Indiana DNR changes mind: Deer Rifles Nixed on Public Land

In a last minute turn-around the Indiana legislature has changed its mind on the use of centerfire rifle on public land:

Indiana deer and waterfowl hunters need to be aware of two important changes in the print version of the 2017-2018 Hunting & Trapping Guide.

Due to recent legislation passed this year by the Indiana General Assembly, hunters can no longer use rifles when hunting deer on public land. “Public land” includes both state and federal property. Before the change, the use of rifles on public land had been legal.

It remains legal to use a muzzleloader, shotgun or handgun when hunting deer on public land in accordance with deer hunting regulations.

See:  Important Corrections . . .

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Lily

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce the passing yesterday of Lily, our beloved beagle. She was 16. She had been suffering from a bladder tumor and she took a turn for the worse last week. We had to put her down.

Lily was a rescue. She was being neglected by the neighbor, and came to live on our front porch at the farm, living off the table scraps we fed her two days a week. In October 2004, she dropped a litter of puppies in the back yard, and it was then we decided to adopt her.

She was a devoted companion of Barney, the Wonder Dog, and with his passing in 2006 we got Jay. Jay and Lily were close friends. Lily and I were inseperable for most of her life.  She pasted herself next to me in bed every night.  We scouted deer and turkey together. She was always the queen of my back seat, whenever I went out driving.  Lily could track a wounded deer, and tree a squirrel.  She and Barney used to run rabbits together in the field. In her later years she enjoyed watching TV and gazing out the patio door for squirrels and rabbits.

I will never forget the first time I cooked up some superannuated venison and rice for the dogs.  I spent a morning in the winter thawing, cubing and boiling about 20 lbs of meat and then using the broth to cook rice.  Lily and Jay were enthralled. All afternoon we bagged individual servings in ziplocks and put them in the freezer.  Finally their dinnertime came and KYHillchick served them up their first full portion.  I had already gone to bed for the night, but I heard what was going on.  I heard the empty dog bowls being chased across the floor as they licked them clean.  Suddenly, there was a clatter of toenails coming across the living room floor, and then there was Lily, leaping onto the bed, showering me with love, thanking me for her venison.  She had remembered it was me that had prepared it, and wanted to let me know.

 

 

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Hollywood is Done!

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I spent Saturday morning putting the finishing touches on the tower blind at Hollywood.

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This is going to sound a little mincy, but I wanted to give you the particulars on how I “decorated” the stand.  There is a panorama shot in the slideshow showing all the way around the inside  of the blind. Some things worth noting, going left to right:

  • The green bag holds a spare folding chair for when two people are hunting out of the blind. At 5X7′ this is an ideal 2-person blind.  My granddaughter will love it.
  • The director’s chair came from SportmansGuide.com . It has a 500 lb capacity and it’s very roomy.  Even if you are not a walking landform like myself, it makes sense with  when you throw bulky late-season insulated bibs into the mix.
  • You cannot see it in the shot, but the ladder is directly behind the chair.  I added a length of dog chain across the  opening so the chair has no way of slipping off the edge.
  • The outside rail is covered in 2 lengths of 12’X54″ camo burlap. In order to hang it, I used paracord all the way around the blind at the top of the corner posts. That put the cord at 42″ above the floor, and a couple inches higher than the top rail.  I attached the burlap to the rail with small electrical ties with a 1″ foldover. The idea was to have the camo at the right height so I could sit up straight in my chair and scan with binos, or slouch down and be completely hidden.
  • The wind was blowing over 10 MPH as I was finishing up, so I had a good idea of how much flapping was going on.  To keep the skirt from fluttering, I added a second length of paracord all the way around just below the bottom rail.
  • Once I got down from the blind, it was obvious the burlap was just not going to cut it.  It was too transparent– almost as if nothing was there at all.  I went back to the house and got a roll of 36″ black landscape fabric and used it as backing to the burlap.  I had used this stuff on a couple of other blind projects, and it does a good job of keeping the hunter from being backlit.
  • On the center post, I hung an extra large carabiner on some nylon webbing.  I use this as a good way to hold my rifle when I need both hands free. I just clip the rifle’s sling into the ‘biner.  It is also a handy spot to stick gloves and such.
  • On the front and sides, I attached  1″ pipe insulation to the top rail to act as a rifle rest. This is the same stuff I use on treestands.  It keeps the rifle from being scratched and also allows you to rest your barrel  on the rail without making a sound. I used extra-long electrical ties at the ends and middle to hold the foam to the rail. The top of the foam is exactly 38″ off  the floor– ideal shooting height for me.  There is enough spring in the paracord that it bends down a little as I place the rifle on the foam to make my shot.  A deer at 100 yards is just going to see the top of my hat showing above the camo.

