By Tim Pearson
I’m not a writer, which is good because I can’t spell. I am a retired lineman. I have no computer skills; I doubt I could turn on the family computer. I’ve never tried, which makes my wife happy. Linemen didn’t need computers in my day. We turned wrenches and climbed poles. Now I am free to spend most of my time in the woods.
I wouldn’t say I even like hunting. I’d say it is a compulsive disorder that has me by the throat. If they print it I read it. If they make it I and can afford it, I buy it. I hunt bow season, rifle season, muzzle loader season and then bow season again. A typical deer season pretty much goes like this: I can see him and he’s big, but there is no possible shot. Once I hunted a big buck for 40+ hours, and then finally here he comes. Everything is looking good and I know he’s mine. My bow is pulled and he steps into my shooting lane. I am stunned. After investing 40 hours hunting this guy I now see he has broken off his left antler at his brow tine. By the time I regroup he’s out of the shooting lane.
After each season I try to improve my accuracy, my stands, tree trimming, and my equipment if needed. Basically I’m old school. I follow the KISS system. “Keep it simple stupid”. Hunt the wind, and you can’t kill them if you’re not out in your stand. I have 16 stands to choose from (and maintain).
One trick I thought of on a slow day at work 20+ years ago was to put an old shirt up at my two favorite gun stands, I use two medium sized branches, tape them together to make a cross. Install the shirt on the cross and position about where you would stick out of the box stand. I do this every year in late winter before the fawns are dropped. They will accept that shirt flopping around all of their life and so will their off spring. Around September 1st I’ll swing by each stand and spray my favorite gun oil liberally on the shirts. Then when I’m using the stand I just drop the scarecrow over the side. This exchanges the scarecrow for me now and the oil smell for my favorite gun of the day! I’ve gotten by with a lot more movement since using the scarecrows, and the downwind is also much more forgiving. Try it this winter on your favorite stand. I guarantee you won’t be lonely on opening day. There will be a guaranteed mouse nest in one of the sleeves.
I also have two ground blinds where I use scarecrows. I know what you’re thinking; now I’m wasting FOUR SHIRTS when I only own five. She’s going to go nuts if I wear the same shirt every day. If your partner is anything like mine, ask if you can have your wife’s throw away blouse (because she already wore it once) instead of cutting it up for rags. Wash it with your hunting soap. Then use a stick and tape two foot of rope (rope and tape are two of a lineman’s favorite things) to the middle of the stick. Pull the rope up through the scarecrow and tie it to the ground blind roof hardware. It’s a win-win for everyone.
So why am I spilling the beans now? Why not take this secret to my grave? Well I retired from linework, and like most men we are a pretty competitive bunch. We always took the big buck contest very serious. There’s no big buck contest for me anymore. I just have to please myself. And if I can get this article published, just think of all the latest and greatest stuff I could buy for next year’s hunt!! With my half anyway. The wife gets half for fixing my spelling.