We had a camping weekend planned at the farm. My neighbor went over mid-week and checked-- didn't see anything wrong. We went ahead and chanced it. Sure enough, Bracken County KY was hardly touched by the winds and the power never went off.
All told we had a dozen or so up at the house for the weekend. I'd invited the whole Cincinnati Caledonian Pipe & Drum band down. Some folks had to stay, because their power still wasn't back on. However we had a nice turnout.
It was too dry to have a big campfire back in the woods, but folks pitched their tents around the house and had just as good a time. Two of the members had never shot a firearm before and brought their heirloom pistols down. I gave them a firearm safety lecture and then put them to work at the range. Then one of the serious collectors showed up and we got to shooting serious stuff-- all told six hours of shooting. Those bagpipers love to shoot!
The big question remained: What had happened to my tree stands in all this?
I have 5 Hunter's View 15' buddy stands and other assorted ladders up. I had taken down two this year, given them fresh paint jobs and put them back up. I was dying to see what happened with the storm.
While I was at it, I took my GPS, a compass and marking tape. Since Moose turned 16 this year , he's able to hunt by himself as an adult. That added an extra level of complexity to the situation. One or two tenths of a mile is nothing for a 30-06. In most cases, because they are elevated stands, a simple rule would suffice: "Don't fire above your belt line." However, I figured having a visual reminder would be a good ideal.
As I visited each stand site, I made a waypoint on the GPS. Then, after I'd been to all of the stands, I went back and shot an azimuth with the compass to each stand. I now have red marker tape on a tree representing the bearing from each stand to each other stand.
Oh yeah, damage! I'd almost forgotten. The bottom line was that one stand, the one one I'd put up just for Moose , had a bent shooting rail where it contacts the tree. However, all the buddy stands get that bend after they've been up a while. It's only cosmetic.