Friday, November 14, 2008

The hardest part of hunting

Today, at work, I mentioned to a co-worker that I was planning on spending all day tomorrow in my tree stand, hunting.

He asked if I took snacks. I said no. For the record, this is why I don't eat or drink when hunting...

Early in the morning, I put on fresh undergarments. Over that, I add long-underwear. Next, I put on a warm shirt. Then I put on the camo pants/jeans. Finally, I add a camo sweatshirt. My hunting socks and boots are last. All this is bulky and heavy.

Then, we drive to our spot, where first, I take a potty break, then I add coveralls, (bulk), coat (more bulk), gloves, head net, hat and safety belt. The safety belt has straps that go over my shoulders and under each arm, and other straps that go around and between each leg. Another strap goes around my waist and a final strap usually attaches to the belt between my shoulder blades and is wrapped around the tree--and it has to be under your coat, but on top of everything else. Finally, I grab my backpack and bow and head off for the tree stand.

To get to the tree, I have to go through a pasture, and through a field, climb over a couple of barbed-wire fences, and try not to catch my clothes on the barbed wire...I always catch something on the barbed wire...

I do all this, in the dark, trying to be quiet so not to scare off any deer.

Finally, I arrive at the tree and climb up the ladder to the tree stand. When I get to the top, I take off the backpack and hang it to the side of my stand. Then, I hook my safety belt to the tree. Finally, I pull up my bow (with a rope) and get ready to hunt. Now, it's still dark, so I can sit and rest until it's light enough to see and shoot.

Ok, so let's say that before leaving the house, I ate and drank.

At some time, usually right after I get settled into my tree, what went in, now wants out.

If I were a guy, I'd just whip things out and take care of the coffee or hot chocolate or Dr. Pepper--right there from the tree stand.

But, I'm not a guy, and don't have anything to whip out.

So, I have to make sure the bow and more specifically, the arrow, is in a safe location. Then, I have to carefully look around to make sure there aren't any deer watching, unhook my safety belt, quietly climb down from the tree stand, quietly walk away from my tree, take off my safety belt, my coat, and my coveralls. Then, I have to pull down the pants and both pairs of undergarments; do my business, then get re-dressed, put my coveralls, coat and safety belt back on and go back to the tree and...repeat.

I've tried the tree stand, like the guys, but there's too great of a risk of
  1. Falling from the tree and
  2. "Watering" the ladder rungs, which could freeze and would be a greater hazard when I was done hunting for the day.
  3. Or, getting some or all of my clothing wet.
  4. Or, having my shiny white hiney being spotted by the world record buck, who would then take off--after letting me see him running away from my big, shiny, white hiney.

A couple of trips up and down the ladder makes me really tired. And, it tends to scare off the deer. (Who are probably really hiding and laughing hysterically at me.)

Don't even ask what guys do when they need to do that other thing. Knowing guys, they'd probably do that from their tree stands too. But, I don't know, and I don't want to know.

And you thought the hardest part of hunting was shooting the deer...

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