John’s Note: One time when I was hunting deer, the wind was howling, the rain was coming down, and I was praying my tree stand wouldn’t break loose from the tree where I’d attached it. As I sat 15 feet up in the beech tree riding out the storm, I asked myself, “What am I doing here? I really don’t have any reason to believe a deer will pass this way. My shooting glove is wet, so, the bowstring probably will slide off my fingers. I’m freezing too. And with the wind blowing like it is, most likely I’ll fall out of the tree if I stand to shoot. The only reason I’ve put a tree stand here anyway is because a few acorns have fallen from nearby trees. But acorns are everywhere in these woods. I’m smarter than this. I ought to get out of this tree, go back to the warm lodge and wait for a nicer day to hunt. Surely I can find a better place to put my tree stand than just anywhere in the woods on a rainy day.” So, I left the woods to wait for a better day to deer hunt and determined I’d select a more-productive spot for my tree stand the next time I hunted deer. I decided to study tree stand hunting for deer.
Probably an accurate statement is that the only people who don’t fall out of tree stands are the ones who don’t use them. I’m not saying tree stands are totally unsafe, because many hunters who fall out of tree stands have been sleeping in their stands without using safety belts, which I believe is absolutely essential equipment for any tree stand hunter. But sooner or later you have to decide whether you want to hunt from a tree stand. I’ve decided I will hunt from a tree stand, because I think it’s one of the most-effective ways to bag a whitetail. But I won’t climb too high off the ground. So if I do fall, the chance of harm is minimized. I’m convinced of the importance of wearing safety belts at all times. Be careful climbing in and out of your stand, when many accidents occur, and also while sitting in your tree stand.
One of the most-successful tree stand deer hunters I know reduces his chances of an accident by using a safety belt and spending most of his hunting time standing. He believes that by standing he is more alert, more intent on hunting, more prepared for taking a shot and less likely to have an accident. When tired, he sits down for a 5- or a 10-minute break and then stands and hunts again for 30- to 45 minutes. Anyone who hunts from a tree stand should be safety conscious and anticipate the hazards of being suspended in the air.
To get John E. Phillips’ eBooks and print books on hunting deer, including his newest deer-hunting book, “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks,” available at http://amzn.to/2bYwYOK/, click on these books to learn more, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” and “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows,” or to prepare venison, “Deer & Fixings.” Or, go to www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. You also can find John’s books on Nook at www.barnesandnoble.com.
For free information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.