During the recent par 3 contest last week at Augusta during the Masters, I watched golfing legend Jack Nicklaus shoot an amazing hole in one. That reminded me of a true story that a legend in our bowhunting world, Gene Wensel, told me one time.
Many years ago, when Gene was hunting and guiding for whitetails out on the Milk River in Montana, he would occasionally host Jack Nicklaus for a week of bowhunting. One morning as they headed out Gene said proudly, “Jack, I’m taking you to a tree stand I hung stand myself. You’re gonna shoot a monster buck there this morning.”
They arrived early in the pre-dawn gloom. Gene snuck around but couldn’t find the stand. He told Jack to sit tight. Gene tromped around for another hour. “Jack turned off his flashlight and I couldn’t find him, either,” he said. By the time it got light enough to see the stand in the tree, Gene had run all the deer out of that section of woods along the river.
“Had I cat-eyed the trail to the tree, I would’ve saved the spot and saved me a lot of embarrassment,” said Gene. “Jack didn’t shoot a deer, but he took it pretty well.”
Gene said that since that day he uses tacks or limb wraps that reflect a flashlight beam. “Space them about 20 yards apart and at eye level all way to your stand. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and potential embarrassment.”