December 01, 2009
Staying Entertained in Your Treestand
By Scott Bestul
OK, I’ll start with a confession: I often read a book when I’m in a stand or blind. There, I said it and I feel cleansed. I only bring this up because just days ago a good friend (and former guide) told me how much he hated it when his clients told him they read while they were hunting. “Is hunting not exciting enough to keep them occupied?” Ted asked.
Well for me, the answer is “usually.” When deer are moving well or I don’t face a long sit, I can remain in predator mode and not need any entertainment. But on longer sits—I make it a point to pull at least a couple of all-day vigils each season—I definitely need help staying out there. So I tote a book, and some snacks, maybe even a hand-held Yahtzee game to keep me going. Sure, I know I miss some deer sightings while my attention is focused elsewhere, but not as many as I’d miss if I were back at camp.
And then there’s this: I like to read, and I don’t get a whole lot of time to enjoy that hobby. So fall is my time to catch up, and frankly, I can’t think of a more enjoyable place to read than in an autumn treestand. I read a paragraph or two, scan the trails for awhile, then go back to the book. I get a kick out of it, and in at least one instance reading actually helped me kill a deer. Deer movement died about 9:30 that morning, but the book kept me in the saddle for two more hours, when a great 10-point showed up. I rattled him in and shot him at high noon.
So how ‘bout you guys? Do you carry entertainment to the woods, or can you stay focused enough to stick in there with nothing but deep thoughts and the hope of seeing a dandy?