Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

The weekend before deer season can be a busy one at hunting shacks. Luckily for Camp Cholesterol we were almost ready for the 2020 season to begin.
That’s a good thing because Saturday the Wild Bill Camp needed some help putting a platform deer stand together.
My buddy Jim Ronn didn’t have to ask, he’s helped me and I was happy to return the favor.
We started in his mom’s garage out on Farm Lake. The heated space was a blessing, especially when your sorting through over 200 bolts, nuts and washers.
I suggested laying the pieces out on a pool table so we could find what we were looking for. Jim put a tarp on top and we wrote the corresponding letter in the instructions to each piece.
From there it was insert bolt A into floor piece B and so on and so forth.
We started around 10 a.m. and took a break for lunch at 12:30 p.m. Shirley whipped up a tasty meal and we headed back to the garage to finish the assembly process. Well, enough so that we wouldn’t have as much to do in the woods.
“You do remember doing a project like this out in the woods by my shack 20 years ago don’t you?” I asked.
“Oh yeah, but that was in the dark,” said Jim.
He wasn’t joking.
We were lucky Daylight Savings Time switch wasn’t the night before. It was around 3 p.m. when we had the pieces loaded into two pickup trucks and headed to the woods.
Our plan was to put the pieces in the trailer and pull it with the wheeler to the spot where the stand would go.
That worked until the wheeler got hung up on stumps and there was cattails in front of us. From there we carried the pieces.
When we had everything in one place my phone beeped. Wind advisory starting in an hour. Make that in 10 minutes.
Now our cold and wet hands were being chilled by Mother Nature.
We were smart enough to put the remaining bolts in ziplock bags with a letter written on the outside.
And believe it or not, we had just enough bolts, nuts and washers. With the pieces all assembled except for the outer covering it was now time to lift the stand off the ground and onto the four legs.
This would have been a job for three guys but we were going to make due with two. Up it went and plopped into place. Nothing to it.
Jim went up and got the cover over the top and secured. There were times I thought the wind was going to take it to Canada but he held on.
We made it back to the trucks at 6:30 p.m., cold, wet and tired.
The story could’ve ended there but Jim went back on Sunday to check on it. The stand was laying on its side. The 12-inch spikes were no match for the wind.
He was able to get the stand back up and tied down with stakes so it couldn’t tip over again.
Another fine stand construction job. And it probably won’t be our last.
Good luck to all deer hunters!