    Click on the image for a bigger version

 

 

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Burning the Burn Pile with Dragon’s Breath

We’ve been building burn pile for about the past 5 years or so. Really and truly, it all started back in 2006 when we burned there the last time. However, about 5 years ago we started hauling more debris in. Mostly it was cedar trees and  the stuff we have to keep cutting down around the barns to keep them open.  The pile was getting pretty large, and I wanted the space for a new blind.

On Saturday night, the wind died down right. It was cooler than usual and we had a moon out to give us a little extra light– perfect burn weather.    Moose, Angus and I  put a little Kerosene around the perimeter . Moose brought a round of Dragon’s Breath, a 12 GA flamethrower round. A good time was had by all.

Here’s a 5 minute Youtube. It was all pretty well contained at by midnight, but it was still smouldering the next morning.

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LazyBoy is Up!

This all started about 5 years ago.  I was looking for a place for #3 son, Angus to have his first solo deer hunt.  Angus did not want to bother with a treestand, and we had bumped into this spot while out squirrel hunting.  For the last few years, Angus has hunted from here using improvised ground blinds.  We the neighbors fence blew down over last winter, I asked for the pickets. Another neighbor ripped out a deck that had only been up for 5 years. We have been making stuff out of that salvaged lumber for several weeks now.  This was our latest creation.

LazyBoy overlooks a shallow ravine that forms Left Leg Creek.  We took 4 treated fence posts. 2 got cut off at 6 feet, the other two were left full height.  To this, I secured a 5X7′  roof of treated 2X6.  It’s all painted with mistinted deck stain I have been getting at Lowes and Home Depot.  Fence pickets form the front and back.  I used OSB for the roof sheathing.  We’ll top it with roofing felt and rolled mineral roof left over from the Jagende Hutte rennovation.

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First Looks at the LHR Redemption

I know. This is about 5 years too late. However, a good fellow at 24hourcampfire.com saw I was asking about the Thompson Center Strike and offered me a NIB LHR Redeption at a remarkable discount. It was too good of an offer to let it go by.

Just so you understand. Thompson Center bought out LHR a while back, specifically to get its hands on the LHR Redemption and sell it as The Strike. Ironically, they turned around and claimed they “revolutionized the world of muzzleloading.”  I don’t see how you do that by buying out your competitor, but I have to admit it is a cool rifle.

It’s a .50 cal inline muzzleloader with an innovative Adapt breech plug system. The plug itself is an unthreaded insert with an O-ring seal. The plug is held in place with a collar with external threads. This keeps the threads away from getting mucked up with crud. I’ve now shot it, and cleaned it, and I have to say it works.

What motivated me to buy the Redeption, if you really want to know was the looks. Most modern inlines have what I think are ugly plastic stocks, and they all seem to want to copy the H&R Topper. The Topper along with every other break-open single shot for the past  hundred years is the ugly girlfriend that you do not mind loaning out to other guys. The Redemption, on the other hand,  has a walnut stock and an overall design with strong European influences. To me, it looks like a Steyr-Mannlicher Duet only this one came in at under a tenth the cost.

Accuracy is the other great selling point of the Redeption/Strike. This was easily the easiest muzzleloader I have ever to get a group at 100 yards. Mind you, I don’t mean to come off as an expert on this. However, I’ve tried before, and ended up shooting at 50 yards.

I mounted a Bushnell Banner 3-9X40mm on the rifle.  I’ve been using this scope a lot, and I cannot say enough good things about it.  In my treestands in the morning, I’m getting a good 10 extra minutes of usable hunting light.   In the evenings I find that peering out into the pasture, I can see deer at 200 yards beyond legal hunting where before I was seeing nothing but mud. Visually, I have a hard time telling the difference between the Banner and the Elite. Banner Elite costs 6 times as much.

