The outdoors has special meaning to me. I caught my first fish at age 4 and shot my first duck at age 9. Nearly four decades later I still get excited when I get to spend any time outdoors. A lot has changed during that time but the anticipation and experiences are still similar and just as exciting. It’s a great place to be....Read More

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Time in a treestand is a therapeutic place in the fall for many Kansas bowhunters. Watching the woods wake-up or drift off to darkness is good for the soul. It's a time of transition in the outdoor world and the thought of that buck-of-a-lifetime cruising by makes it all the more exciting. 

And so it was last week, behind more than I normally am, that I decided to check a couple treestands for upcoming hunts. I used to hunt many times in October and then be tired or burned out by the time the rut kicked in. With fewer eggs these days, I've generally put most of them in the basket of the first few weeks of November. So getting out mid-October wasn't too bad, but still behind schedule.

A buddy and I crossed a creek that was dry last year, save for a few holes here and there. My treestand was on the top edge of the bank and looking down behind it I was 30 feet above the gravel bar. The scene bothered me as I'm not a big fan of heights. Little did I know Mother Nature would solve THAT particular problem for me.

We came up the bank and my buddy says, "Where's your treestand?"

I said, "To heck with the treestand, where's the TREE?"

Nothing looked out of place and there was no sign of the tree or my stand immediately below in the creek. 

"It's GONE!" I hollered.

"No way!" my buddy said. 

The tree was a huge oak tree that towered at least 70-80 feet in the air and two grown men couldn't reach around it's base. 

"That was a brand new stand and it probably looks like a cheap mess of bent-up scrap metal wherever it ended up," I said.  "There goes $150!"

Intent on unraveling the mystery, my buddy started walking the high bank of the creek.  Moments later he hollered.

"I think I found your stand," he said.  "And I think it's okay."

I made my way downstream at least 75 yards and rounded the corner.  There, right in the middle of the creek was my tree, and treestand that looked virtually unscathed.  The ratchet strap holding the top and ladder brace support were still attached.  My Realtree EZ Hanger bowholder and bow haul rope were still in place exactly as they were the last time I crawled into it last fall.   

"NO WAY!" I said surprised it wasn't a twisted mess and totaled.

Upon closer inspection, the stand was exactly as I'd left it.  The huge oak must have fallen over backwards in the torrential rains we had in late August and then turned, root-wad first, and floated downstream to its final resting place.  All the while my stand stayed on the top side of the huge trunk.

"That's UNBELIEVABLE!" my buddy said numerous times as we both had a good laugh.

Doing my best impression of a squirrel, I jumped from limb to limb to get to my stand.  Just for fun I crawled into it for a photo op which was easier than getting my big butt out of it.  My buddy laughed while trying to get the "miracle" documented on my cell phone camera and I cussed at him to hurry up.

I released the ratchet straps and got the stand loose from the tree.  I tied a rope to it and threw it to my buddy and scampered back to the gravel bar and pulled it ashore.  Checking it over carefully we found no real signs of damage.  Virtually NONE!

The stand was in a good area.  I killed a nice, big doe out of it last fall the first time I sat in it.  We found another tree nearby and put it back up, this time a little further from the creek bank and potential future wrath of Mother Nature's torrents. 

"What are the odds that thing wouldn't be just torn up and bent all to pieces?" my buddy asked. 

"Slim and none!" I said. 

The odds were such I stopped on the way back to town and bought $5 worth of lottery tickets thinking it really might be my lucky day.  I must have used up all my luck as I'm still at work this week!  But I've got a treestand that could tell a heckuva story if it could talk and I don't have to buy another one!


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