Out 'N About: Heavy tree stand a task within itself

August 24, 2003|BUD BARNARD

Have you ever had one of those situations that you thought would be a piece of cake, but wasn't?

I had one of those situations last week when my friend Steve Mertz and I were trying to erect two ladder type deer stands in our hunting area.

The ladder stand that we were going to put up for Steve was a stand built by my neighbor Keith Tarter. I think I've mentioned this stand in an earlier article. The stand was minus a top platform, although the framing was there, and Steve welded a heavy mesh screen onto the top. It was now extremely top-heavy.

Our plan was to take the stands, along with my Yamaha Kodiak ATV, on my trailer to the property and pull the stands up the hill with the ATV. The plan didn't quite work out like we thought it would.


The steps of the stand caused too much resistance against the ground, and even in 4-wheel drive, the ATV was having a hard time moving it.

We tied the heavy part of the stand to the top of the ATV rear rack and fastened my other ladder stand to the steps of the heavier one-piece stand. Success was achieved in getting the stand up the hill, but because of the ruts in the road it was an arduous journey.

Arriving at our chosen location we positioned the stand the way Steve wanted it to face and tried to push the platform up the tree trunk. It couldn't be done that way; the top end was just too heavy.

Steve had thought that we would bring along a climbing stand, climb the tree, place a block and tackle apparatus, and pull the stand up the tree that way.

I forgot my climber, but he thought I had it in the back of the truck. No luck here, either!

While standing there thinking about how we were probably going to have to go back to Steve's home for his climbing stand, an idea was hatched to accomplish our goal.

We rotated the stand around and stood the stand on the platform end with the steps going up the tree.

It was "short work" climbing the steps and placing the block and tackle as high as possible on the tree trunk.

Steve did the "short work" while I observed the operation from the ground.

"How are you going to pull the stand up now? With a rope?" I said.

"No, you pull your ATV around to the side of the tree to my left."

"Okay, now what?" I said.

"Turn on the key to your ATV and run out your winch cable!"

"Oh, now I see what you have in mind!"

Feeding out the winch cable to the length we needed to pull through the block and tackle, and then attaching to the top of the stand was a simple task.

"Now hit your retraction switch!"

When I hit the switch the cable tightened and the stand went up the tree with no problem.

With two ropes that were tied to the top of the stand, we anchored the stand to the tree by crossing the two ropes behind the tree and tying them to the steps of the stand. This would allow one to climb the stand and attach a winch strap to the top of the stand, and not allow the stand to sway backwards away from the tree. It works like a charm.

Because my ladder stand is an "Ol Man" it was considerably lighter, although very strong and very easy to assemble and place.

By the time we had erected the two stands, and returned to the truck, we felt as if we had been in a sauna.

If the beginning of the deer season is very hot, we will have to take a towel and plenty of mosquito repellent.

The ATV winch was the saving factor in this endeavor. I don't think I'll ever be without one again. They are just too doggone handy!

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