I set up at 100 yards with the Redemption and tried a bunch of different loads:

  • .50 cal 320 Lee R.E.A.L. cast from pure lead and tumble lubed with Alox and shot over a vegetable wad.
  • Lee TL430-240-SWC cast in pure lead in Harvester Crush-Rib Sabots
  • Hornady .44 Mag 300 grain XTP in Harvester Crush-Rib Sabots

Just to keep it simple, I used 80 grains of Hodgdon Triple-Seven and Winchester Triple-Seven 209 primers throughout.

All three look like they might have possibilities down the road.  The Lee pistol bullets did not group well.  The XTPs were hard to load. I was glad I had a range rod handy. I would not have wanted to do this with rifle’s ramrod. The old standby .50 Lee R.E.A.L. did the best for ease in loading and also produced a recognizeable group at 100 yards.

The  one detraction I can say with the Redeption/Strike is that the ramrod that is supplied with the firearm is short.  There is an extender that comes in the kit that you are supposed to screw on the barrel for cleaning, but what is really needed is a nice long range rod.  Luckily, I brought one along. With the sabots, there is really no chance of a quick reload in the field.  Even after a quick spit-patch cleaning, the Harvester sabots require considerable force to get them down the barrel and seated on the charge.  The R.E.A.L. bullets had a definte advantage in this regard.  I was able to press them in a good part of the way with my thumb.

Back home, I put the Adapt breech system to the test.  The collar unscrewed with just a wee bit of help from the multi-tool. I had used anti-seize on the threads.  The plug itself was pretty gunked up, but I wrapped it in a patch with Ed’s Red and it wiped off fine after a 12-hour soak.  Similarly, I found I could clean out the barrel running a wet patch through it and letting it sit overnight to loosen up the plastic residue. This is a trick I learned with cleaning wad fouling out of shotgun barrels and it translates well to modern inlines.

 

 

 

 

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More Work on the Stands

Supercore and I were back at it this weekend, working on upgrading his blind at S-10 and finishing off Hollywood. S-10 got some sides manufactured from the fence pickets we salvaged this spring.

Hollywood is all but done. I put the railing up Saturday afternoon and then nailed the floor down Sunday. All that’s left is adding some hardware and mounting a permanent ladder.

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The Tower at Hollywood

Over the past few weekends, we’ve been working on new stands. One of them, was far enough along that I trucked it out to its new position. Hollywood is a tower blind built with the Elevators bracket system. I’ve had these brackets for almost a decade. They were originally meant for the blind at Midway, but that was an ill-fated attempt to say the least– no fault of the brackets.

Just so you know, the problem with the Midway build was that I had built it as sturdy as I could without considering weight.  During the erection, one of the legs shattered  Moose surfed it all the way to the ground.  I fell off and ended up with the front wall and the ladder draped over me.  That was a close call. Midway now sits on stumpy legs about a foot off the ground.  I did a lot of research and decided this time out, I as going to go about as minimal as I could– a 5X7-foot deck with no walls, just a railing.

The new blind will overlook a long stretch of open pasture running between the head of Hootin’ Holler and Hammond North.

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A Decade without Bow Hunting

This weekend marks the beginning of the tenth season since I stopped bowhunting. Yes, I miss it, but not as much as I thought I would. The incident that did it was actually back in July.

I’d been using a DIY strength trainer for years– 3 screen door springs and a couple of handles. It mimicked my bow enough that I could draw and hold in the comfort of my bedroom. I picked it up from under the chair one afternoon and gave it a pull and felt hot fire in my shoulder. I put the thing back down and realized I’d done something significant. At the time, I figured I would just give it a rest and come back later. At Thanksgiving, I was still having trouble and could not get my right arm past about 7 O’Clock. Doc called it Bursitis. Over the winter it got better, but by the next summer I was still hesitant to go muck with it. Since then, I have had flair-ups, but I’ve learned to adapt. I don’t do pound a lot of nails. I don’t cut much firewood with a half-moon saw. I use screws and a nailer. I own 4 chainsaws.

I never mentioned the shoulder in my weblog back then. I looked for an entry and it was not there.  Obviously I was not ready to discuss it. I found a draft of a post I was going to make in 2012, marking the 5th anniversary.  It never got posted, so I can assume I still was not ready to talk about my shoulder even then. This is going to be a bit ticklish. I know my bow hunting friends might very well look at this and think I am knocking bow hunting. I am trying my darnedest not to do so.

