Once, about thirty years ago, I fell out of a tree. This tree was about thirty feet tall, a big Live Oak, and I was getting ready for the archery deer season, and I had to clear some limbs out of the way so I’d have a clear shot at a trail where some deer were scheduled to walk by later on. And there was this one big, dead limb right in the way, and I decided to break it off, instead of walking all the way back to the house for a saw.
So I hung onto a stout, green limb, reared back one leg, and stomped on the dead limb. It didn’t budge. I stomped on it again, and it still didn’t budge. So I put both feet on it, and hung onto the green limb real good, and bounced. Nothing.
About the time I decided the limb wasn’t going to break, it broke. I had already let go of the green limb, so all I could do was spin my legs around real fast, like Fred Flintstone in a cartoon, and then fall straight down.
Luckily I was only about ten feet up the tree, so the fall wasn’t too far. Also luckily there was a large cactus and some granite rocks below me, to break my fall. Still, I got scratched up and banged around pretty good, and ruined a decent pair of insulated coveralls. I decided falling out of trees wasn’t a whole lot of fun, and I’ve pretty much given it up since then.
Not everyone, however, has come to that conclusion. Eighty percent of the hunting accidents in the United States involve falls from trees or other elevated stands. I did not make that statistic up. I got it from a rather vague website – jaktfalk.nu – that advises "Treestands are useful especially if you are hunting for deer, particularly whitetail deer. The deer would only look at an eye level. So if you are elevated, you have a great chance to conceal yourself and have a successful hunt." Good to know. Strangely put, but somewhat accurate.
The site also recommends a sturdy treestand, to avoid the risk of falling. Which is definitely good advice. And then it says, "Once you have purchased the treestand that is right for you, just put your treestand in the right spot so you can easily hunt for the deer without being so obvious." How to pick the right spot is not mentioned. I guess it should be obvious.
The whole website seems to have been written by someone not overly familiar with the English language. For example, the opening page says, "Hunting is a game. But unlike other sports, hunting is under the laws and regulations of the government. Before one can partake in the game of hunting, it is a MUST that you secure a hunting license at least a couple of months before the season begins." It seems the author is also unfamiliar with the game laws, at least in Texas. You can buy a license and hunt the same day here.
But it goes on. "Aside from that, there are only specific animals that can be hunted during the season. It is important that the licensed hunter must adhere to this rule or they will be put in jail for a couple of moths." Of course, I assume the violator would have to be caught first, which is not mentioned, but who wants to go to jail for a couple of moths? One moth, maybe, or a butterfly or two, but not two moths. Please.
One whole section of the site is entitled, "What you should know when hunting deers in Ohio." The text under that says, "Ohio is another state where hunting is popular during certain seasons. And like any other states, it also has rules that hunters must follow." No doubt, but the next line is more interesting. "A hunter license is important before you can start shooting bullets and arrows in the state." Well, if you’re shooting your bullets and arrows at deers, I guess it would be.
Safety is pushed pretty heavily on this site, even, evidently, while not hunting. "It is also a must that the hunter should wear orange clothes especially during the open season. This is to make sure that your fellow hunters would also see you." I guess if you see a guy wearing orange at the supermarket, you can assume he’s a fellow hunter. Or something.
There is also a section on ‘Hunting Equipments,’ which includes rifle scopes. This part advises, "In split seconds, a deer or any kind of animal that you may hunt, can lose its position." Uh-huh.
Whether you hunt or not, you owe it to yourself to check out this website. Especially the section on calling bears with either "the Grunt, the Blowing sound, or the Human-like bear calls." Just be careful to obey the rules. You don’t want to go to jail for a couple of moths . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who is not bad at making the Human-like bear calls. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or firstname.lastname@example.org