provided by John Phillips
Paul Butski of Scio, New York, has been a Mossy Oak Pro from the very beginning of the company. Paul historically has been a turkey-call manufacturer, worked with Walker’s Game Ear and is currently the sales manager for GSM Outdoors that owns Stealth Cam, Hawk Treestands, NAP Archery Products, American Hunter Feeders, Hunter Specialties, HME products, Birchwood Casey, Muddy and other outdoor brands.
I’ve learned over the years that one shot from a deer rifle can damage your ears forever, so I wear Walker’s Game Ear to protect my hearing. Having good hearing can be critical to taking that buck of a lifetime. You need to be able to hear two bucks fighting, a buck grunting, a deer walking through the leaves, deer running and another hunter approaching your stand.
First of all, you need to protect your hearing when hunting. The Walker’s Game Ear not only protects my ears from damage, but it also enhances my ability to hear things in the woods that I can’t hear without this hearing system. What you hear with your ears will cause your eyes to look in a direction that you may not have looked in, if you haven’t heard a sound that you’ve identified as another deer or hunter. Sometimes hunters sitting in their tree stands may be half- asleep or totally asleep. Although none of us will admit to falling asleep while hunting, it does happen. With enhanced hearing, you may be asleep and hear a buck grunt, a deer running through the words or other sounds that alert you to wake up and look in the direction of the noise.
Ladder Stand Hunting: I hate to admit that I’m 67 years old now, and I’ve found that hunting from a ladder stand is much easier for me to get into, much more comfortable for me to sit in, and easier for me to climb down from after a hunt. My ladder stand of choice is a Hawk Denali stand. One of the factors that helps with a hunter’s success is being comfortable in his or her stand. The more comfortable he is, the longer he can go without moving and can stay comfortable. If you're uncomfortable in your tree stand, you’ll become impatient and want to get up and move around. At the height of hunting during bow season, I’ll locate the right tree to put my ladder stand in before gun season. I’ll take that stand in the day or night before I plan to hunt there and get it set up.
If I don’t know exactly where I want to put my tree stand, I’ll use the Hawk Ultra-Lite Climbing Treestand. This stand is lightweight, I can set it up easily and quickly, and it's really safe to climb. Never forget that anytime you’re off the ground, you need to wear a full body harness and be attached to the tree from the time you leave the ground until you come down. As I’ve mentioned earlier, none of us will admit to falling asleep when we’re hunting, although it does happen, but you're more vulnerable to falling out of your tree stand then. Always remember that wearing a full body harness is your life insurance whenever you leave the ground.
A question I’m often asked is how high I hunt. Personally, I want to get as high off the ground as possible to either see down into the foliage or to spot a deer coming from at least 100-200 yards when I’m rifle hunting. When bowhunting, I may hunt somewhat lower because I only need to see a deer coming then from 50 yards or less.
The main reason I’m a two-season deer hunter is because I gather a ton of information about where to hunt, what animals I may have the chance to take, what the movements of the deer are before gun season, where I need to place a tree stand before gun season, what the wind direction is before each stand I put up before gun season, and what’s the best route to take my deer. A person who bowhunts before gun deer season has much more information than the hunter who scouts only the week before gun season. He also may have identified the buck he wants to take, where that buck lives, and how to best set up to take that buck when gun season arrives. Therefore in my opinion, the gun hunter who bowhunts before deer season has twice the opportunity to take an older-age-class buck deer than the hunter who only hunts during gun season.