It was not until 2009 or thereabouts that I started to look for permanent replacements for bowhunting. Since I usually had my freezers full by the end of November, It was really just October I had to worry about. I thought it was going to be a problem, but I found I was already adjusting. Bowhunting had been such a solitary pursuit. Not having it meant more time with the family. Two weekends were already spoken for in the way of Yute Season and Muzzleloader Season in the middle of the month. As it has panned out, I hardly missed it.

I tried a crossbow. The doc signed the paper that allowed me to hunt all of KY bow season with one. What I found was that I finally had to face up to a basic underlying bias in my hunting; I had stopped taking early season hunting seriously. Part of it was due to the way Kentucky structures its seasons. Part of it was just my own eccentricities. For me, September always seemed too hot to be out hunting. I came of age in a state where the Bow Opener was the first weekend in October, and I was happy with that. As it turned out, the deer on my farm tend to agree. Usually they leave my ridge in late summer and go feed down in the river bottoms, and I don’t usually see them until about mid-October. Kentucky schedules its early Yute Season and early Muzzleloader Season in mid-October, so that was always a distraction. The peak of the rut is usually just about when Modern Weapons season opens, so even with a healthy shoulder, I was only bow hunting a few weekends before Rifle Season. It hardly seemed worthwhile. Late season? It is hard to get worked up enough to go out in the cold in December and January with a bow if your freezer is packed by Thanksgiving.

The farther I got from my last bow hunt, the less I missed it. Even after a decade, I have a hard time putting it in perspective. I was a pretty dedicated bowhunter for twenty years. Some years I used up all my paid vacation on bowhunting. I did not mind the frustration and hardships. I did not mind the practice. I loved being outdoors. What I found was that I found it harder as my kids got older to justify the amount of time I had to spend hunting alone. I also realized that if I was going to have a chance at a nice rack on my property, I had to wait until the rut to fill my tags, and that meant waiting until November. By then it made more sense to have a rifle in my hand as a bow. Lo and behold, the more I used a rifle, the more I liked it. Long before the shoulder gave out, I realized my bowhunting trips were turning into armed scouting expeditions.

So you can chalk family concerns up as one reason for my loss of interest. Health concerns are another. Those are easy, but after 20 years of bowhunting I found it a bit disconcerting to be so far removed from it so soon. The other reasons were a little tougher to grasp as well as own up to.

COST: Bowhunting is hard to do on the cheap. A properly outfitted hunting arrow is probably $7-12 bucks a pop. Granted, you can reuse them up to a point, but still! Everything about bow hunting is gadget driven, unless you go ultra-primitive. My hunting expenses plummeted after I stopped bowhunting. I went from a large-sized day-pack and a butt-pack to just a small shoulder bag for all the stuff I was able to remove.

TIME: It takes a huge investment in time to bowhunt properly. A lot of guys shoot year round. I usually started pulling my bow in July or August. However, the last five years or so that I used the bow, I found it was a lot of commitment, just to go out and sit in a tree. I knew the real show was going to start in mid-November and watching doe and small bucks pass under my stand was fun, but I found I could have just as much fun without a bow in my hand. Early season hunting also consumed a lot of the time I now use for scouting. Practice? I went from twenty or arrows several nights a week to firing a few practice shots with each rifle to check my zero.

HEARTACHE: I had been fortunate over the years. I lost one buck to a blown shot with a bow. I have only one deer not recovered with a muzzleloader, and one with a rifle. However, every time a deer went pounding out of sight with one of my arrows sticking out of their hide, I thought I was going to lose it. Sure, I have had that that happen twice in a year gun hunting, but that was with a 35 Whelen; I knew the answer was certain. I just did not know how long it was going to take me to find them or how much effort it was going to take to schlepp them out. With bowhunting, I always walked away with a queasy feeling I had screwed up, even if the deer died 20 yards from the stand. I did not have to shoot at a deer to have heartache either. I cannot count the number of times I had to sit passively and watch a nice fat buck walk by at 60 yards.

