I just returned from my local Dick’s Sporting Goods where I bought two Comfort Zone Hunter Hang-On treestands for about $50! Here’s what I had to say about this stand last fall: There is no better deal I know of in hang-on treestands.
Let’s be clear: There are better—much better—hang-ons. The Hunter requires complete assembly. It does not have backpacking straps, and the platform is not huge at 20x24 inches. The seat is thin, and it does not attach to the tree as solidly as some.
But, this steel stand is reasonably light at 16.7 pounds (by my scale, ready to hunt). It is surprisingly quiet, with solid construction and plastic washers at virtually every contact point--it attaches plenty securely if you just fiddle with it a little--and unlike most cheapies, it features the same sort of quick-cinching strap (although more cheaply made) you find on expensive models, which makes for fast, easy hanging.
You may remember that back in February I had some fun with the name of this product—an aerosol spray containing vanillin extract that according to the website “jams big-game animal’s ability to smell.”
That post got a big response, so I feel obliged to update you with the latest from Nose Jammer, in which Jammer developer John Redmond “jams one up” and “bangs one out,” as he puts it.
Josh Davis, 13, had been battling leukemia for three years when he finally got a chance to enjoy the outdoors through the Catch-A-Dream program. He went deer hunting in Osage County, Oklahoma with two friends and a friend's father. Check out their hunt in the video above.
Lots of good ones for this caption contest, as usual, folks. Good news: the question of whether or not you will be the winner of this week’s fabulous prize—a pair of Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Limited-Edition Boots by Meindl (shown below) worth nearly $400—will not be determined by my sense of humor alone this time, nor mine and Bestul’s, because we couldn’t agree on this one. So I took an informal survey of a select group of F&S editors and contributors (whoever would answer the phone). Good luck.
Here are the runners up:
"Nice Rack.” “Nice Legs." –Lexer Wolf
An example of what has happened to the National Forest Deer here in VA. –VAHunter540
Well, it’s bad enough in North Dakota that the state Game & Fish Department is offering to refund money to hunters who bought a deer license valid in any of 11 management units in the western part of the state. The department estimates up to 13,000 hunters will be eligible for a refund. The state has also cancelled the sale of leftover deer tags—traditionally sold on a first come, first served basis—in three of the affected units effective this week.
North Dakota first noticed evidence of an EHD outbreak in late summer. Wildlife officials said EHD deaths continued into the months of September and October, have impacted many western counties, and resulted in a “moderate to significant” loss of whitetail deer. Despite the refund offer, Game & Fish Department officials urged hunters to research deer numbers in their area, as some places were largely unaffected.
Stephen Esker, the Ohio crossbow hunter who shot a pair of 200-class whitetails inside the Columbus city limits in back-to-back seasons and rented a helicopter to recover one of the bucks, shares news of yet another dandy Columbus bruiser that was taken last night by Ronnie Stevens with a Parker compound bow. Esker taped this massive 11-point typical with just over 196 gross inches and a net score of 189 and change. That’s a green score, of course, but Esker thinks the buck will rank among the top 16 typicals in the Boone and Crockett book after the 60-day drying period.
Stevens was driving home from his kid’s volleyball practice last week when he spotted the buck standing in a suburban bean field. He started knocking on doors, secured permission and quickly set up a trail cam. In a day he had photos, and a week later the buck was feeding right under his stand.
Being a full-time mountain man probably sucked as often as it was really cool. But when you only do it for a week, it’s only really cool. Then you go back home to your king bed. Late last month, I went on a backcountry elk hunt in Colorado. It’s what we here at Field & Stream call a business trip.
But first, a couple of other things: Before leaving, I argued in a post that having a speedy bow lets you use a heavier arrow and broadhead without giving up too much in trajectory. It’s scant and anecdotal evidence, I know, but that formula worked out pretty well on this hunt. Also before I left, I asked if you would take a quartering-to shot with a bow at a deer.
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t answer my own question: So, no-- at least, I never have and don’t plan to. But there are hunters I respect and trust who insist it is absolutely deadly with today’s fast bows. If you watch outdoor TV, you have no doubt noticed that taking the shot is a growing trend. Still, I’m not ready to contradict every state’s hunter-ed manual.