My darling husband came home from hunting yesterday (without any meat, I feel compelled to add) limping in the door in a pair of pants so shredded that he looked like he’d been attacked by wild dogs. He dropped his stuff and rolled up both pants legs to reveal really horrible bloody gashes running on the outside of both knees. Apparently, he had started to fall out of his tree stand and instinctively stuck his legs out to hold on but they were cut by—get this—the metal screws that hold this tree stand together.
Those of you from rural Alabama not only know exactly what I’m talking about and can visualize the whole thing playing out in slow motion, you even know three relatives that this has happened to. Those of you not schooled in the ways of killing your own wild game from up in the branches of a tree might need a little help, but I’m too lazy to explain it. Just trust me, he started to fall and ended up cutting his legs. The end.
But that’s not actually the end. He cut himself on metal screws. That were rusty. Let that sink in.
There’s an important story that actually happened just last week and it’s important to today’s tale because you need to understand what actually happens in a tree stand. Not only is there an agreement that any member of the hunting world can use your tree stand—and PEE out of it as the need arises—but nature-type things also happen in tree stands. Last week, my husband climbed up in a tree stand belonging to a friend of his and discovered parts of a furry dead animal. I had to explain to him that a large bird of prey had probably used the tree stand as a perch from which to scarf down its most recent kill, probably a squirrel or a rabbit.
So my husband’s tree stand injury now has happened on metal screws that were rusty and coated in rabbit blood, bird poop, and hunter pee. AND HE WON’T GET A TETANUS SHOT. He refused. I nagged, I begged, I threatened, I Googled stories of people dying from lock jaw, I even called up close-up images of festering yellowy-oozy infectious wounds. And he’s such a baby that he won’t go get one.
As hunting people, we are realists. My husband declared that if he gets tetanus, oh well, he dies, no big deal because his life insurance is paid up. To which I pointed out, you have to be a real jerk to go ahead and die from something infectious because then the rest of us can’t eat you in the apocalypse or in a blizzard or something. Way to think of others, asshat.