FAILURE: As I said, I only lost one buck in twenty years of bowhunting. I missed a few, but they were clean misses. With a modern rifle, I have seldom had any question of the outcome. Over the years, however, I had to keep asking myself, what was the cost of failure? Sure, I suffered a lot, losing a deer, but it was nothing like what the deer felt. While I was actively bowhunting, the price of failure always seemed to be. . . what can I call this? Manageable? Acceptable? Now that I have been away from it for all these years, I see how badly I felt in 2008 grazing a nice buck with a rifle. I nicked the buck in 2008 and it  got away, because my scope had gotten a bump. If I had done that with a bow, I probably would have been quite inconsolable. Two years later I nailed my #2 best buck out in the middle of a field from the same stand. He jumped the fence and disappeared without leaving a blood trail. It took me a half hour to discover that he had not run down into the ravine I had searched, but was got his antlers caught in the fence and died almost instantly in tall grass right at the fenceline. That was a long half-hour. With a rifle, that sort of thing is going to happen once in a while. With a bow, nearly every shot at a deer left me emotionally drained.

SUCCESS: I took some nice bucks when I was bowhunting– some of my best. I had chances at a few more. There were a few more bruisers that just never got into range for the bow. However, many of my biggest bucks and my biggest successes have all been with a rifle and all but a couple have been taken within spitting distance of my stand. I really do not feel all that greater an achievement bow vs. rifle or close-in vs airmail. I will say that when the biggest buck I have ever seen came strolling up to the stand, I was glad I was holding a rifle. This was one shot I did not want to screw up. For me, at least, looking at that big rack up on the fireplace never has me regretting I did not do it with a bow.

CHALLENGE: I do not feel less of a hunter for bagging a big deer with a rifle over a bow. I do not feel less of a man for having put my bow down. To me, the challenge has always been about things much less distinct. Mostly it has been about just showing up. The hard part has been committing to getting out of a warm bed and heading for the truck at 3 AM. I always amaze myself that despite a demanding job and a growing family, I made it out. All the gear, all the food, hunting from a tent, schlepping in a climber in the dark, these were all far more of a challenge in total that what I held in my hand, waiting for the sun to come up.

I do not mean to be knocking bow hunting. However, after completing my tenth season without a bow, I have to say that my life has improved. I am still out in the woods as much, probably more so. I am certainly more as devoted than ever to the sport; it has been a year round passion since I got the farm. I did not become a slob when I put down my bow, and wearing an orange hat did not make me a slobbering idiot. Granted, I now hunt at a time and place when it is common to hear 1-3 shots per minute for the first three hours of season, However, I have the whole rest of the year to enjoy peace and solitude. For a couple of weeks out of the year, I’m no longer out on a nature walk, I’m out to kill.

If there is a message in this for the rest of you, I just want to encourage folks to keep an open mind in Deer Hunting. So much of what we see on TV and read on the forums promotes snobbery. Bow is more of a challenge. Single Shot rifles are what the experts use– you’ve seen this stuff. I was once called a “booger-eating moron” by a fellow simply because I shoot deer with a 30-06 instead of a more sophisticated cartridge. Another called me a cretinous hillbilly, because I admitted to hunting with a semi-automatic rifle. A lot of this comes from the couch potato crowd, but a lot of comes from our own. Having hunted with a crossbow, I can tell you that it is every bit of a challenge– a bit different from a compound bow, but still a challenge. Shotgun season? Rifle season? They are different, and they are different enough that it is worth trying if you haven’t.

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Ladder Stand Renovations

The treestands at camp are in need of some long-overdue PM.   Virginia is getting downright unsafe. Campground had a cracked weld.  The rest are just showing the ravaged of time and rust.  The last time I set one of these Hunters View Buddy Stands into a tree, George W. Bush was president and Hunters View was still in business.  I’ve been tending them every year with new straps and spraying them with  RustOleum.  However, Hurricane Ike in 2008 did not do any of them any good and some have been in a tree since 2001.

I have shuffled a lot of stands in my time.  These buddy stands are not something you want to try solo.  They weigh close to 90 lbs and it’s all at the top.  I have come up with a system for getting them in and out of trees that works well.  It uses two people and two rope.  I’ll cover the extraction first.

