Over the last 20 years I have killed some of my best bucks by putting a tree stand on my back and taking off for rough-ass ridges and hollows where other hunters never wanted to go. Getting deer back out of there was hell sometimes, but that is part of it.

Sidenote: Any lazy butt who kills a deer and then has the audacity to complain about the work once the animal is down will never hunt with me. If you are doing it right, wrestling a buck over and around logs, sweating a river, stumbling, bumbling back to the truck is strangely fun and invigorating, whether it takes 10 minutes or 4 hours.

Brett, a college kid, wrote and said he was fit and fired up and wanted to hunt like that. What stand would I recommend?

A climber would do, but another option is a lightweight hang-on like the Lone Wolf Assault. It’s great for the deep-woods hunter. I tested one and it was very cool. The 26” x 19” aluminum stand weighs 11 lbs. and comes with backpack straps. You can carry it anywhere and, with a few screw steps, hang it on any size (4”-22”) or shape tree for a quick buck ambush. Not cheap at $249, but a quality product.

What I would give to be 23 again like Brett. With all the giants that roam the woods these days, I’d go deep with an Assassin, have a blast, kill a bunch of big deer and work like hell to get them out.

You young guys, hunt deep and try the Assassin. You guys over 40, stick to a bigger lock-on with stick steps or a ladder, both of which I use a lot now.