It’s that time of year again when your good sense says summer, but your mind says: “when does hunting season start?” We were a little behind schedule getting our trail cameras in place for the upcoming season since the weather had been extremely hot. With temps in the low 80s, we knew it would be a great day to get to our hunt club and get things done, and there was a lot to do besides getting the cameras up, such as clearing shooting lanes and checking on the stands.
I love it, as it is a good excuse to put on some camo, which is sort of funny since we are not really hunting and camo is not really needed. Besides the fact that I love wearing camo, my reasoning is that it helps us blend into nature, and hopefully we might see some animals as we make our way along the trails.
This is the time of year when you have to make sure your stands are in good order. Safety is always number one, and checking ladders, straps, and anything structural with your stand is a top priority. For me, making sure no wasps have taken up residency in my stand is at the top of the list as well. For those of you who know me, it is no secret that wasps are my number one dread when sitting in my deer stand. I am okay when they are flying around outdoors, but God, please help me when I am in a small space and they are in my presence.
Last year, I was surprised by a snake in my deer stand, which is almost unheard of, and I proceeded to grab my camera and video it without any fear at all. I know you are thinking I am crazy, but I have had huge spiders crawl all over me in my turkey blind and deer stand and nothing . . . but a single wasp can send me screaming like a little girl, arms flapping and carrying on like a crazy person. I probably need therapy to get over this fear. I know I was stung when I was a child, and it has never left me. Luckily, my hubby is fearless when it comes to wasps, so he took care of putting wasp bombs in several stands as I watched from a safe distance.
We are responsible for our own stands at our hunting club, and we also have “club stands” that we can use during hunting season, so we participate in taking care of these stands as well.
My stand is situated in a beautiful setting, deep in the woods, so it is a pleasure just sitting and enjoying the views. My feeder is about 150 yards from my very camouflaged stand, making it a great place to hunt whitetails. Being a perfectionist, I really want to redo my stand with matching camo instead of its current camo clash with mixed-and-matched upper and lower patterns. That’s just me; I never wear unmatched camo so why should my stand, right? Maybe next year I will redecorate!
As we move from stand to stand to check on mine, my hubby’s, and the club’s stands, we are thrilled at the cool temps in the woods, aided by the overcast skies and intermittent rain. Our hunting cart is electric and it has amazing speed and agility as we make our way over miles of trails. I get a kick out of waving to the trail cameras that are set up on some of the feeders, knowing that probably one of our club members is getting a text message that something was there. (This technology, which automatically sends you a text message when something passes the trail camera can sometimes be an annoyance.)
About the time we were winding up our work for the day, my hubby realized that one of his favorite insulated camo rubber boots was missing from the back of the cart, so we went on a mission to find it. We backtracked the many trails we had been on and when we had almost exhausted our efforts, we decided to try one more time. What the heck, they were my hubby’s favorite boots, and what is weirder than having one boot? Our hunting buddies checked in on us as they were leaving camp, and we told them about the missing boot.
We made a bet to see who would be the one to find it as we hunted for the camo boot. If having a well-camouflaged boot is important to you, you’d certainly love these! We slowed way down, not wanting to miss finding that boot. My hubby had nicknamed me Bootsy Boineau several years ago since I am the proud owner of about 50 pairs of boots, so I had a name to live up to as I strained my eyes to find it. As we ventured to one of the last spots we had visited, we knew this was where the rubber meets the road. If there was no boot there, we were surely giving up. And, just like that, my hubby spotted it—literally standing up straight on the side of the trail, which immediately put in my head the Nancy Sinatra song: “These boots are made for walking . . . and that’s just what they’ll do . . .”
We celebrated finding the boot and made our way back to load up the hunting cart. As we passed the trail cameras once again (for what was about the fourth time), I held up the boot, with a big smile, quite sure I was annoying!
Maggie is a Hunt Staff Member of Prois Hunting Apparel for Women
Written for Waccamaw Outdoor Magazine, August Issue