The Day a Trespasser Tried to Kill Me

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

The Things Some People Will Do Over a Deer Is Saddening

Big deer.

Sadly, some people will do anything to kill them — including breaking the law.

As you probably noticed, the title of this post was pretty inflammatory. But a few short weeks ago I was out checking some of my treestands and I found where someone had tampered with one of them.

The stand is actually a climbing stand that I’d locked on in a permanent position. I had the climbing cables attached to the stand. I also ran a ratchet strap around both the top and bottom sections, too. Needless to say, it wasn’t going anywhere. At least, that’s what I thought when I hung it.

The trespasser proved me wrong. They pulled the climbing cables from the treestand. They also opened and loosened the ratchet straps just enough that the stand stayed in place but would fall to the ground with the slightest bit of pressure standing in it.

To be honest, this came as a shock to me. We work very hard to establish good relationships with all of the neighbors who hunt around us. We also work very hard to establish good relationships with all of those who hunt the same properties as we do. Obviously, you can’t always accomplish what you want to, though.

That said, if you’re a knucklehead out there thinking about doing what this person did, I’d advise against it. Not only because it’ll earn you a good ol’ fashion butt whippin’ but also because of the fact tampering with a treestand is classified as attempted murder in most states. That’s right, forget hunter harassment. This is on a whole ‘nother level.

So while this event was an unfortunate reality for me, my message and the reason I’m sharing it with you isn’t to air out my dirty laundry. Rather, it’s to hopefully remind everyone out there to always wear a safety harness and use a lifeline system anytime treestands are being used.

Surveys show that most hunters who do use a safety harness don’t use a lifeline system in conjunction with it. They attach a safety belt to the tree after they climb into the stand. That’s a mistake.

In a particular scenario where a stand has been tampered with, is damaged to the point of failure, or human error causes the person to fall while climbing up or stepping over into the stand, a harness alone does no good. It’s important to be attached from the time you leave the ground until your feet hit the ground again.

Furthermore, always inspect your lifelines, climbing steps/sticks and treestands each time you climb the stand. Give your steps and lifeline a firm tug before climbing up in case someone or something has jeopardized the integrity of them. Also give treestands a good shake before stepping over into them.

If it weren’t for my safety harness and lifeline system on the stand mentioned above, my personal encounter could have been much, much worse.

Click through the photos below to see what this trespasser did. And then check out the video to learn more about this ridiculous and unfortunate encounter.

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1 | Full View

You can’t tell much from this view. But upon climbing up, I quickly noticed my treestand had been seriously tampered with by a trespasser.

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Pulled CablesPulled CablesPulled CablesPulled CablesPulled Cables

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2 | Pulled Cables

As previously mentioned, the trespasser pulled the pins from the cables on the top and bottom sections of the stand and removed them from their slots.

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Pulled CablesPulled CablesPulled CablesPulled CablesPulled Cables

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3 | Pulled Cables

If they hadn’t pulled them out, I’d probably never noticed it until it was too late. I guess there’s a silver lining in everything?

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Jacked-Up StrapsJacked-Up StrapsJacked-Up StrapsJacked-Up StrapsJacked-Up Straps

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4 | Jacked-Up Straps

They also messed with the straps, too. There was little to nothing holding the treestand onto the tree.

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Opened RatchetsOpened RatchetsOpened RatchetsOpened RatchetsOpened Ratchets

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5 | Opened Ratchets

They even opened up the ratchets so that there was nothing holding the stand in place. All in all, what this trespasser did is classified by most states as attempted murder.

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