Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Deer Season? Dear Season.

Handmade deer stands like this one are plentiful this time of year, and they vary in size and shape as much as the hunters who build them.

My memory nurtures well the time we built one.  Hubby was given permission to hunt a farmer's land.  We needed to find a sturdy tree that was perfectly situated for a good aim.  Securing the building materials was our main challenge.

It was a gorgeous autumn afternoon, we walked the timber, analyzed the worn deer paths.  Leaves crunched and squirrels scampered as we searched for the right tree.  The experience was picturesque, almost poetic.

We were newly married at the time, with an amusing duo-income aside today's standards.  Our second vehicle was a very used 1957 bronze-colored Chevy Station Wagon that hubby bought for $15 plus his only pair of binoculars.  There were no Menards, Home Depot, or Lowes.  We had to find the boards.  An old farm out-house had what we needed, so we proceeded to dismantle and salvage.  We even saved the nails and straightened them with a hammer so we could reuse them.

A wooded clearing gave us enough room to maneuver the loaded station wagon to within about two city blocks of the tree we picked out.  From there, we lugged the boards and tools through thick and tangled brush.  Looking back, I'm flabbergasted by young love.

Hubby took his time figuring out where and how to begin.  Hmmmmm.....he hadn't thought about getting himself up in the tree in the first place.  A makeshift ladder was assembled.  Once we got him up in the tree, his system required him to sit on a branch, lowering a rope down to me, I'd fasten a board or tool onto the rope, and he'd pull the rope back up.  More than once, I was nearly beaned when the hammer slipped out of his hands.  Thank the Almighty that cuss words don't fracture skulls.

So it was that hubby successfully built our tree stand.  I'm no construction inspector, but I valued my life enough to always come up with an excuse to stay off what looked to be but a rickety-rackety platform tacked onto tree branches.  I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I used my fear of heights to get me off the hook.

The fact that both of us laugh, to the point of tears, all these years later is pay-off enough for me.  But, for hubby?  Well, he shot a 10-point buck from his perfectly elevated vantage point and was more than satisfied with his tree stand built for two...even though it was used by only one.