KIOMATIA — If something doesn’t go wrong when putting up a deer blind, well, it just isn’t right.
Murphy’s Law is an integral part of deer blind set up day, whether it is a lack of parts, tools, flat tires or rattlesnakes. Bad things always happen to good people around a new deer stand.
I thought I had the plan. I was moving a couple of ladder stands a friend and I had been using on one ranch to a remote corner of another in Red River County. We had scouted the location last spring and saw plenty to like, including the lack of use by others who hunt the ranch.
Taking one of the stands down was a pain. The primary reason was the nuts and bolts were metric. Who would ever think that putting metric nuts on a deer stand was a good idea?
Over the years I have seen deer blinds held together by baling wire, barbed wire and just about anything else found in a barn that would slide through two holes. I decided to beat the metric system by using cotter pins for ease and speed.
I had two sizes of pins and washers just in case the pins were too small for the holes. I also carried the old bolts and a No. 10 socket and ratchet in case plan A didn’t work. I had new ropes and straps. Everything I thought I might need in the field.
The area the stands were going had had a select timber cut about a year ago, and we found both upland and bottomland sites that appeared to hold deer.
I knew getting there was going to require some off-road driving so I borrowed a ranch Jeep. Although there were logging lanes through the woods, there wasn’t really a distinct entrance to just drive in and set up. So initially I parked and walked the woods. I found a place for one stand, which I planned to put up second, and eventually found a spot for the other.
I knew of a lower road that would get me close to the area for the second, larger stand and drove to it. I carried in the four lengths of ladder and got them together.
The plan was working.
Going back for the top I found what looked like enough of a trail to drive through. I eased under some tree limbs, around some stumps and was there.
After getting the stand together, I realized I couldn’t lift it alone. No problem. I would leave it on the ground until another day with more help.
Then the plan didn’t work so well.
Driving back out I started to hear odd noises coming from under the hood of the old Jeep. Then I felt the steering get stiff. Worse, I noticed the water temperature climbing.
I broke through the brush and high grass back to an open area and parked under a tree. I opened the hood to the hissing sound of a boiling radiator and found both belts had popped off, possibly by a stick that had gotten up into the engine compartment.
With a pair of Channel Locks and the small metric No. 10 socket and ratchet, I was in a pickle.
The ranch is located just south of the Red River and cell service is suspect at best. Being around noon, I also knew no one was at the barn anyway.
So I walked.
For four miles.
And not in hiking boots.
Oh, and it wasn’t the heat, it was the humidity. It was brutal.
By the time I got to the barn I had blisters on blisters. A shirt that was wet with sweat and a hat that was wet from dipping it in a creek in an effort to cool off a little.
Walking into the barn, I could see the grins as all the ranch hands recognized what had happened.
“We wondered what had happened to you. We were going to come and look for you in a little bit,” one said.
They were still full from lunch and comfortable from having spent an hour in front of the air conditioner. I wasn’t
We rescued the Jeep. The stand is still on the ground in the woods. The other one rode home with me in the back of my truck.
I will go back in a couple of weeks and try it all over again.
I know I am not the only one. Every weekend until Nov. 2 more trucks will be leaving Tyler headed somewhere around the state. The goal will be to set up a new blind before season’s start.
And we will all have something in common. Something will go wrong. It is the law when putting up a deer blind. Murphy’s Law.
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