Written by Sierra Ballistic Technician Rich Machholz
Well the answer is 2 spry young guys and one not so spry old fart.
To do what? You might ask.
The local college needed to get rid of an old football coaches stand. My son, who is the wrestling coach at the school, recognized the potential and hauled it home. When I saw it I cringed. It just didn’t look safe to me. When I brought that up I got the eye roll and “Oh Dad it will be just fine.” So he added a new runner to the base and secured the ladder which seemed to help the stability. Then it sat a while.
I still wasn’t getting up in that thing!
We needed a way to secure sides and some camo. One evening my wife and I were in Menards and spotted a good camo pattern on ½ sheets of outdoor rated OSB board. I bought 6 sheets and headed home thinking that might just solve our sides and roof problem. Being printed with a good camo pattern would make covering the sides less critical and since it was already late summer we needed to get this project under way. We also decided to forego a roof.
Some time passed and we finally got around to trying to attach my camo side purchase. After some measuring, sawing, drilling and coaxing Mike got three camo sides attached, with my suggestions and encouragement of course. I was the ground supervisor, some things just aren’t going to change you know.
It was on the north side of the farm, across a washed out field entrance and nearly all the way to the back of the field. All little bucket work with the John Deere and the entrance problem was solved. Change out the bucket for forks and try to transport the 12’ foot tower about a mile from one side of the creek to the other, across the modified field entrance and down the field. A well placed chain helped stabilize the load but the new runner became a victim and lost a leg in the move across the “new” field entrance before Randy or I got there to supervise er, I mean help. Other than that, the tower arrived to its destination intact. We got it placed just so, shielded on three sides by soft maples with the front clear of obstacles.
Only a couple of things remained. Replace the broken runner and finish the door.
The broken runner was no problem but the door, well, that took number one son Mike and number one surrogate son Randy and me as the ground supervisor. We finished about zero dark thirty but “the coaches stand” was now ready for the fast approaching season.
Mike, my son, couldn’t hunt the first Saturday due to a wrestling tournament but he was in the “stand” way before daylight on opening Sunday. At Sunday lunch he said he’d had plenty of activity, close activity, so the stand worked well. He passed on a nice buck nearly right under him because he didn’t have a good clear shot and as the buck and his entourage of does passed he was shielded by the girls. As he related his experience to Randy and I again that evening we both told him not to be too picky. “Take the first really nice one you see” we told him.
I guess he took our advice. The 270 barked one time the next morning and the harvest is made.
So with the 2014 Missouri deer season in the books the score stands at Mike, one very nice deer from his stand and 2 days of hunting. Dad zero, from several tree stands over 4 days. Oh well, I enjoyed range time prior to the season and the hunting time in the field plus my knife is still sharp for next year. I’m just sorry I missed all the excitement.