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Bobby Bass

Veiw from a stand

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Views from a stand, I was thinking the other day about all the different views from deer stands I have had over the years. Some were good and a few were almost perfect but it seems I always enjoyed the most the one that I was in at the time. When I was young high stands were the thing. I once climbed up a stand so tall that I was even with the crows that flew by. Had a great view of the swamp and I even got to watch from my vantage point a lone hunter walk into an island in the swamp and watch three deer sneak out the far side. Nothing I could do about it, I was so high and so far away and the tree tops were so skinny that even just a slight breeze made the entire stand sway from side to side.

My neighbor Pete took me once to his secret deer camp. After spending a night under the sleeping bag with mice running across the top of my head I was happy to throw some jelly between a couple of pancakes and follow him out to my stand. My stand was a couple of boards nailed between two birch trees. You needed a ladder to get from one rung to the next. He left me there and I just leaned up against the base of one of the trees, no way was I even going to try and climb that stand.

An uncle took pity on me and brought me to his camp for the weekend. The night before they drew straws for stands and I got stand number seven. Checking the map I made my way out to it the next morning and could not find it. I was told you can't miss it but I did. When the sun came up I did find the stand, well I found an ice house six feet off the ground. Making my way up the ladder the key that I was given did fit the padlock and I found myself in what some consider to be "the" deer stand. Carpet and a comfortable chair, even a heater and a shelf to put my lunch on. I didn't see a thing that day but I was comfortable.

Another buddy of mine took me out and put me on a trail, his instructions were to walk the trail and you will find stands along the way. Just spent some time in each stand and move on to the next when you start to get cold or bored. I followed the trail and spend time in a variety of stands along the way. Some were newer then others, all were uncomfortable as a stand needs to be built for the user. One stand that was only about four feet of the ground was constructed of pine branches. I climbed up and standing holding my rife in my arms heard a snap right before I fell through the floor to the ground. My arms hitting hand rails and the floor slowed my descent and I landed upright. I decided to finish the trail and avoid the remaining stands. When I told the buddy about the stand he just said normally you see a deer before you get that far.

As I get older I seem to have gotten broader and heavier. Deer stands are not as attractive as they used to be. I do a lot more still hunting now, Moving slowly down trails or through cedar swamps. My hunting partners who are all younger say I have a nack for it. Truth be known as you get older you just plain move slower. Now finding a nice tree to lean against or sit down on some pine needles is just as good as climbing that stand. Seems to be less wind down on the ground and I can see under the trees instead of having to look down through them. Lot going on down here. It may look quiet from up in the stand but there is a lot of things to keep you busy on the ground.

Everyone has spent time in the woods knows that after awhile things calm down and what looks to be lifeless is filled with life. It does not take long for mice to scamper across your boot tops or squirrels come to inspect you. If you are lucky they will say nothing and move on. If you are not so lucky they will broadcast that you are there and do a running play by play for anyone who will listen. Grouse will appear and they seem to know you are deer hunting and will strut in front of you and move along like an old girlfriend. You just don't exist anymore. Redheaded wood peckers will pick the tree you are sitting at to start slamming their heads against. The sound echoing out like a sledgehammer banging against a Buddha's temple gong. What was a quiet fall day is pretty loud here on the ground.

And just like that it goes all quiet, the mice disappear, the grouse are gone and the squirrel is quiet. You hear the fluttering of the woodpecker as it takes flight and moves through the woods away from you. You turn your head, cocking it to one side as you listen and hear something else in the woods. Letting your eyes follow your ears you see the movement of orange coming down the trail. Watching you can see and hear another hunter and then a second one off to his right. They move past you as you watch. Now you are stuck, do they see you sitting at the base of the tree? Should you wave or clear your throat.. You decide to stay still and watch. They move on by and in a few minutes they are gone from sight. You strain to listen to them and then their sounds are gone also. A moment later and the mouse reappears at your feet. The squirrel makes clucking sounds and you hear the peep of a grouse. Yes sometimes a stand does not have to be in the air, a stand can be just about anywhere... From Lake Iwanttobethere

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that about sums it up. i should be in the woods now, not staring into this bright a** computer screen. very nicely written bobby!

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great stuff bobby. I like the one about the neighbors secret deer camp. Last time that happened to me I was in college and got invited to my roommates camp in Effie. The stand was the exact same thing, two 2x6's nailed between two popple. I still think it was built that way specifically for non-camp members.

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great stuff bobby. I like the one about the neighbors secret deer camp. Last time that happened to me I was in college and got invited to my roommates camp in Effie. The stand was the exact same thing, two 2x6's nailed between two popple. I still think it was built that way specifically for non-camp members.
To this day I still no have a clue as to what I was suppose to do on that stand that was just two 2x6's nailed across a space between two trees. The first 2x6 was chest high and the second was at least another 5 feet above that. The ground look like a lot safer place to me. Good to know that I am not the only one who has seen one of these stands. Perhaps it was or is the same secret hunting camp?

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