WON Landing Page March 2022

Ask Writing Huntress: 4 ways to kill time while deer hunting

Dear Writing Huntress,

What do you do when you get bored in the tree stand? I know I’m supposed to be looking for deer and enjoying nature, but there is only so much leaf counting and nodding off a girl can do!


Bored in Boise

Ask Writing Huntress is sponsored by SportDOG.

Ask Writing Huntress is sponsored by SportDOG.

Dear Bored in Boise,

During my first-ever hunt in North Carolina, my then-boyfriend, now husband, decided that we’d hunt from the same tree. It was still dark outside, and maneuvering our climber tree stands was a challenge. By the time I got comfortable and situated, slumber won the battle over my tired eyelids.

I awoke with a start, staring downward at 2 fat does that stopped directly in front of our set up, for an early morning nosh. Openmouthed, I slowly turned my head upwards, toward my frustrated partner who couldn’t get a good shot without sacrificing my drooling face. Now fully awake, I clandestinely lifted my bow. Of course, a branch snapped, sending the pair crashing through the bushes, out of harm’s way, at least, for the morning.

tree stand nap ask writing huntress WON

WH says, “Let them nap!” as long as you’re sporting a harness!

Moral of the story? Anytime, I mean anytime, you fall asleep in the stand, you will wake up too late to take a good shot at future venison burgers. Bored, please don’t take this as a reason to glue your eyelids open for the entirety of deer season. Nah, I say, if you want to take a quick snooze, do it! Hunting is supposed to be fun and relaxing, remember?

Besides slumbering, something that every hunter has partaken in at least once in his or her hunting career, there are many ways to kill time while you’re waiting for the soft thud of hooves. Without further storytelling or merrymaking, allow me to introduce The Writing Huntress’s rules to killing time while 20 feet up:

Rule 1: Never climb unharnessed

Had I been untethered in the above story, I would have killed 1 of 2 things: myself, or whichever doe I landed on. Thankfully for me, and the does, I was sporting a Hunter Safety System harness (Retail $149.95).

Rule 2: My books bring all the bucks to the yard

I am an admitted and obsessive bibliophile. Hence, when I started hunting, I would always bring a book with me. However, I quickly learned that traditional books, the ones with pages and covers, tend to make a bit of noise when they are shut quickly. So, I invested in an e-reader. With silent buttons, you can easily shut down or stow away your literary adventure as soon as an animal comes into range. In terms of book selection, I choose easy-reading books so you can divide your attention between the ground and the story.

huntress reading deer stand ask writing huntress WON

WH loves books almost as much as hunting, but was quick to learn volumes such as this one don’t really travel well while afield.


Rule 3: Smart phones get better reception while in the treetops

Okay, I made that up, but I’m pretty sure I get better signal when I’m in the stand. Fake facts aside, I’m a convert on this issue. Before I finally broke down and got my first smartphone last year, I would tell anyone who would listen (granted, there weren’t many) that I would never bring a smartphone hunting. I, obviously, am a liar because my camo-clad iPhone attends almost every hunt now, not only for safety reasons, but also for weather checking, photo taking and even writing. So, bring your phone along, just remember to keep the volume and vibration off because deer tend to jump at unfamiliar sounds.

Rule 4: Enjoy nature!

Hunting is really nifty, for a variety of reasons, but the main one for many is, as you put it, enjoying nature. Bored, you get to experience things that many people will never be blessed enough to appreciate. From the sound of a trio of hoot owls joyfully ringing in the morning, to the smell of dew as it evaporates from whence it came, from the feeling of releasing 40 pounds of draw weight into the air to the taste of fresh venison on the grill — all of this is yours to enjoy, Bored, if you take the time to appreciate your surroundings while afield.

tree stand deer WON ask writing huntress

Even though a smartphone can be a distraction, it’s nice to have around when you experience a doe with her fawns taking a stroll.

If things get really desperate, play my favorite game titled, “Count the squirrels that rampage through the woods like a herd of over-antlered deer and give me heart palpations in the process.”


Happy Hunting,


The Conversation

One Comment
  • James Burnes says: November 19, 2013 at 8:32 am

    I actually just read this post, from a tree stand, after Googling “ways to pass the time while deer hunting.” Oy!

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