Tuesday, July 24, 2012


   Man am I wore out! These weekend excursions are killing me. I finally came home Sunday night around 9pm just to get a rest!

   We worked the whole weekend in camp and deep in the deer woods trying to do what's necessary to ensure an enjoyable hunting season coming up in a few months. It was late Friday night before I arrived in camp. Except for unloading the truck and trailer, not much else got done that night except some friendly conversations around camp.

   Early Saturday morning, after a good breakfast of oiled sausages, grits, and coffee, we first got to work leveling my new deck in front of my camper. My cousin "Hawkeye" and I dug the footings under each 4 x 4 post under the deck and placed a concrete paver under it. Even though we got an early start, the temps quickly climbed up into the mid 90's. We were soaked in sweat in no time, and thanks to having to crawl under the 8 x 16 foot deck I soon was covered in wet dirt.

   After the posts of the deck were securely on the pavers and the entire deck was leveled we ducked into the camper to cool down and take a quick Coke break to try and cool off for a little while. Next we loaded up the ATV's with tools and building materials and headed back in the woods to start to build a shooting house for "Hawkeye".
   "Hawkeye" was going to build a 18 foot tall shooting house. He fabricated a 6 x 6 foot house to go on top of the platform we would build in the woods. The platform would be made of 4 x 4 posts, tied together by 2 x 8's and 2 x 6's. The floor of the house would be 3/4 inch plywood that would later be covered by carpet. We came prepared. We brought a vendor tent so we could stop and rest in the shade, a shop fan, and a Honda generator to power all the tools. We had our camp chairs and a full ice chest to help and keep us hydrated. BOY did we drink some water and gatoraide!!!

   We worked a little while, and then we would take a rest. It was too hot to try and bulldoze our way through the job. Slowly but surely it started taking shape. We got around half of the stand built by evening time so we called it a day. We knocked off around 8pm, we were whipped!

   That night we cooled down, showered off, and cooked a good supper on the grill. We had B-B-Qued pork tender loins and baked beans for supper. It was good, but it was around 11:30pm by the time it was done. We ate and literally went to bed.  

   The next morning we had a little more pork for breakfast. We were aching from all the work we did the day before but still had another full days work before us. Other members of the club were also down for the weekend to work on their areas. A new member came over and asked how the construction was going and offered to help us finish it up. He had his 2 teenage sons down with him and a teenage friend of his son. Together we headed back out and made short work of the rest of the job. This new member saved us probably 4 or 5 more hours of work in the hot Alabama sun. By staying and helping us he delayed himself and his family from going home. This man lives 3 hours from hunting camp. He really just wanted to help and be a part of our club. Our hats are off to him and his boys. We look forward to when we can return the favor and help them out. This is what true sportsanship is all about. It takes good people to make a good hunting club.

   All that's left for "Hawkeye" to do is a little painting , build a proper set of steps to get in the stand with, and lay down carpet on the floor. This job is basically done. It took two trips to break down the worksite and get all the tools and equipment back to camp.

   After another cool down break in the camper, we loaded up on the ATV's and headed back into the big woods in search of a new area for me to hunt this winter. I located a beautiful hardwood bottom covered with plenty of white oak trees and plenty of deer and hog sign. The rolling hills were lit up by the hot sun shining through the dark green leaves of the oak trees. I can only imagine for now how beautiful this will look come fall of the year when the dark green leaves will have changed to amber, ocre, and crimson.

   A quick scouting mission tells me where the animals are crossing, and a quick scan of the tree line lets me see which oak tree I need to hang my portable on come September! Very little pruning will be necessary to open up a few good shooting lanes. This spot seems tailor made.

   Now that all of our chores are caught up for this weekend, we headed back to get ready to head home ourselves. It was after 9pm by the time I got home. It was a full , tiresome weekend, but we got alot accomplished. During the weekend we saw a few turkeys and a bunch of deer, and that's a big part of why we do what we do. As hunters we just don't kill animals in the winter, we live with them all year long. We love these animals, alive in the field and on the wall and in the freezer. And whether or not we kill something we really live just to be in the woods with them. Nothing beats the view from a deerstand.

   I hope you get to enjoy it too!

Jim Cobb Coleman.

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