One of the most thrilling and possibly unique experiences I had some time ago was tree stand hunting with my father. We started out early in the morning, me carrying the sling bag containing a rope, knife and pistol and a jug filled with water while my father toted a big crossbow, a favorite tool for hunting deer. The crossbow is always a reliable hunting weapon but constant practice is needed in using it because most unskilled shooters tend to miss the game or fail to disable it. It is not a convenient tool for taking down a prey from a distance, but a excellent bow and a skilled shooter can disable prey at 60 or 70 yards the most.
Now, what made the hunting trip fascinating was the permission to use the crossbow. But, what made it more distinct was that we wouldn’t just sit and wait and glass through the forest floor for game. Father had bought a platform that looked like two large seats, which he had erected up a high, thick tree. It was a tree stand.
Essentially, a tree stand is another hunter tool that elevates the hunter to a level where his view of the area is improved. It is set up after scouting a potentially animal-filled location. A excellent location for a tree stand likewise involves adequate cover such that animal cannot easily spot you. On the downside, using a tree stand may cause harmful falls and injuries, so proper precaution and use of safety equipment is recommended by producers. The tree stand father had installed had two harnesses attached to the trunk. Basic tree stands also have a belt harness to prevent the hunter from slipping or losing balance.
Before climbing the tree stand, the crossbow was tied firmly on one end of the rope that we brought. This was used later for hauling it in, freeing our hands from carrying it while going up the tree. While waiting, pops gave a few tips on discovering the perfect spot (looking for deer signs, e. g. scat, deer tracks and tree trunk scars from rubbing of antlers against the bark). According to him, the area we were in was a feeding place for deer, as evidenced by short clipped leaves. Sure enough, a few hours later, we noticed a white tailed deer about thirty yards away, lazily grazing a bush. The tree stand provided the best vantage point for targeting the animal, and when the arrow was released, I knew I was bringing home a trophy from this journey.