I admit that I have visions of myself clinging to a tree like some diabolical movie predator. Never in the same tree. Constantly on the move like a Ninja. It didn't take me very long to realize two things. The first was that I wasn't going to be able to disassemble the platforms I had helped build and move them around. The second was that sitting on the ground next to a tree makes me more of a mushroom than a ninja. Clearly something had to be done.
I knew I needed something portable to change from mushroom to Ninja. I looked at the trophyline tree saddle. It seemed to be totally Ninja. I looked around for one but decided that, since I couldn't seem to find them in Canada yet, a more traditional treestand was in order. I realize this isn't quite as Ninja as the treesaddle might be but sometimes you need to be the grasshopper in training before you walk down the rice paper. That my friends, is where my last bit of certainty ends. It's a bit of a mind numbing process trying to wade through all the options and pick something that is both useful and cost effective. Maybe part of my problem is that I detest paying for something twice and would rather pay more once than less twice. That being said this seems to be a sport where mistakes can be a touch expensive and there are lots of conflicting opinions about everything.
I spent some time wandering around the internet. Oddly, GOOGLE had nothing useful under the title "how to be a Ninja deer hunter". I spent several days marooned at a horse sale in Lexington Kentucky and wandered around the only real hunting store I could find. That would be Dick's. I found 2 or 3 other "hunting" stores but to tell the truth they had more guns and stuff for me to hunt other people than they did to hunt deer. I had a lot of fun wandering around Dick's. I managed to find a safety harness I liked that was well priced and not available in Canada. There was not a lot of treestand love for me though.
I knew a few things that I wanted for sure. Having spent the last few weeks sitting on our homemade stools of hemorrhoid death I wanted something comfortable. While the ancient martial arts practiced by Ninja's may have included the ability to endure tremendous pain and discomfort I decided that it was a skill best left to Shoa Lin monks. Comfort was going to be the working principle of Ninja deer hunters. This dilemma seemed to be best solved by the sling bottom seats with arm rests. In the end it was at a Basspro in Pennsylvania that I found something I liked. They didn't have it but the one in Toronto did. So off to Toronto I went for what I hoped would be my final shopping trip to treestand land. I spent some time with the staff and tried to consider all the variables. I bought a treestand and step combination that was being promoted by Tiffany and Lee Lakosky. I have to admit I didn't buy it because they said to. That fact was just a coincidence. I liked the features and the fact that it came with some little extra's. Not high end stuff but enough to get me through the rest of the season without having to buy limb saws etc.
It was a hard decision to make when you can't test drive them first. Since I don't really have many friends that bowhunt deer I couldn't even go test drive theirs. So I made my best guess. I almost didn't buy it though. I got hung up on the weight of it and the thought of it being strapped to my back. If I recall it would be 55 pounds with the steps strapped to it. That's not a small amount of weight. Especially when you have to add your bow and assorted other things. In the end it was those darn marketing pictures and my male ego that did me in. Have you ever seen the pictures of pretty little Tiffany carrying hers like it weighs nothing? So now….. I AM NINJA (in training)