Yes I readily admit borrowing from an infamous line from the movie White Heat starring James Cagney, in which he spouts out: Made it ma, top of the world!" just before he is gunned down.
I am hoping though that my saying such will not get me gunned down, but will get my gun pointed down, toward a nice whitetail buck this coming hunting season. I just placed an order, at Sportsmansguide.com, for one of these tree stands. They have it billed as a Guide Gear Buddy 12' Tree stand, Guide gear being the house names for Sportsmansguide products that are manufactured for Sportsmansguide by other companies. I am pretty sure this is manufactured by Hunter's View.
Among its features it all steel square tubular construction, comes with 3 four foot ladder sections sections (which may mean it is really taller than 12', or they got that description wrong on the section sizes), has a 40x13" seat for two (how comfy when freezing out), has a flip up shooting rail, attaches to the trees with two ratchets and a ladder support bar, weighs 78 pounds and supports 500 pounds (I can gain a few more - no way). I am hopeful this is the same one Brendan and I sat in last year while on his bear hunt up in Maine. It was pretty sturdy. I note I saw another that Sportsmansguide.com had, a 16 footer, at 73 pounds. They added height to that one, yet apparently cut back on weight. I would rather have more steel for stronger support over a smaller height, and mine will have an addition 5 pounds of steel even though it is supposed to be 4 feet shorter. Makes me feel more secure.
Of course a good set of safety harnesses will make me feel even safer. I am not sure if they come with this model or not. The ad says the stand comes with "2 tree connection harnesses for safe, secure holding power"; and I don't think these are the ratchet straps used to secure the stand to the tree because they are mentioned separately; so I am hopeful they mean safety harnesses. If not, I'll have to buy a pair. Still this would not be a bad deal. The stand, and a MasterLock eight foot cable with lock (another item on its own) went for $127.43. The breakdown was:
1. Masterlock® 8' Python Adjustable Locking Cable (Product: WCS6-103897)
Quantity: 1, Unit Price: $13.47, Total Price: $13.47
2. Guide Gear® 12' Two - man Ladder Stand (Product: HX7X-120427)
Quantity: 1, Unit Price: $89.97, Total Price: $89.97
Shipping and Handling:
Yeah, shipping is a big hit, but the thing does weigh 78 pounds, so I can live with the cost on this one. Note the cost of the stand is $99.99 but I got it for $89.99 with my Sportsmansguide buyer's club discount; and I got another $10 for an online coupon. Not a bad deal at all as far as I can tell; that is if I don't wind up falling out of it and breaking something.
I almost cannot wait to find out how you get his thing secured to a tree in the first place. I almost can not imagine me climbing up it while it is still unsecured, in order to secure it to a tree. I guess that is how it works though, sounds like neck breaking fun, doesn't it. I promise to be careful though. I also figure I'll have to bring along a saw to cut off branches that may otherwise be in the way, hope I don't fall off onto the saw. You might be seeing Saw III, starring me. I guess I'll have to be heading upstate soon to begin deer scouting, and to look for suitable trees for this baby. I'll also have to start an exercise program, because lugging this through the woods will certainly be no picnic, not at 78 pounds. Multiple trips to the tree, or help from Brendan. We'll see, yes we will.
All the best,
Sunday, July 22, 2007
...for the birds and the bees as they whizzed by on their ways to do whatever it is they really do, with blue skies over head, a few lofty clouds floating by, a warm summer breeze under their wings, and the late day sunshine to guide them. Just enough breeze reaching now and then under the branches of the dogwood tree to fill the air with the voice of the wind chimes, a symphony of sorts when combined with the chirping of the sparrows and house finches, the cooing of the doves, the buzzing of the bees, and the rustling of the leaves above. Add to that the wafting aromas of finely grilled marinated steak, along with the ever so faint aromas of grilled octopus; then take in the site of a table laden with potato salad in vinegar and oil with cukes and onions, bean salad, cuke salad, asparagus spears and good drink; and maybe - just maybe - you begin to think it does not get much better than that. Yet it got better when I was joined by my wife Linda for a nice dinner for two, and I really thought it does not get much better than this, heck I thought it does not get better than this. Even though I still feel pretty miserable, am still somewhat ill from my continuing bout with bronchitis, even though I could barely taste most of the food because my sense of taste is off kilter from my illness, I knew it could not get much better than it was. Life is good sometimes, even when you are down and out, or ill, or grumpy, or sad, or blue, or rotten or whatever. You just have to look around you and take it in for what it is worth. I can tell you, even if some of the days in between were not so great, today was worth saying 'I do' some 21 plus years ago.
All the best,
All the best,