The Ole’ Blind


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An abandon ladder to a treestand

Have you ever come across an old blind or old wooden ladder stand in the woods? Have you ever sat in the blind knowing that the person who built it probably does not use it anymore? Maybe the person passed or gave up on hunting it and did not want to take it down. Have you ever thought about why the person may have built it or if he had ever shot anything out of the blind? How about how many other people had hunted it or killed something out of it. Hopefully you’re not doing this if its clear that a person is using the stand. Perhaps the stand is definitely not being used and you decide to sit in it anyways. There is an unwritten history about the many random stands in our woods that were forgotten. A deer story only the person who built it would know. So much will go unknown about a spot due to the seclusion  in the middle of the woods. Maybe your a hard-core hunter who never shared his secret spot. I am sure a few of you have those spots that only you know about.
It was the day after opening day of Firearm season, 2011. My dad and I parted ways wishing each other luck for the afternoon hunt. I was hunting a new spot over looking a small stream. I was hunting a big buck I seen a few weeks earlier while scouting. I had just sat down and “BOOM.” A loud gunshot goes off towards where my dad was sitting. I text him if that was him who shot. His response was “yes, big 10-point.” After texting back and fourth to make sure that he wasn’t yanking my leg, I decided I was going to go help him track since he had never shot a deer before.
Half way to my dad I looked up a tree and seen another hunter in a tree stand with his scope on me. I don’t know what he was thinking since there was plenty of day light but I back out of there and tried to go around him so I didn’t get shot. I couldn’t due to a heavy swamp. I ended up parking myself in an abandoned ground blind for the rest of the night.

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The dugout ground blind

In this area that I had hunted for years, I had come across many ground blinds similar to this one. All these blind were built to survive anything. They were built like little mini cabins. You could not see through them. This one was a little different and was built around a hole about two feet deep. They all seemed to be built with a purpose, not like most of the ground blinds I come across that eventually dissolve into the ground.
It then got me thinking about these blinds. I had never come across any hunters hunting them. I started to wonder when they were built and who hunted them in the past. Obviously we can’t be in the woods during all legal shooting hours so a lot could happen in between trips out to our favorite hunting stands. Every hunting trip is an adventure and I started to wonder what the adventures were like of people who possibly could have hunted this stand.
With light fading fast I was looking forward to getting out of the ground blind to go looking for my dads big buck. I seen a deer in the distance in my binoculars but really couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe. I had already filled my doe tag so that option wasn’t available. The sun finally faded and it was time to go looking for my dads buck. I was stoked that my dad finally shot one

.

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My opening day 2011 doe

One of the coolest things about hunting with other people is telling the stories after the hunt. My dad was excited about this buck and told me the story from A to Z. When we got back to where the deer was last standing, there was no sign of any hit other then roughed up leaves. Since my dad didn’t know the area, we decided to back out and come looking for the deer in the morning.
I had a stand about a mile back on another piece of state land I wanted to hunt. However, I wanted to find this buck before someone else did. I ended up going back to the dug out blind from the night before. The morning was crisp and quiet. You could hear everything move. I realized the ground blind was very uncomfortable if you did not have a chair. I finally found a comfy spot in the corner. An hour later I heard a crunching behind me. I looked and a doe was five yards a way on a slow trot. I quickly but quietly grabbed my gun hoping there was a buck behind her. Sure enough a spike walked out and I raised my shotgun. This was the first buck I had ever had an opportunity to shoot with a gun. I put my crosshairs on his shoulder blade and squeezed off the trigger. The shot was right on and the deer turned around and ran 25 yards, stopped and crashed. I couldn’t have been happier. Seconds later I receive a text from my dad “was that you?” I answer with a “Yes, buck on the ground.”

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Time to track

After searching for over five hours for my dad’s deer we ruled out that he missed. If it weren’t for my dad shooting at that deer, I would have probably not sat in that dug out blind. Then I wouldn’t have shot my second deer of the weekend. This spike was my first buck with a gun. Who knows if anybody had shot his or her first deer out of the stand? Or, even if a deer had been taken from this blind. Because of that person, I was able to harvest another deer. I will probably never meet them but if I do, I will definitely have to thank them for the blood and sweat to build that blind. This story will forever be remembered by my dad and I. No one who hunts it will ever know the adventure we had that opening weekend.

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My 2011 buck

If you have any crazy stories from stands you did not built, please share the story with us. If you have a picture of the stand, we would also like to see it.

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