  1. I put take a loop of cord and make a noose out of it.  I put it around the tree at the level of the seat.  Into the loop that hangs loose, I insert a removeable chain link.  This will act like a pulley when I lower the stand.  By making a loop around the tree, I give the cord a chance to expand at some point in the future.  This way it does not dig into the bark.  Remember that if you are not replacing the stand immediately the cord and the link will be up there forever.  Paracord works fine for this.
  2. Into the link, I run a half-inch rope.  One end goes to the ground. The other gets attached to the  yoke I tie in the next step. My partner runs the ground end back and ties it off on a tree well back from where the stand will drop.
  3. With some 1/4 inch rope, I tie a yoke to the back of the seat of the buddy stand. The way I construct the yoke is to take cheap poly rope. The whole thing takes about 6 feet.  In the center, I tie a loop knot and then tie each end to the corner of the seat. The loop attaches to the rope in step #2.  The reason for this yoke is so that the stand is attached evenly at the corners and hangs off a single point.
  4. I attach some more half-inch rope to the front of the floor of the stand. This will be used to pull the stand away from the tree and get it a little past vertical.
  5. I then begin to descend the ladder. On the way down, I cut the straps holding the stand to the tree. I leave the X-straps in place. Those get cut last.
  6. My partner stands at the foot of the ladder and applies pressure to hold the ladder against the tree. This is just an extra safety measure. I have never had a buddy stand come off a tree while I was setting it up, but it would not be fun if it did.
  7. Once I am down the ladder, cut the X-straps and make sure they’re free. I then go and grab the ground line while my partner grabs the second line that runs off the front of the stand.
  8. Before bringing the stand down, I dig out around the base of the ladder.  A lot of times the end of the ladder gets embedded in the dirt.  I missed this step the first time, and the ladder section bent.
  9. My partner pulls his line.  The buddy stand comes to the vertical and the starts to drop. I put tension on my line and at this point my partner can drop his rope and move to a safe distance.
  10. I pay out the line and drop the stand gently to the ground.

Here we are at Campground the other day, dropping a buddy stand that had been in place for 10 years.

Here we are putting up the replacement.

Various notes and stray thoughts

When getting a stand up or down, as you will notice from the time-lapse videos, it’s all in the setup.  For all those pics, the actual raising and lowering only take up 2-3 frames. That’s it!  The rest is all preparation. If you do this right, it goes up in a jiffy.

One note on putting up the stand that differs from taking it down. You will need to insure the bottom of the stand is not going to move when you first start drawing it up.   For those first few feet I am raing it, I position one person at the base with their feet planted on the ends.  I also dig a little trench where I want to put the ladder base, so there is a spot for the ladder ends to grab and dig in.

Once the stand is up, I place a flat stone at the base of the stand to arrest the tendency of the ladder ends to sink into the ground.  With a platter sized rock in place, the ladder sinks in only to the depth of the first rung.

Something you may notice are the orange straps. I go through a lot of these.  They’re 400 lb. Capacity 1 in. x 15 ft. Ratcheting Tie Downs from Harbor Freight– 4 for $13 bucks.
Haul-Master® – item#63057
I use them for a lot of things.  They are hefty enough to replace the manufacturer’s straps after they rot out.  They also do a great job on adding a little English to get the ladder put together or get it apart.  I also add one to the the ladder as I am erecting an older buddy stand like the Hunters View, because they are not pinned and one strap, run top to bottom, will hold the ladder together long enough to get it up against the tree.  I normally use 2 per stand and replace 1 per year.  Yes, they’re rather long, but I cut off the excess and use them for all sorts of things around camp.  You’d be surprised what 10 feet of 1-inch Hunter Orange strap will do for you.  It makes a dandy game drag.
Every treestand I ever bought rusted. Some are rusty a week after you put them in the tree. RustOleum has been my paint of choice.  After a year or so in the tree, I’ll go over every spot I can reach with a can of the spray.  Stands I put up in 2008 have no rust where I sprayed RustOleum. They have a rust transformer that works well as a primer if you need it.

What camera is that?

What’s taking those timelapse videos is my Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential. I’ve had it for 3 years now.  I think you will agree it does a nice job.

Bushnell Trophy Cam Essential

I had it up to monitor the salt lick in the foreground– an easy way to take a census of what is on the property. It’s funny. We talk all about how intruding into the deer’s habitat will put them off. However, the camera registered deer coming to the lick within 24 hours each time we went there to do work. Yes, they did look up to see what was going on in the tree, but that was about it. A big buck dropped by at one point. He was wary. You could tell he’d been ’round the block and knew something was up. However, after a little bit of looking over his shoulder and being all tentative and such, he walked right up to the lick and chowed down. What’s funny is he did all this within 20 yards of the tree where the stand was located, making for an easy chip shot. You could tell he was a smart buck but he wasn’t all that smart.

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