Tree hunting is about hours of boredom interrupted by moments of intense excitement. How a hunter survives boredom is the challenge. A dedicated hunter comes and goes in the dark unless he fills in his tag. They can’t wait to do it all over again the next morning.
Even the most comfortable groves become uncomfortable. Sitting 20 feet in the air on a swaying tree is hard, lonely work. A secure safety harness, binos, rangefinders and calls will get in the way. Your weapon must be available with minimal movement.
You have some company. An occasional owl, squirrel, or other creature will visit. Bugs can drive you crazy. If you are sitting near houses and developments, you can see others from a distance.
The anticipation is intense. Did you pick the right place, are you there at the right time, are you organized, and did you practice enough to accomplish your goal? ￼
Tree cams, signs, and exploration show what’s going on when you’re not there. You have given names to the deer and you know at what times they appear. After the first shot, everything changes. When Ruth reaches her peak, the deer lose their heads and everything changes. When a storm front approaches, everything changes.
So we wait, and wait, and wait. Patience is key. If you are not sure, stay home. The time in the booth will be worth it if you invest the time.
Some hunters take a nap. Sleeping in the stands can be dangerous. You can sleep until the arrival of the male. Other hunters never sit still. They constantly move, move, stand, sit and fidget. This movement does not go unnoticed by intelligent deer.
Today, tech hunters play on their mobile phones. They can text other friends, monitor other tree and tree camera locations, play games or Google, Twit, TikTok, Facebook or send an email. Occasionally they may take a photo of a passing deer that doesn’t shoot. The cell phone is another piece of equipment that gets in the way.
When I learned to be at peace in a tree, I mastered this style of hunting. I packed snacks, drinks and treats. Slow-dissolving candies are a good choice. Tootsie Rolls and pops, taffy like Sugar Daddies helped pass the time tastefully. Reading a book helped, especially if it was about stories or supported her upbringing in the woods.
Cell phones allow you to store a picture of your hunting license or contact help if you fall out of the tree.
The snap of a twig, the rustle of leaves, a growl or other deer noise immediately focuses your attention whether or not you’re awake on a serious text or tweet. Whatever you do, remember that your main motivation has 4 legs and horns, not a meme and hashtags.
Once you master mind over matter, you can sit around all day wondering where the time has gone.
ssshhh. Did you hear that stick crack?