Saturday evening seemed like a perfect time to go hunting. I strapped my bow to the four-wheeler, suited up and went on a mile long ride to the creek. I parked about 1/4 mile away from the stand. We are pretty sure the deer are bedding to the south of the creek in a meadow and the river stand is located just to the north bank on the creek. It overlooks a low-water crossing where the deer have to cross to get to the bean field north of the stand. So, from South to North you have the meadow for bedding down, then they cross the river, take the deer trails through the woods that lead to the bean field. The river stand should catch them as they come across the river.
This particular evening was about 70 degrees, an approximate 10-15 mph wind and it was about 5:30 when I got into my stand. I dropped some doe pee on some cloths to hang in the tree next to me before heading up. This year I'm using a quiver attached to my bow and I'm not too accustomed to it. I'm a person of habit and repitition, and last year I used a traditional, pliable, over-the-shoulder sling for my arrows so the fact that I have them now strapped onto the bow seems to throw me off kilter. Stupid, I know. But it messes with me. Everything seems...off. So, naturally I made a real stupid mistake and didn't strap the bow on my hoist before starting up. I always seem to get into little pickles like that. It's not that it's hard to climb a tree stand with one hand. After all, this is one is a ladder stand. My dilemma came as I reached the top. This particular stand is an old rifle stand that has been out in the forest by the creek for who know how many years. J moved the stand from it's original spot to a tree about 20 yards away...a better location. We put up the stand in it's new spot but never tested it. I guess I figured I'd be the one to test it out. (Not really, that's just my excuse.) As I neared the top, I realized I didn't have many options to place my bow while I turned around and strapped myself in. (I recently read that 1 in 2 bowhunters that hunt from a tree stand don't us a safety harness and 1 in 3 bowhunters who use stands have a fall accidents.) I finally positioned it to where it was secure enough to sit on the foot rest but half the bow was hanging off 30 ft. above the ground. I cussed myself for forgetting about the hoist laying on the ground. I had no choice but leave the bow there. I grapped my strap and unraveled it to then realize there was no way I was reaching all the way around this tree to grab it from the other side. The was a large branch extending to the right side of the tree so I attempted to reach for it only to see my life flash before my eyes. The stand free fell on one side about 2 or 3 inches (okay, I know, but it was still scary) and I thought I was going to fall. That's when I realized that the only people who have accidents who use a safety harness have fall accidents trying to get themselves strapped up. Geez. So now I really had to get things taken care of because if the stand was going to be unstable I'd rather be hanging from the tree than climbing down the ladder one-handed if the stand fell. I prayed this was just the settling in of it and hurried to get harnessed. I grabbed my bow, and finally got comfortable. After all that, I stayed until about 7:00pm. For awhile I watched some ducks float by. Beautiful blue, green, yellow and red. It was a duck hunters paradise. Nice trophy drakes. But no deer. Then a woodpecker came along and made his presence known for awhile. He watched me and didn't really care that I was there. He pecked around on some branches above me. Woodpeckers look like their on dope. They act like it too. Still no deer. Then came the wasp. I hate wasps. Why now? Go away, don't ruin this for me! Next was a tree spider the size of my hand. He didn't seem to care about getting too close but now everytime my hair blew in the wind on my neck I about freaked out. Good thing I was strapped in. To top everything off, something bit me on my forehead and drew blood. Yes, I had an itchy bump with a drop of blood running down my forehead. That's when I unstrapped, and went home. The sun hadn't even set yet.
I think I'm going to wait until everthing goes dormant for the winter. That was absolutely no fun. J is going out tonight; but tonight it's raining and 45 degrees. He'll probably get the grand-daddy out there on his first hunt of the year. That's alright, because that means I have to step up my standards. I wonder if he has any idea I'm going to try and out do him. We're competitive like that. Good luck sexy.