-By Brandon Wikman
There I was baffled in disbelief, as my first day on the job turned dark, literally...
Nearly three years ago I began shooting for my television show. I scheduled a hunt in southern Wisconsin for a five-day long archery hunt during the rut. I had more than four stands setup and two that were ideal for mornings. This was going to be awesome, so I thought.
As nervous as I was, I packed my gear for the morning hunt and met my cameraman in the lobby of a Holiday Inn hotel at 4:30 a.m. Needless to say I was up at 2 a.m. just preparing and making sure I had all of my gear!
After a quick coffee and bagel style breakfast, we were on the road to our destination hot spot, an acorn grove that edged a soybean field. This was an ideal spot to pick a buck off during twilight.
As many times as I've walked to the stand, been in the area and literally hunted out of the tree stand, I basically had the location in my internal GPS memory bank. A jaunt across a ditch, few hundred yard walk on a logging road, a left at the "T" and I was there.
The cameraman and I ventured toward the stand in absolute darkness. My small, yellow light bounced across the ground, into trees and into the morning haze as we snuck in.
Realization finally hit me ten minutes later when I found myself still walking, walking absolutely clueless of where I was. I was officially the most embarrassed person on the planet.
As daylight etched light upon my forgetful self, I finally spotted the tree stand. It was unfortunate that the hunt was blown, but this gave me a lesson to learn: Always use markers to locate stands.
This past weekend I went to each of my setups and draped orange ribbons en route to each tree stand. This was simple, quick and I know I will be grateful during the season for doing it. During the evening everything seems to take on the same color, black. When rocks, tree stumps, leaves, and grass all look the same shade of color, good luck finding you’re way around the forest… possibly you’ve already had the experience!