Sunday, June 2, 2024

    Climbing Stick Kickout On Private Land

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    I was hunting the other night on private land in Michigan. It started raining pretty heavy around 7 pm (shooting light ended at 7:15). I didn’t have rain gear and was running camera gear and ozone stuff (both shouldn’t get soaked by the rain) so was eager to get down, get my gear out of the rain, and warm-up. I deployed the paracord I use as a pull rope for my backpack. In my haste, I didn’t untangle the cord. I also didn’t turn on my light. I began to lower the pack and then felt the cord binding up. I gave it a good tug and to my horror, my 2nd stick from the ground flipped around and dangled off the tree. The top of my second stick was about 10 feet off the ground. I took my time and worked my way down stick 3. Using the top stick (which was now removed from the tree) I grabbed the 2nd stick which was dangling and was able to get it flipped back on the tree (albeit backward). Putting pressure on the stick to seat it on the tree, I then climbed down the backward stick. You heard that right, I used the rotating standoffs as steps and the screw knob on the front of my sticks as standoffs. It was sketchy, but the stick was really well seated before I put any weight on it.
    Daisy chains can come off sometimes and sticks can kick out. What I recommend is not just flying down your sticks when you’re done hunting. Go slow, take your time. Learn to really use your lineman’s belt. It was my fault for being stupid and rushing at the end of the day. However, I turned a potentially dangerous situation into a minor inconvenience by thinking it through. I also always have a Garmin Inreach and cell phone on my person (not in my pack) so worst case I can reach help. I also always have a trauma kit with 3 things: Tourniquet, Combat Gauze, and Twin Self Venting Halo chest seals. We are ultimately responsible for our own safety out there. Be prepared for the unexpected.

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