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,
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