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Today was the last day of gun season and so far I’m skunked.

I decided not to miss Mass this morning, since I missed it last weekend. (Not really, went to a wedding last Saturday giving up a good day of hunting😡) but the wedding (full Latin!😮) was late enough on Saturday my priest gave me ‘tentative’ dispensation to miss mass last weekend ( for a young guy he’s not a hunter but a devoted ice fisherman so he “gets it”😉). But when I hunted all day Sunday and didn’t see a tail I think I got the message…😉

My while season so far was getting busted by a single deer twice on opening day…a young buck in rangeThanksgiving morning but I couldn’t get my scope on him due to the brush until he jumped the fence and walked away…actually didn’t see the rack until he was on the next property I don’t have permission to hunt 🤨

But after 50 years of hunting I still learned a valuable lesson…I have leaned on tree stands the last 30 years or so but my stands are now on the edge of a ravine…looking DOWN on a wooded ravine puts a LOT of limbs in the way…I would’ve had a shot if I was on the ground🤔

Yesterday morning saw a doe and a yearling with her at about 150 yds…would’ve had a shot at either EXCEPT they were on the other side of a fence, no permission to hunt on that side either…nothing more all day…

But getting back to today…I fully intended to go out this afternoon for the last “Magic Time” of the gun season until dark…

But “High Wind Warnings” (deer skittish and bed down in wind) plus from the south (wrong direction for either of my stands) coupled with on and off rain all day, even though “unseasonably warm” 50 degrees…

I stayed home 🤨. In my younger years I’da been in the stand the last day if I was skunked until legal shoot passed by…😮

WTH, clean the 336 and the Blackhawk, put them away until next year…and get out the Optima😎

Opening Day ML is NEXT Saturday…😎
 

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Let's hope you're getting older!!

The wife and I came down out of the trees 5-6 years ago. I didn't even go this year and with this back and nerve pain it doesn't appear I'm going late season.
 

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Funny you said that, my “16 foot” ladder stands many years ago became “11 foot” stands many years ago when I decided the effort and danger of going higher was not worth the effort and I eliminated one of the ladder sections…

I’m debating “losing” another section of the ladder in each of my stand next year…I’ve killed many of deer out of a homemade 8’ stand I built for my son but ended up using for a decade or more and when I got tired before that of using my climbing stand years ago and only got 6-8 feet up the tree😉

As I get older those ladder stands seem a lot “wobblier” AND farther from the ground😉

All I really need is a good seat. You always move less if you are seated😉. And not always easy to find a convenient stump in a good spot😎

In fact I dug out of the shed the “hand climbing” section of the old climbing stand I used to use when I was much younger that I fashioned a sliding 2x4 on it so it would double as a seat when I was up in the tree, and a couple of days this season I used it as just a seat at ground level😉
 

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I do not know if you are getting old but I already got there. I was going to hunt Friday but rain and fog intervened on my plans along with 18 mph winds and 34º temps. So I waited for Saturday and it was still raining and fog got worse with visibility to about 100 ft. which lifted by 5 pm and it started snowing (4 inches). I hate cold wet windy conditions and decided to just stay home since a friend got lucky and gave me 30 pounds of back straps, tender loins and ground venison from a sucessful hunt he had. I'll try next week if conditions are better. I tolerated miserable conditions in the military but I refuse to tolerate them on a hunt at my age now. I may be wimpy now, but I still have 30 pounds of venison and I am good with that.
 

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I do not know if you are getting old but I already got there. I was going to hunt Friday but rain and fog intervened on my plans along with 18 mph winds and 34º temps. So I waited for Saturday and it was still raining and fog got worse with visibility to about 100 ft. which lifted by 5 pm and it started snowing (4 inches). I hate cold wet windy conditions and decided to just stay home since a friend got lucky and gave me 30 pounds of back straps, tender loins and ground venison from a sucessful hunt he had. I'll try next week if conditions are better. I tolerated miserable conditions in the military but I refuse to tolerate them on a hunt at my age now. I may be wimpy now, but I still have 30 pounds of venison and I am good with that.
Where do you hunt??
 

