Part 1: The Challenge Of Bowhunting
Bowhunting whitetails is
an endeavor of infinite challenges -- a game of decisions and consequences.
Every aspect of our pursuit requires preparation for, and application of, both
mental and physical disciplines.
When viewed as a whole, the task of becoming consistently successful at
harvesting whitetail deer with archery gear can seem an impossible chore.
However, if we dissect the whole into separate parts, then master each piece of
the equation carefully, the odds for success can slowly be manipulated in our
favor. With that being said, in this seven-part series, please allow me to ramble
about one aspect of our bowhunting pursuit that is
easily the single most controlling factor in our daily failure or success --
our never-ending pursuit of the "perfect treestand."
When we talk about the "perfect treestand," there
are many ingredients that must come together to produce this elusive dream.
There is the physical product itself -- the treestand
-- which certainly plays a part in the equation. Yet it is in the application
of this product that we experience the real challenge in producing a successful
hunt. We must choose where to put our treestands, we
must choose when to hunt them and we must face the fact that we are rarely
completely satisfied with the results. Such being the process, we are
repetitively faced with the task of moving/tweaking our treestands
-- truly, a challenge for all of us!
Always fantasizing about the perfect setup, we try and try again, in hopes
of seeing days where big bucks bound past our chosen ambush location with
alarming regularity. Once in a great while, we taste this forbidden fruit for a
short time, yet we usually soon find out that the reproduction of such
conditions with any regularity is a fleeting dream indeed. But we keep trying to find it, and in all reality, it's in the pursuit of this "perfect treestand" that we are enjoying the REAL challenge
that brings us afield.
Finding The 'Perfect Treestand'
A bowhunter needs a good challenge and this is a great one. And
in fact, if we ever actually acquired a bushel of "perfect treestands,"
we'd soon become bored with the repetitive success (big bucks) that they would
provide, right? Hmm ... could a guy ever get too many big buck/perfect treestands? Oh well, I don't think I'll ever have to worry
about getting to answer that question!
After all, we all know that unless you're a land baron -- or a
silver-spooned video star -- you'll never have too many perfect treestands. Such being the case, let's take a look at
reality for the "average Joe's" of the bowhunting
community. Let's open up a can of discussion on what we can do to paint
this "perfect treestand" masterpiece in the real
world that we live in. And even though we may not find ourselves experiencing
this reality often, through hard work, perseverance and good decision making,
we can get ourselves into this much sought after paradise often enough to keep
us coming back for more.
Hang with me in this series as I attempt to throw 40 years of treestand savvy out there for you to assimilate. Hopefully,
some of this fodder will give you pause for thought the next time you go afield
and beat your brains out locating and preparing one of your treestand
masterpieces; then, after you've hunted it for the first time, and then
realize that it is anything but perfect; well, maybe then you can combine
a lot of what you've just learned -- with a little bit of my malarkey -- and
then, try, try again!
Keep at it; quitters never win -- even a blind sow finds an acorn
once-in-awhile. Keep your stick on the ice -- I'm pulling for you!
Please read more in Part 2.
For a fine selection of Archery gear, click here.
Eddie Claypool provides tips on bowhunting, with
an emphasis on whitetails. Claypool has harvested 63 Pope
& Young-class recordbook animals including
35 whitetails (Coues included), 16 elk and eight mule deer. All the animals
were taken on do-it-yourself hunts.