That Wooden Platform

That Wooden Platform

For both good and bad, people wander all over Devil’s Lake State Park’s 10,000 acres. You can go as far and as deep into the park as you wish, and you will never get far enough to avoid broken chairs and beer cans. Yeah, it’s kinda sad really.

On one of my recent wanderings deep in “back country” of the park I came across this wooden platform. It catches your eye after you’ve seen nothing but forest for a couple of hours! Either someone went through a lot of work to build a low-to-the-ground deer stand or Bear Grylls” was camping here… When it first caught my eye it looked like a burial platform.

When I got up close, I could see that the whole thing was held together with thin wire. There are no nails anywhere in the structure. On one side there are two logs bound between a two of the 3 trees to make steps. A few feet above the platform additional logs tied across two sides. These logs could hold up a rain tarp or simply be railings or a place to steady a gun. I don’t really know.

More Photos (Click to enlarge)

Oh, and if you’re asking if this is “legal” in a state park… well.. that’s complicated. I can say that deer stands have to come down at the end of the hunting season and wrapping a bunch of wire around living trees and leaving it there is probably “frowned upon” as well. On the other hand with 10,000 acres and less than handful of rangers, who’s gonna check?

***Obligatory Disclaimer:  This website is NOT associated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The views expressed in this blog are mine (and I’m crazy so…)  and do not represent the views of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
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  1. Joe salemi

    Certainly, if deer hunting is encouraged inside state parks, then this sort of thing will happen more often.
    Hello everyone,
    I am interested to know what the DNR will do about a structure like this now that it has been identified and it’s location reported. I understand that understaffing would interfere with searching every square of property and troubleshooting, but taking action on clear issues identified by citizens is a measure of the interest level the WDNR may have in its charge to enforce and preserve.
    And it is worth noting why a structure like this is a problem. Even if the 3-4″ branches are taken from dead fall and not cut from live trees, the act of collecting the lumber severely disrupts plant life on the forest floor by first uncovering the branch and then dragging multiple branches 40-50 yards along the ground. This also tears up habitat for snakes, ground hogs, raccoon, birds, insects of many kinds, redistributes seeds, box turtles and other creatures and organisms essential to the ecosystem.
    This may be sad but let’s see if there is any offical response what-so-ever before making that determination.

  2. Author

    Hey Joe,

    I think more than anything it’s an issue of understaffing forcing certain priorities over others. I think this sort of stuff is going to come down to volunteers. You see, many years back I used to work at the park and back then rangers walked trails and checked natural areas, etc.. Times have changed and there’s no one to do the footwork.

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