys build a blind on a public area and think they owned it. just like peopel who live on a lake and dont like the fishermen as they run thier boats on the lake early in the am. they dont own the lake. its for everyone to use. that being said i am as polite as possible and that the reason i wont fish docks.

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Well just to let all know if you are in my blind I will tow it to a knew spot with you in it or out confused.gif. I put my time in early to make my hunt fun and for the kids so if you wish to hunt it you can any time I am not there but call first if you would like to hunt out of my blind. I hope take the time to think be-for they hunt out of a blind that some built SO TAKE THE TIME TO THINK????????????????????????????????????, OR Your hunt will be sad confused.gif.

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83 walleye I have two problems with your post...Number one his name is Krull, the second is that because of the nature of his work he has very little time off to hunt or fish during those times of year. He works while you are hunting and has to take his time off at another time of year.

The city is in control of that area of the river/municipal forrest for the most part and he spends his time in the county/state lands and lakes. If you think the state lacks enforcement on the conservation side of things you are correct (Not enough wardens).

I take great offence to you assumptions and I know John and have worked with him. He is very dedicated and honest and would never do what you are implying.

JUST MY THREE CENTS

Cheeks

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I could have predicted the replies to this thread. The Law in a nutshell is, any blind/stand on public land or water is open to the public. So if you have a blind or stand, plan sharing it. Keep that in mind before replying.

This topic is one reason why we can't build permanent deer stands on Public Land in MN.

Feeling of ownership or laying claim to public land by building blind and stands. The unwritten rule during scouting was, if theres a stand then you moved on and found another spot. Seeing that stand before season let me know someone will be there. Fair or not, that unwritten law did put a type of order in spacing out hunters. The law states its first come first served. You can't claim woods or water. Someone in your stand, to bad thats the way it is, move on to another spot. Next time I'll get out of bed earlier. If you were like me I had multiple stands. I can only hunt one at a time. For me to think that I had claim to them and no one else could hunt them is ridiculous. Secondly how is a hunter to know when I'll be using that stand? I can assume one thing and thats the stand will always be there. I can't assume that no one will be in it.

Personally if you have a stand/blind I'd not use it but if its sitting empty and taking opportunities to hunt away from other hunters then thats wrong.

If I or you want exclusive rights to land then its time to buy or lease it.

For better or worse times are a changing.

If we can't police yourselves an overlooked law will be enforced and blinds on public waters will be gone forever. Reports of being kicked out of blinds on public water will bring that about. Hunting on public land is open to everyone. Thats good but with it comes that angst of will I get a spot to hunt. Having a blind or stand doesn't give you a free pass.

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Wow. I didn't realize that this was such a contentious issue. Wade, that guy who threatened you, broke the law. This sort of thing smacks of the whole Chai Vang crap, but the line between who is right and wrong is much less distinct. Why in the hell would you point a gun at someone over a duckblind? I think our COs need to know that this sort of thing is happening.

I can think of two things that could be done in order to resolve this...

1. Enforce the law. Demand that these blinds are removed at the end of the season.

2. If the blind isn't taken down, the COs should come by with a spray can and a stencil and mark it as "State Property" so that everyone knows who owns the (Contact Us Please) thing and everyone knows that the rule is first come first serve.

I don't think it would solve every problem, but it may straighten out a few of these snarls.

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Quote:

Who said the good old boy club was dead? Try SLB in mid-October some time - plenty of characters from "Deliverance" out there...


I guess being from Wisconsin and I do hunt the Bay, I kinda take offense to this comment.Just because we hunt the Bay area and being from Wisconsin makes us characters from Deliverance. GET REAL.

And by the way, John Krull is one of the finest CO'S we have in the area. If you are breaking the law he will penalize you and if not he will chew the rag with you for a while.Very nice guy.

Jar Jar

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Jar Jar -

Two questions for you:

1. When was the last time you saw John Krull(sorry for the prior misspelling) on the St Louis River during waterfowl season?

2. Why do permanent waterfowl blinds continue to stand long after waterfowl season on the St Louis River and Bay?

Don't doubt that this CO is a good guy - I had a fairly civil conversation with him - I took liberty in implying he's part of the good old boy club - but how come nobody ever sees him out there, and why does he choose not to enforce the blind removal law? Is this selective enforcement or what?

And relative to the Deliverance comment, I have made it to the river very early, set up, and had a number of hunters absolutely cuss me up one side and down the other for being too close to their permanent blind. Several times in the presence of my 12 year old son and friend. Uncivilized and entirely out of line - I was there first - I get the spot.

In any case, a number of issues have affected the waterfowl hunting experience on the SLR. New hunters have to find out the hard way that you can, in fact, set up permanent blinds on public land, and that you'd better watch out if you hunt in or around these blinds, because the locals who build and "OWN" them, will claim squatters rights to "THEIR" territory.

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" JUST MY THREE CENTS " Cheeks Like I said in my blind my cell number is right there and it says if you are in this blind please call so I now who is in there just ask. I think this post is too heated I hope FM people would call first to let some one now they would like to hunt that blind. I have a better plan that I should pull mine out and hunt out of the ones out there. There will be some unhappy hunters out there confused.gif.

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I am not a duck hunter but I do deer hunt, on private and the public land that borders our property. I have to respond to Jar Jar's reference to 'common sense'. How come so few people use it these days. I fully understand the public law and first come first rights to an area, but why would a person drive a road that is posted until that person doesn't see anymore signs, then wander into the woods a sit in a stand that they know is not an area that they scouted out. My experience last year was walking into an area less than a hundred yards off our property to see somebody sitting in the area. As I approached, the individual asked if I was related to so and so (name on the no hunting signs) and I said yes. When I asked where he came from, he pointed off into nowwhere, then asked if he was on private property. I told him he wasn't but our border was only a few yards away and asked him why he would hunt an area that has been hunted by the same group of people for over thirty years, especially if he didn't know where he was. His response was, that "he could". Since I knew that there wasn't anything I could do and he did have the right to be there, I left him with a few very choice words and went back to the shack. However, I did not use the trail, I walked directly through the woods snapping every dead tree branch I could see, coughed like I had the worst cold of my life and did as much as I could to make certain that a deer wouldn't enter that area for several hours. Is it too much to ask an individual to use some common sense and see that the gate is open to private property and show respect for the individuals and give them some room? Even an 1/8 of a mile could be very acceptable.

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Thats your problem as a land owner. You think that because you gave someone money for a specific piece of land that you own all the ajoining public land near you. Your wrong and he was right. So pouting your way to the shack did nothing but hurt your chances to bag the thirty pointer.

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That's was missing. Maybe we just need to have a c'est la vie attitude when it comes to public land. It's a shared resource and sometimes you just don't get what you want when you share. (I go over this all of the time with my five year old who thinks sharing means you give this to me...hahaha)

I understand the frustration of those who build the duckblinds on public land and then find someone jumped in it before you, it's going to suck because now you have to find somewhere else to hunt. Maybe thats the chance you take though, I don't know.

I wonder if there is an opportunity for some public service here. People who go out and build and take care of these duckblinds are really helping everyone else who is hunting SLB. If the COs are leaving them up, how difficult would it be to declare them all a shared resource and then just volunteer some time and money to keep them up?

This might be something that is just too big to chew, but maybee the local COs would be interested in promoting something like this? Who knows?

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