The Emergency Room Stand

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tommy Mohrbucks and I'm your average middle aged bow hunter. The name is actually a moniker that refers to my Texas Hold'em internet identity, not bucks of the deer variety. I have a tremendous passion for both Texas Hold'em and bowhunting for whitetail deer.

It sure felt good to be returning to a small 10 acre plot in southeast Michigan, where I was fortunate enough to have bagged my first buck last season. Opening day was still over a week away but I wanted to hang my tree stand and give the ever suspicious deer a few days to forget about my intrusion.

I quickly located last year's maple tree where I harvested the 8 pointer but the surrounding deer sign was not as good this year. Unfortunately, there are not too many mature trees in the small plot that can support a stand; most the cover is thick brush and weeds. I finally found two fairly decent, young oaks growing a few feet apart from each other. They were so close together that their lower branches intertwined. One tree was straighter than the other and the thick foliage from the adjacent tree's growth appeared to provide the perfect camouflage for my stand.

I began to strap my first of four sections of my aluminum ladder to the tree but had to pull away and break off several of the leaves and branches from the other tree just to see what I was doing. I continued this way up the tree through the thick foliage, pulling off and swatting leaves away from my face so I could continue to hook up my ladder.

I smiled stupidly to myself while affixing the last of the four sections as I recalled the childhood story of Jack & the Beanstalk Instead of finding a giant man I was hoping my climb would produce a giant buck! Finally , I cinched on the last ladder section and was 16 foot off the ground hugging the tree with my thighs, face pressed tight against the bark and leaves, while hand over hand lugging the aluminum stand up through the thick leaves with a rope.

As I hooked the chain strap of the stand to the tree and secured the cinch strap, I noticed that the many leaves that had snagged on my tree stand from the haul upward did not at all resemble the leaves from the tree I was in, nor those of it's close neighbor. In fact I now noticed that some of the leaves that my face had been pressed against were of the same odd variety and had berries attached to them. I began to panic when I realized these leaves were from two vines that I did not initially notice that had surrounded the tree from the ground and wrapped themselves upward like two poisonous snakes. These were the same leaves that I had pulled away bare handed and swatted away from my face the whole way up----Poison Ivy! Doom on me!

I scrambled down the tree faster than Jack being chased by the giant and inspected the situation closer. It certainly did appear that the neighboring tree's thick foliage had camouflaged the equally thick mass of poison ivy vines & leaves that wound it's way up the tree.

I hoped I was wrong on my plant identification and quickly drove home to scrub and shower as good as any pre op surgeon does. Two days later, a visit to the local emergency room proved my initial suspicions to be correct. The left side of my face was a mass of swollen red bumps and my left eye was nearly swollen shut. I could probably have played the lead in the Phantom of the Opera. The outbreak also spread to both hands, arms, ankles and other more, shall we say, sensitive areas! Luckily, I healed quickly with the wide variety of steroids that were prescribed.

Anyone that wants to hunt a nice, well-placed, concealed, elevated stand in a nice, private plot of land in southeast Michigan please e-mail me. It's your's free for a day, compliments of Tommy Mohrbucks. The only catch is that you take it down when your done-did I mention that you have to power wash it prior to returning it to me? :)

Tommy Mohrbucks -------- Hunt hard or stay home!

By Tommy Mohrbucks

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