Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why Get to a Stand While Dark

Some commenter I've never met before wanted to know why we get to a tree stand to wait for deer while the sun was still waaaaaaaaay down. You can't see to shoot. So...

Well, since Me and MBtGE hunt form an ambuscade position and set in one spot wait for some hapless cervid to wander by we want to get to our spot and settle in and be very still and quiet. After a short time the woods forgets you are there. All the critters in a half mile radius heard you clomp up there and are properly concerned. Especially the awake ones. Forget about all the stuff where you have such an advantage over helpless woodland creatures. Their eyes are as good, or better than yours, their ears and nose are MUCH better than yours. Deer will often walk with the wind at their back, so they can smell stuff coming from behind them and SEE stuff they are approaching.

But if you don't move around and cause them further alarm woodland createres ostensibly think you are harmless. Squirrels will sometimes scamper right over you, and when that happens it scares the crap out of both of you. And if you are not moving around, deer that were gonna wander past and were nowhere near when you set in place will just mind their own business heading to a morning spot to do whatever it is deer do at breakfast time. Then you have a chance to blast em to deer Valhalla.

Even if you don't hunt it's a fun thing to do. You don't even have to do it at O'Dark Thirty. (We do it then to get deer as they move around at first light.) Go to you favorite wild spot with camp chair, wearing no perfumey stuff. Like hairspray, bug repellent, or clothes you laundered with soap (run a cycle with no soap.) You may want to cut an onion in half when you head out from your car. Stomp on the onion to get the smell of carpet or road tar down to a dull roar and replace with the natural scent of the onion. Carry the other half of the onion and toss near your spot, down wind. Then sit, be still, and observe for a few hours. It's amazing to see the woods come alive, going about it's woodly ways, not caring about you since you are not acting like a threat. You might see a deer walk by, and you'll definitely see other stuff. There was a hawk near me one morning, and that made the squirrels hide and stop barking at me. You get to experience the naturalist side of hunting without the 'icky' killing and cleaning, if that's icky stuff isn't your style.

Wear blaze orange if you do this during hunting season. And you may not want to do this in areas where there are Grizzly Bears or Mountain Lions.

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