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Old 07-25-2016, 01:41 PM
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Default Article - Abandoned hunting camps



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All across the nation, tucked away in the wilderness are hunting camps. Often referred to as deer camps, these are usually simple wood framed buildings, may have a propane stove and propane refrigerator, a wood stove, a room with beds, or in the case below a single room with a couple of bed frames. The beds are for people who do not want to sleep in a tent, do not want to get a hotel room in a nearby town or do not have an RV.

Electricity for the deer camp is usually by way of a generator. Water is usually pumped from a nearby stream or creek and stored in a raised tank. The camp might have a septic system and the toilet uses the water from the raised tower to flush.

The purpose of the deer camp is a place for hunters to stay, a central place where hunters check can check in their deer, show off wild hogs trapped or shot, tell stories and socialize. This is where memories are made and the American hunting heritage is passed from one generation to another.

For one reason or another the camp might be abandoned and/or relocated. The main building unable to be moved is left for nature to take back.


While hiking through the rolling hills of southeast Texas I happened upon an abandoned hunting camp. I came across a barely visible road that looked more like an overgrown 4-wheeler trail, than a fulled sized road vehicles could take.

While looking through the building I found two DYMO labels with the dates ’63 and ’64. Then there were some boxes with the date of 2007 on them. From 1963 to at least 2007, 44 years is a good run.

How can these abandoned deer camps play a role in your overall prepping plans? If you plan on bugging out to the wilderness after a complete collapse of society happens, these abandoned camps could perhaps be used as a staging area.



Remote – Depending on how long the camp has been abandoned the road going to it may be overgrown. The camp I found had a barely visible, overgrown path going to it. In a few more years trees will grown up in the road that will block vehicle access. Smaller vehicles such as 4-wheelers and side-by-sides will be able to access the camp, but the trees are so close together truck and trailer will not be able to make the journey.

Off the beaten path, no visible road, no power lines, no city water or city sewage, nothing to give away the abandoned camps location.

Shelter – Wooden walls, floor, probably a metal roof, windows, it sure beats living in a tent. Maybe some kind of covered porch, or area outside the building where people could gather and sit.

Water – A good number of hunting camps are located near water. Camps that are being used will have a generator and a water pump to pump water from a stream to a raised holding tank. Gravity gives the water in the tank enough pressure to flush toilets, and provide running water to wash dishes, take a shower,,,,, etc. Chances are when the camp was abandoned the water tank was brought to the new camp. But the steam did not move.



Safe drinking water is essential to the survival of mankind. Having a water source nearby that is not downstream from a human population can be beneficial. Water for drinking, bathing, sanitation, growing crops,,,, etc.

Possible septic system – Not all hunting camps have a septic system but some do. This is usually a classic septic tank system with a field line, and not anything that requires electricity. This is a big plus for sanitation and disease control.

There is nothing “wrong” with crapping in the woods. But the feces is a breeding ground for flies, which then fly back to your camp carrying poop on their little feet. The flies land on your food, now you have traces of human feces on your food via fly transmission. Flies also regurgitate whenever then land.

Keeping human waste underground in a septic tank, and away from flying pest can help prevent the transmission of disease.

Stuff left behind – At the hunting camp I found there were some outdoor grills left behind, a 55 gallon drum that had the top cut out of it, wiring, nails, paper, bed frame, mattress, chairs, cardboard, propane tank, propane stove, propane refrigerator, shelves, even a first aid cabinet with a couple of things still in it.



Overall, these abandoned hunting camps deep in the wilderness could possibly make a viable bug out location option. But then again, how many people in the area have the same plans? Who is to say if you bug out to the camp that there will not be someone already there?

Maybe make a few trips to the abandoned camp a couple of times a year? Maybe leave a note asking if anyone else is going there? Maybe go camping at the location and leave evidence that you were there? Maybe leave something at the camp that other people would like to have, and see if it comes up missing? Maybe leave a cheap knife inside the camp, go back in a few months and see if the object has been moved?

Do “something” to figure out if other people are visiting the camp without making things too obvious.

Does not belong to you – Keep in mind that the property does not belong to you. Treat the camp and the land around it with respect. Do not leave trash behind, do not cut trees down, do not do anything to harm the property. Leave no trace, except maybe if you are trying to figure out if someone else is visiting the camp, that you were ever there.

If you are caught on the property, you are on a nature walk, just talking pictures and apologize. You meant no harm.

Ask permission – If you know who owns the property ask permission to visit the camp. If the answer is no, then do not trespass. Respect the landowner and their wishes.

Stay away right before and during hunting season – A couple of months before hunting season starts hunters will start heading out to the woods. The absolute worst time to visit one of these remote camps is right before and certainty not during hunting season. People pay good money to have access to the hunting lease, do not screw it up for others. Respect that others have paid to use the land while you have not.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:49 PM
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Take it from me.

"The neighbors" know it.

When I moved to this remote location, with a low population density people told me about fetures on my land they played on as kids...

Might be worth going to the court house and tracking down the owners and seeing if they want to sell though...
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:30 PM
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Do absentee owners really own it? they can pay the taxes but take away rule of law (even just locally) and all bets are off.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:22 PM
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How about buying?

A derelict, remote property without water nor electricity doesn't cost much. It would also make you feel much safer, if you plan to sleep there. I would not feel comfortable in a place I don't own, without even knowing who owns it. Besides the owner, anyone could come up, and with you without the right to be there, it could lead to trouble real fast.
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:33 PM
Uteguy Uteguy is offline
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Yes yes, the Utah pioneers settled in "an abandoned Indian camp" in the mouth of Provo Canyon.
Well guess what?
That was where a band of Ute Indians spent the winters since - well - forever.
Interesting interracial contact to say the least.

