Monday, September 21, 2009

Setting up the Tree Stands.

Well, I’ve been putting off setting up my treestands because I’m not supposed to be putting that kind of strain on my foot (which is another story…). I decided that the weather on Sunday was nice enough that I could take my time and get my stands set up and not over due it. Right. I put on my rubber knee boots, made sure I had my Rocky Scent IQ shirt on and a good coating of scent killing spray, including a pair of light gloves. I then packed up the truck with the Gorilla ladder stand that my daughter will be using, my hang on stand, the climbing sticks, cable locks (it’s on public land), my video camera and some water and headed over to my hunting location. I unloaded everything at the trail head and got set to go. I’ve got the 3 sections of the ladder stand tied together with my hang on stand and chains, cables and ropes holding it all together. I positioned a couple shoulder straps to carry it all… My climbing sticks are bundled together with one of the straps set up to carry them in a sling. I’ve probably got about 100 lbs strapped together on my back so I plan on taking a couple breaks on the hike in. It’s about half a mile in, up and down hills and through a bit of swamp to boot. I’ve also decided to video my setup so I’m carrying my video camera and a mono pod. What I didn’t realize was that to video my walking to and from the camera, I would need to walk and set it up, go back and then return…repeat… carrying everything…So, I just added quite a bit of walking to my work. There is one other vehicle at the trail head so I’ll be paying close attention on the walk in to make sure I don’t walk into some body else’s hunt. Then again, it is a hiking, riding trail so it just might be a mountain biker or walker.

After what feels like way too much exercise, I make it to the swamp portion of my hike in. I’ll have to make this in several trips because I won’t be able to carry the ladder stand on my back and I will have to only carry one thing at a time to make sure I don’t end up head first in the mud. It proves an excellent idea to wear the rubber knee boots, as the mud and water was just about up to the tops. It’s always fun trying to carry a 100 lbs worth of ladder stand while having to pull your feet out of each step and not fall over… but, I made it. The last part of my hike is through a trail that is narrow and tight. So, I’ll have to carry the ladder stand and the climbing sticks in each hand an maneuver them around trees and shrubs for about 150 yards. After talking with John Eberhart last weekend, I can see I’m going to have to look into the Tree saddle for next years swamp hunt. I can’t believe that when my girls first started going out with me I actually got a double tree ladder through all this stuff! Whew!

I’ve finally made it. There are a few more trees down but this year I’ve lucked out and they did not change any of the funnel paths, they might even help. I quietly set up my daughter’s ladder stand, keeping in mind her early crossbow hunt. I do not trim any new branches this year as the shooting lanes are all fairly clear. I then set up my hang on. I scouted the area to make sure that my placement is optimal since last year (I do this each time as the best sign happens after last season on deer movement). All the sign confirms my post season scouting so I hang the stand only about 30 yards from my daughters location and in clear sight, about 16 feet up and 120 degrees from her left. This should also give me an excellent opportunity to catch her hunts on video.

Once I’m done I make sure everything I brought in is picked up and nothing with my scent is left behind. Then, I have one more thing to do, I spray a cover scent over everything I’ve touched, including any brush or trees I may have bumped on the way in. This time, I’m using a young buck spray from Buck Bombs. I did a product test for them a couple years ago and was impressed at the delivery method of the scent. I did verify with a company representative that since the scent was package as it was in a pressurized can that it would have a shelf life of several years. Yup, I could tell it was still good…

Well, the heavy work is done and we just have to be patient for a short while more and my girls and I will be looking to fill the freezer with some wonderful venison! Plus, you never know, I’ve seen coyotes, turkeys and foxes from the same spot….

And I might even post some video of this soon as I look at it first! LOL

1 comment:

Tim Ford said...

I use a tree saddle and it is awsome. I don't ever see myself using a strap on stand again.