St. Louis County Mulls Deer Stand Options

St. Louis County commissioners and land managers are considering options to stop deer hunters from building elaborate stands and clearing trees on county land.

A 20-by-18-foot deer "stand" was built on St. Louis County forestland. (photo courtesy St. Louis County Department of Lands and Mines, via Duluth News Tribune)

The Duluth News Tribune covers the issue HERE.

St. Louis County land managers recently brought the concerns to county commissioners. Charged with managing public land, they are concerned about the environmental and public access issues surrounding highly developed deer hunting areas.

The managers described stands that were, in effect, tree-houses, featuring shingled roofs, stairways, and manufactured windows. In one instance, more than six acres of forest was cleared for an array of shooting lanes, some more than 30 feet wide and 700 feet long. The developments may be technically legal, since, unlike most other northern Minnesota countries, St. Louis County does not have deer stand regulations.

See a listing of county-by-county rules HERE.

Land managers say abandoned deer stands litter forest land and that removal of trees for shooting lanes and to plant crops to attract deer takes acres of forest out of production. Highly developed areas also tend to exclude other hunters that have equal right to the hunting grounds.

St. Louis County Commissioners are pondering whether to write regulations for deer stand and shooting lane construction or to use educational efforts to influence behavior.

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