Back in the woods again with the lessons fresh in my mind from last weeks hunt. Better prepared and destined not to repeat the mistakes I made on my first hunt.. Having seen deer in the area I’m confident that today is the day. This was going to be when I harvest my first whitetail. I’ve decided to hunt the same tree that I hunted the week before feeling confident I will see some deer and have another opportunity to take a shot. Mike and I set out into the woods early with plenty of time to get in our trees and get set up. Much like last week, I arrived at my tree and so far everything is good. I get my stand on the tree and ready my crossbow. I’ve since removed the hook from my pull line and attached a clip so I can be sure it won’t come off this time. Everything double checked so I start my climb up the tree.
This trip I decided I was only going up roughly 20ft or so. As I made my way up the tree I checked my pull line to see how much was left on the ground. I knew my line had roughly 25ft of length based on where it’s tied off to my stand. Every few climbs I checked the line giving it a pull to expose how much line was left below. At about 15ft I checked the line to see where I am at and as I pulled on it and let it go something seemed not right. When I let it go, it felt as if something slipped through my fingers. As I looked down at my stand I can see the line was no longer attached to my stand and was now all lying on the ground below. At this point, I’m in total disbelief. How could this have happened? I double checked everything and after last week, this just couldn’t be possible, could it?
I’m now in the same exact situation I was previously in on my first hunt. Realizing I now have to head back down the tree again, I stopped for a minute and thought about my last experience. I realized it was much harder the last time because I went back down the tree while still wearing my backpack. This being the case I decided to go up to my ideal height and hung my backpack as well as my safety line. Once completed I started back down the tree.
Back on the ground yet again! I secured my pull line to my stand, making sure it couldn’t possible come loose again and started back up the tree. If you read my post on my first hunt you may recall that I dropped my hat heading back up the tree for the. I know what your thinking and no, I didn’t drop my hat again, this time I dropped my Thermacell. Half way back up the tree I decided it just wasn’t worth going back for.
After all of that I finally made it back to where I hung my pack and safety line and settled in for my evening hunt. Remembering to take my safety off I was ready for a nice whitetail to come my way. Confident I was going to see at least a few whitetail after my last hunt at this spot I stayed alert and on the ready. After four hours in my stand I learned a really great lesson. Just because I saw lots of whitetail deer at this spot in the morning, doesn’t mean they frequent this spot in the evening. Just past dark I decided to pack it up after not seeing a single whitetail anywhere.
I made my way down the tree for the final time that day and headed out of the woods. As I was heading out I reviewed the lessons I learned on this hunt. To many it may have looked like I left the woods that day empty handed, but I did not. I left with the lessons I had learned that evening, lessons that will ultimately help me grow.