Several years ago a friend set up the perfect hunting property. He surrounded an existing box stand with a lush food plot he planted in the Spring of that year. He positioned channels to allow for rain run-off that would both keep the plot fed with water but not allow it become flooded.
The plot was built beside a tree line entering a rather large wooded area. The cover of the small forest was perfect for all types of game animals, especially whitetail deer, turkey and bear. The tracks through his food plot proved the point.
The trail cameras were set six weeks before the season and he was able to give an itinerary for each deer that came on the property. He knew which does would enter first with which fawns. He knew the tall eight pointer was likely two and a half years old that followed. He also knew the non-typical twelve would usually rush the scene and establish the field as his domain just before sunset.
Prior to the gun season opener for whitetail, he sighted in his rifle with the ammunition he would be hunting with, Remington Core-Lokt 180 grain cartridges for his 30-06 rifle. Whether the shot was from 100 yards or 300 yards he could plant the hole in the target in a circle as small as a quarter.
His hunting clothes were washed with scent free detergent. He made sure he had his tags and license. His hunter orange was packed and ready to go. His anticipation for opening day was only enhanced by his preparation.
The friend skipped the morning hunt. He knew the only thing that would appear would be a few turkeys, a fox squirrel, and several of the does. There was no reason to offer a chance of spooking his main target by going to the field that morning. Instead, he entered the field around 4 pm.
Carefully and quietly walking on the side of the field the deer never entered, he almost had a skip to his step. In fact, he probably would have skipped all the way to the box stand if he did not think it would create too much commotion.
He strapped his rifle over his shoulder and began the climb up the wooden ladder. The door to the box stand opened inward and he gently turned the knob as he pushed it forward. That is when lightning struck.
No, not lightning from the sky, but rather a swarm of evil beasts that could only be motivated by the devil himself. The wasps’ nest was on the ceiling of the stand and the door was all it took to bump the nest and send the black buzzing pain bearers down upon him.
Eight feet to the ground he dropped, landing on his prized firearm and top of the line scope. Still, the wasps continued to strike without mercy, not caring about how bad the fall affected him. Luckily he survived the fall, the multiple stings, the broken scope, and the bruised and embarrassed ego.
As the season nears and we all are getting ready for our own Mr. Big remember all the preparations that need to take place.
Bows need strings and d-loops checked as well as being sighted in. Rifles need to be checked for operation of the firing mechanism and safety.
Hang-on stands and ladder stands that may have been left out during the year need to be checked also. A tree grows each year and can severely damage any type of strap that holds them secure through the stretching. Replacement of any rusted metal bolts and nuts may cost ten to fifteen dollars but could save ten thousand in medical bills.
And of course, check for any flying creatures that may have taken harbor in any box stands.