September 18, 2010


We went out to the lease Friday and hung be a lock on in a live oak.   This was my and Mike’s  first time hanging a lock on stand.  It was going to be an interesting endeavor.  Billie Ann had generously offered to help. (THANK GOODNESS!)

We were hanging a Big Game Boss Lite and Big Game’s Quick Steps  instead of climbing sticks.  I’m pretty short (5’ 3”) and the traditional sticks were difficult for me to use last year, one issue is my stride length.  The other is my paralyzing fear of heights.  I can climb them, but I’m whipped and stressed by the time I get to the top.  I’m hoping that these will be better.

I truly had no idea how in the hell you actually got a stand up in a tree so you can imagine how much help I was.  I mostly provided hauling and moral support .  I’m embarrassed to admit Mike and Billie Ann did most of the work.  I tightened ratchet straps.

The ladder was in multiple pieces which we assembled on site.  Using the ratchet straps provided and extras I had purchased Mike began attaching the assembled ladder to my tree.  He began at the bottom and worked his way up until he reached the top.  He placed straps about every three feet. 

Next was the stand itself.  Mike tied a tow rope at the top of the ladder and hauled it up.  Billie Ann climbed up and began to attach the stand to the tree.  I have no idea what happened after that. A little bit of cursing and clanging later, it was securely hanging from the trunk. 

Mike and Billie Ann turned to me.  Apparently it was my turn. 

Now…in the spirit of full disclosure, I would imagine me climbing into a lock stand is NOT a pretty site.  I am neither graceful nor sure footed.  I pretty much hug the ladder the entire way up.  I am terrified the entire way up.  I reach the top and attempt to fling my short leg over the stands straps and find stable footing.  It’s bad.  Really, really bad.

So I was less than thrilled for Mike, whom I adore to see the spectacle that was surely about to unfold.  And so, I swallowed my pride and fear and clamored up. 

Perfection.  My dear husband and best friend had secured for me a beautiful spot. 

I am hidden amongst the leaves and branches and yet have multiple shooting lines.  I have several stumps within bow range that we salted and poured rice bran on. I have three perfect shot lines.   I will need to do some clipping once I’m up with my bow, but not much. 

To their credit, neither Mike nor Billie remarked on my climbing skills.  Billie later gave me grief, but then she can…the bff contract allows for it.

Bow season opens October 1.  I’ll be there.

September 4, 2010

Is there room for me???

To join a lease or to not join a lease was a big question for me.   It required a commitment, monetarily and time wise.  I wasn’t sure I was up for it.

In the end, I decided that the lure of  tried hunting ground was just too much to pass on.  I’ve heard too many people bemoan the lack of good harvesting opportunities and then become discouraged with hunting after they’ve spent season after season with an empty freezer.  I’m in the shiny and new phase where everything is still wonderful.  I don’t want that feeling to ever end.   

I’m fortunate to be on a 1500 acre lease with 11 other folks (4 of whom are women).  It’s been interesting to see how the process works.  New members are allowed one permanent stand.  My membership is a limited one.  I’m strictly bow hunting and am not allowed to bring guests.  I felt that as a newbie it was good form to wait to go last to pick my permanent spot.  It has been one of the most aggravating things I’ve ever had to do. 

My first pick was a beautiful oak flat.  White oaks and red oaks off of an old creek bed.  Beautiful.  It was too close to one of the other members’ box stand.  Damn it!  I’m probably going to end up putting a popup in there and then moving it right before rifle season since he doesn’t bow hunt.  I’m still disappointed.  

I began the search again.  Back to the satellite map I went.  There was a finger of hardwoods off of one of the logging roads that marble the lease.  The end of it  looked to be about 600 yards from the nearest stand.  I crossed my fingers and called Billie to see if she was game for some scouting.

I’m hoping that this will be my spot.