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Monday, March 22, 2010

Staying Grounded

In the 70's, a company named Baker was one of the first to make a portable climbing stand. The company is not around today but they commercialized a great idea. Deer hunting and especially bow hunting went "aerial" in a big way...into the trees...high above the game trails.

The Baker Climbing Treestand shipped in a small cardboard box and consisted of plywood and aluminum rails. When the plywood platform would crack or wear out from use, some users would rebuild the stand to extend its life. Just pick up a new piece of plywood. Compared to today's treestand product offerings, the Baker stand can't compare.

Safety belts were not in widespread use and total body harnesses had not yet made it to the sporting goods shelves. This was all new... the ability to go up nearly any tree anywhere. In the early 80's, Bakers accompanied well heeled hunters everywhere, often with spanking new compound bows. There were many recent graduates from the traditional or recurve school to these new bows with wheels on the end. Technology was everywhere. It is no wonder that many hunters would become "airborne" up in the trees and remain so for many years. Newcomers would be introduced to treestand hunting early in their experiences and this was all reinforced by TV hunting shows. Nothing wrong here... it worked and it continues to work extremely well.
However, it can be invigorating to move through the woods at will without going up and down a tree every time you head to the woods.

Before Baker, before compound bows and before larger deer populations and even before systematic scent control, archery was all about hunting on the ground with a bow. A fallen tree in just the right spot would serve the purpose of a ground blind. A stalk through the acorns in the fall was full of anticipation.

Regardless of your personal choice of traditional bow, recurve, compound or crossbow, consider spending more time on the ground in the season ahead.

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