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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thoughts From My Treestand

by Steve Sorensen
(Originally published in the Warren Times Observer, Warren, PA., November 11, 2006.)
I once heard someone say that
all of us should have a “thinking chair.”
I guess my treestand is my thinking chair.
Sometimes it’s my praying chair.
You’re not very mobile when perched in a white pine 20-feet in the air, waiting for a deer to walk through a shooting lane, but your mind can sure wander over lots of ground. Here are some of my thoughts from the vantage point of a treestand.

Wherever I go, women (most of them non-hunting women) tell me they enjoy reading "The Everyday Hunter." Thank you, ladies. I’m not sure why that is, but if non-hunters enjoy my scribblings and they give hunting a good name, that suits me.

I'm on private property. Private property is still one of the foundational values in our free country. Landowners have rights that those who do not own the land do not have. One of them is to grant or deny others the privilege of using their land for hunting, hiking, riding snowmobiles, picnicking, target practice, and every other activity. If a man's home is his castle, his kingship extends to his property boundaries -- within the limits of the law. Landowners or not, we need to make sure that right isn’t eroded in America.

A few weeks ago I said that no one eats everything they kill. To those who say hunters should give away anything they don't intend to eat, I'm making a list of people who want to eat the woodchucks and coyotes I shoot. There is plenty of time to be the first one on the list.

Twice this week I've heard of someone saying the .270 is inadequate for deer. I'm not the .270’s biggest fan, but it's not a weakling. Put the bullet in the boiler room and the deer is dead. Two things stand out to me. Whoever thinks the .270 doesn’t have enough oomph for deer (1) doesn't understand that a caliber’s effectiveness is a function of the bullet's weight, speed, terminal ballistics and shot placement, and (2) should trade me his .270 for a deed to oceanfront property in Arizona. The deed is real. I know 'cause I'll print it on my own computer.

If the .270 doesn’t have the get-up-and-go to prevent a deer from getting up and going, then it isn’t enough gun for most of the animals it is hunted with. Think about it – lots of hunters swear by the .270 for elk.

To kill a deer with any bullet is a matter of physics plus the giant variable known as shot placement. Poor shot placement is never reliable. Good shot placement almost always is. Every cartridge is great – if it’s used for what it’s suitable for.

No, a buck with 30-some points wasn’t killed in Scandia, at least not this year. Maybe back in 05. I don’t mean 2005 or 1905. Just 05.

No matter how many times I visualize a buck approaching my stand, and what I’m going to do, my heart beats a little faster when I see something move – even if it turns out to be a squirrel.

Sitting in a treestand offers a great opportunity to think. Most of us spend too little time doing that. I once heard someone say that all of us should have a chair designated as a “thinking chair.” I guess my treestand is my thinking chair. Sometimes it’s my praying chair. I pray for a giant whitetail under my treestand, plus lots of more important things.


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