A is for Acrophobia

My first job out of college included setting and climbing poles for a telephone company. Our job was to string new telephone cable, drill holes and place new poles in the ground and transfer existing cables from the old pole to the new. It didnt take me long to conclude that I am severely gravity-challenged. I also concluded that the time to find out youre gravity-challenged is not when youre 40 feet above the earth clinging to a giant creosote-filled toothpick. About the third or fourth time I rode one of those suckers to Earth and spent the rest of the day picking crabgrass from my teeth, I determined that there had to be a better way to pay the rent. It was a good experience, nevertheless, and acquiring the knowledge about my aforementioned strife with gravity has been invaluable through the years. Take, for example, my healthy fear of deer hunting stands. Oh, Ive certainly been in my share of tree stands, theyre just not very far off the ground when Im in them. In fact, calling one of my stands a high chair might be more appropriate than a tree stand. I get nose bleeds in stands over 10 feet off the ground. Funny thing is, the deer must sense my anxiety, feel sorry for me, and wander under my stand out of pity as Ive been quite successful hunting from my high chair. Probably doesnt hurt that I hunt deer give or take 60 days of the 70 or so that are open to me. Anywho, this year I decided to throw caution to the wind. Ive invested in a state-of-the-art, arm chair-like comfort (at least thats what it said in the brochure) climbing stand specifically designed to take me to new heights. If youve never seen one of these doodads work, Mr. Chimney youre in for a treat. Just as simple as standing up and sitting down & you rocket up the tree like a flying squirrel on an illegal substance. (OK, a small embellishment of what the brochure says.) Ive been practicing, and have yet to experience a frothing-at-the-mouth flashback of my days as a lineman (and I use that term very loosely!) So hey, keep your eyes peeled for the guy in full camo sitting eye-to-eye with your family caravan as you cruise over one of the many Northway overpasses. It could be me. But youre more apt to walk up on me at about mailbox-height, hugging the tree like a small child wishing hed never given up his high chair. John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at johng@denpubs.com. Ward lumber buck contest announced JAY Ward Lumber Company has announced its 16th annual buck contest where hunters with any size buck can win. Just bring your Northern Zone deer to Ward Lumber in Jay, NY to enter. No pre-registration is required. There are two ways to win this year: 1) Any size buck (random drawing), and 2) Biggest buck (determined by weight). The contest is free and runs through Saturday, Dec. 6. Enter at Ward Lumber at 697 Glen Road, Jay, during business hours Monday through Friday, 7 am - 5 pm and Saturday, 8 am - 2 pm. The Jay Store is closed on Sunday. A winner in each category will be selected after Dec. 6, 2008. Each winner will each receive a $100 Ward Lumber gift card.

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