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I thought you guys might enjoy this, it is from my book Musings and Memories; A Hunters Thoughts

What is a Deer Stand?

When I look back over the years I realize that I've spent more time sitting in my deer stand being cold wet and miserable, than I have been warm, dry and comfortable. I've also spent more time in a stand without seeing a deer, than I have while seeing deer. As a result of my reflections I've come to the conclusion that going to a deer stand is often not comfortable, and it is not about killing or even seeing a deer. So, what is a deer stand? And what is it all about?

Sometimes a deer stand is a wooden platform placed strategically in a tree near a deer trail or "high use" area in deer habitat. Often it is a cumbersome, somewhat portable, metal contraption hung from a tree, designed to make deer hunters feel somewhat comfortable for long hours in all kinds of weather; more often than not cold, windy, drizzly, snowy, miserable weather. A deer stand is someplace where the hunter hangs not only his stand, but also his hopes. Hopes of seeing a deer; hopes of seeing a buck, a big buck, one that might make the record book. Hopes of getting a chance in the clear and close enough. Hopes of a good shot and a clean kill. A deer stand is that and more. It is also a place where men, women and children go to get away from the office, the tedium, and the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is a place for a short vacation; a place to rest in solitude, to enjoy nature, to commune with the other creatures of earth; a place to renew the spirit and soul; a place to forget what lies behind and remember what hopefully lies ahead.

I've spent more hours than I care to count on a deer stand in good and bad weather. The times in bad weather never leave my mind. Like the time I sat in a pouring rain, hoping it would let up so the big ten point buck I had been watching would appear. Or the time I went to my stand after a heavy snowfall and the temperature plummeted. I stayed at my stand, hoping a deer would come out for a quick bite to eat while trees crashed to the ground around me with the weight of the frozen snow. I finally had sense enough to get out of the woods before a tree fell on me.

The times in good weather are sometimes forgotten, because of my interest in seeing a deer before it sees me. But, even when I haven't seen a deer, there are days I remember well, because I've had company. When I sit in my stand there are often scolding Blue Jays nearby, occasional Robins, Chickadees calling out their own name, and Downy or Hairy Woodpeckers calling peek as they search through the branches for a meal. If I'm in the right area a Ruffed or Spruce Grouse may walk by. A Cardinal or a Song Sparrow often let me know when its morning. There are furry creatures too. I've had Raccoons hustle across the deer trail, looking like large balls of moving fur; and rabbits often stop and feed in the shadows. I've often been kept company and fooled into thinking a deer was on the trail by the rustling of leaves as a red, gray or fox squirrel or coyote searched for food on the forest floor. After an initial inspection the squirrels usually go about their business, or sit in the crook of a tree, their tail curled over their back like a parasol, while they munch on some tidbit held in their tiny paws.

From my latest stand I can hear the hunting cry of a Red-tailed Hawk as it soars over the hayfield as it searches for mice. The crows that caw most of the day have often kept me from using this stand because they claim the tree as their own, and loudly protest my presence, alerting every animal within hearing that an intruder is in their woods. In the morning I can hear the lazy quack of a hen mallard, and the deeper raeb - raeb - raeb of the drake mallard on the nearby lake. Over all the other sounds I hear the herr onk-onk … herr onk-onk of five hundred geese as they land in the lake and nearby cornfields.

At other times I sit alone on my stand, just watching as the sky changes from purple to violet to pink. Then the great, glorious, orange ball of the sun peaks over the horizon, spreading it's light slowly over the shadow covered fields and hillsides. The grass and goldenrods in the meadow below me glisten with dew or frost and, for a while, everything has a silvery shine from the reflection of the sun. Daylight creeps across the land and the birds begin to wake, making their soft, early morning sounds. The wind picks up and I listen to it sighing as it blows through the leaves of the hardwood trees. If I happen to be in an area with pine trees the wind has a different sound, more distant, more remote; bringing with it the inner peace and stillness of the wilderness.

These sights and sounds may be the reasons deer hunters sit on a stand waiting for a deer. Some hunters may not want to admit it, but the call of the wild, the peace, the solitude; becoming one with nature, regaining primitive instincts often lost or forgotten, is what really makes them get up at what otherwise normal human beings consider ungodly hours. It is not the lust to kill; some bloodthirsty passion that drives us. It is some inner need reaching out, desiring to be expressed. The need to spend time experiencing nature and all the glorious sights, sounds and smells that God, in his wisdom, gave to the woods, the wind, the sun and the animals.

A deer stand is not just some piece of metal or wood or camouflage, where a hunter waits to kill a deer. A deer stand is sun and wind, sleet and snow, rain and cold, birds and animals, trees and grass and leaves. It is sights and sounds and smells. It is now, often was in the past, and hopefully will be in the future. A deer stand is hopes, dreams and memories. A deer stand is not just a place or a thing: it is an experience.

May God bless all of you,

T.R.
 

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Thats good stuff.. I like that!! :)
 

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Its a healing place too!
Thats beautiful. Description of Heaven on earth. Thanks for that.
 
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