Abandoned...
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Old 07-25-2016, 05:44 PM
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I hate to see these kinds of posts - I really do.

It feeds the insane meme that if you just have the right location (remote) you can live in comfort while things "settle down"

You, at least, got this right-
"Does not belong to you – Keep in mind that the property does not belong to you. Treat the camp and the land around it with respect. Do not leave trash behind, do not cut trees down, do not do anything to harm the property. Leave no trace, except maybe if you are trying to figure out if someone else is visiting the camp, that you were ever there.

If you are caught on the property, you are on a nature walk, just talking pictures and apologize. You meant no harm."

And if the land owner decides to pull a weapon and declare you are under arrest - then what?

Texas law (Section 9.41 of the Texas Penal Code) allows a property owner to use "reasonable force" to protect their property. Reasonable force includes any force that is not potentially lethal.

This would include physically blocking the trespasser's entry onto the land and showing the trespasser that you have a gun and are prepared to use it if warranted." 9.42 is the use of Deadly Force....(see below)

If the land is posted, stay off of it. the life you save may be your own.


Texas Penal Code § 9.42. Deadly Force to Protect Property
A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41;  and

(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime;  or

(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property;  and

(3) he reasonably believes that:

(A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means;  or

(B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Source
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Old 07-25-2016, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
Take it from me.

"The neighbors" know it.

When I moved to this remote location, with a low population density people told me about fetures on my land they played on as kds.
Kids go everywhere, they'll know everything, from rock formations, caves, to the best fishing holes.
And no one pays attention to them.
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:10 PM
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I'd never call a site abandoned....unless one spent a whole year there without seeing a human.
They're unused at the moment someone took the pic. Deer hunting sites are unused most of the year but I guarantee they will be overrun by the owner and owners family in the event of a SHTF situation.

Hunt sites especially deer hunting may only see its owner for 2 weeks a year unless they bow hunt and alternative firearm hunt...then it could see months of use by the owner and the owners friends and relatives.

I wouldn't want to be caught on someones land...especially during deer season...and after having scared the deer population into different trails....
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruck83 View Post
Kids go everywhere, they'll know everything, from rock formations, caves, to the best fishing holes.
And no one pays attention to them.
Bingo.

When I had some stuff stolen off my truck years ago, I found some kids playing next door and told them there was a $100 reward for the return of the stuff, and a $200 reward for the name of the person that took them.

I had a name in less than an hour. And the local police broke up a theft ring involving several local teens and a local pawn shop. They made a bunch of arrests, and I also found out that I wasn't the only one in the neighborhood who had stuff stolen.

Kids don't get out as much any more, but they're still a good resource. Nobody pays any attention to them running around.

Az
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Old 07-25-2016, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minitruck83 View Post
Kids go everywhere, they'll know everything, from rock formations, caves, to the best fishing holes.
And no one pays attention to them.
Yep.


I did it.


Adults used to do it too, but I stopped it.

I stopped it by being nice, and saying that they could... all I asked was that they asked.

Each and every time.

Happened a couple times, and then they stopped.

People don't like asking.

Best part is... still on good terms.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKR View Post
Texas Penal Code § 9.42. Deadly Force to Protect Property
A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
While I understand the point of your post, shooting someone "just" for being on the property is not justified.

Around here just about all of the abandoned camps are on timber company land. People go on timber company land all the time riding atvs. The rule is do not bother something if it is not yours.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kev View Post
While I understand the point of your post, shooting someone "just" for being on the property is not justified.

Around here just about all of the abandoned camps are on timber company land. People go on timber company land all the time riding atvs. The rule is do not bother something if it is not yours.
Thanks Kev -

It may not be justified, but it does happen.

http://kxan.com/2015/01/05/when-your...hoot-in-texas/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crim...icle-1.2687732

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-te...ed-4495153.php

If the land is posted - Keep Out. Not hard to understand, All you need is a landowner that's been vandalized several times to decide you are 'it'.

Understand all States have different laws. Read and understand the laws or your area.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:10 PM
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Kev, Your post reminded me of an old US park service photo, http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com...?itok=XQViJ-vI.

This site was used by cowboys who worked for large ranches during the summer months, and lived in this camp during the winter months. They would pack in 200 lbs of food each and hunt deer and pay cards for 4-5 months.

Such a camp site would not be very difficult to build. One person could complete a suitable shelter (pole barn style) in 3-4 days, and a small group could build it in a day.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:36 AM
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Many of the old abandoned hunting camps are abandoned due to the death of the user....
Generally an older gentleman whose family did not share his passion for getting out of the noise and crowding of the city and into the solitude and peace of the wild woods....
As someone stated before, such property could be purchased with some investigation into ownership....
Texican....
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Old 07-26-2016, 11:27 AM
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The great majority of forest land here is owned by the gov. During the Clinton era the Forest Service began systematicqlly burning generations old cabins and camps, all across the state. Most entry roads are gated now and the land leased to logging companies and ranchers. They call it 'public land', too bad the public is locked out.
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Old 07-30-2016, 01:51 AM
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I have never seen a deer camp as sophisticated as the ones you describe.

At least, not one out in property for anyone to use.

The only ones I ever have seen like you describe have been on owned land.

On gov't land I mostly have seen primitive lean to structures, small trapper cabins, and the like.
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