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I know what you mean about ladder stands getting dangerous when you get up there in age. Mine is 16' and that's high enough at my age of 70. my partner stopped hunting out of his stand two years ago. He is 73. We are on our last few days of the season up here and it looking bad. I'm going down state tomorrow where there are a few more deer. Maybe my last chance before i add another tag to my mancave's wall papering. :(
 

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stair steps are about 7 1/2 inches
Code:
 but those ladder stand builders got no code, 9 or 10 inches on some!  how is a seasoned citizen with gimpy knees going to use one of those?  those knees are a draw back with a climber too.  so a stump, dead fall, or bring a chair that is too close to the ground to get out of is all that is left.  it just is not fair!  ever try sitting in the truck with the gun sticking out the window?

rick
 

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I would spend alot of time on the ladder stands with the bows, some were only 10ft up and were good producers, others were taller. But when the guns came out, after years in the trees, I began to enjoy the ground more. Of course, here in Central Illinois there are many farm fields to hunt the edges of the corn and beans, or you can go into the trees if you want. I usually carried one of those camo screens with thin poles you could rollup and carry across your back. Put one in front of you and it hid much of your movement and was low enough, they were easy to shoot over the top of and very lightweight. A cushion to sit on and I was all set.
 

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stair steps are about 7 1/2 inches
Code:
 but those ladder stand builders got no code, 9 or 10 inches on some!  how is a seasoned citizen with gimpy knees going to use one of those?  those knees are a draw back with a climber too.  so a stump, dead fall, or bring a chair that is too close to the ground to get out of is all that is left.  it just is not fair!  ever try sitting in the truck with the gun sticking out the window?

rick
Back in the 90s, I saw some plans for homemade wooden stands and made 4 or 5 . I could make the distance between rungs to my own liking. You could sit on top of the stand, or usually, I'd buy a strap on seat and move it between the stands I left on the property. It was a family farm that allowed me to hunt and so I never had a problem with thievery. Over the years, I kept adding store bought ladders also. The good ones with fold down seats were the most comfortable and secure. There was one fellow on an archery forum that went by "Sleeps in Trees". One of the joys and pleasures of hunting up high. Just strap yourself in and enjoy.
 
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· GUNZILLA
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Where do you hunt??
About 30 miles out of Alpine going towards Big Bend. Friend's father-in-law owns 3400 acres.
We do not use stands. We use ATV's or LPC's (leather personnel carriers for you civilians) and do some tracking and glassing. My friend's father in law allows us to hunt as long as we do not bother the other hunters he may have leased certain areas. Normally we hunt the last week of the season but this year he did not lease because he wants the deer to get bigger and only family and friends hunt for free. We help out though throughout the year mending fences or other chores when he needs help.
 

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After Joyce's brain surgery I took down her ladder stand and bought her a blind. She didn't like that at first but, she's killed two deer from it and, it's a lot friendlier during inclement weather. The next year I took down my ladder stand and bought me a blind. Now I can fall asleep without worry of falling......:giggle:
 

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I quit using tree stands years ago. I built a ground blind to start with. My BIL came up from down south and brought a buddy with him. His buddy worked building yachts and he said they got these crates that radar systems came in. They just bust them up and burn them. He offered to bring me one. He came rolling up one day with this dismantled crate in his pickup. This thing was 60 X 60 X 60 IIRC and very well constructed. I cut windows with sliding plexiglass and added a door. I put it up on 4X4's about 4 feet off the ground and had steps leading up to it. I ended up with four of them. I learned just how loud a .54 muzzleloader is when fired with the muzzle inside when I took a shot out of one of them.
 

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I realized I was getting old ... when I would rather sit under a big oak tree and watch the squirrels and birds as the morning sun rose and sit there and be close to God ... those big open woods just seemed to be a large sanctuary filled with his presence .
Then tell myself I really didn't want to skin and dress any squirrels that morning ... too messy so lets just sit there and enjoy watching them .
I'm old ... no desire to kill any of God's creatures anymore .
Gary
 

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I’ve been on several squirrel hunts and never fire a shot. I will ease through the woods till I find a squirrel, raise the gun and say well I got you. Squirrel goes his way and I go looking for the next squirrel. It’s a good hunt and I don’t have to clean the squirrels.
 

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Then tell myself I really didn't want to skin and dress any squirrels that morning ... too messy so lets just sit there and enjoy watching them .
I'm old ... no desire to kill any of God's creatures anymore .
Gary
When I was very young I enjoyed killing and would hunt anything. As I got a little older I didn't enjoy it as much. I quit hunting squirrels, rabbits, doves etc. in my 20's. I don't like killing deer but I like venison more than I dislike killing them.
 
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