By David Austin

Sometimes it's work and others it's play, but sometimes you can mix the two!

This past winter I built my wife Judy a brand new deer blind, well, at least some of it was new. Most of the lumber came off an old shed that I tore down before it all fell apart.

We were finally able to coordinate our schedule with our son Brad's schedule so that we could all shake loose for a day and head out to the country to get it all set up.

Brad had already picked out a location about a half mile from the closest place we could get the pickup and trailer to the deer stands final location. From there, we would be testing out the skids and the over-all construction and workmanship of my labors. Now that is scary.

On Saturday night, my wife Judy and I got the jacks out and with help from our Engo winch on the C4x4 Rubicon, we got the blind loaded and secured on our flat bed. The next morning, Brad and I had to do a little last-minute adjustment on the metal roofing before hitting the big road, after which, we hit the road and headed 110 miles West and the blind held up like a champ.

Finding our way through the back fields to our unloading point, we hooked the Rubi up to the blind and gently slide the blind off the trailer. We walked out our planned path and discovered it would mean crossing several small creeks and washes.

Now we knew that pulling it would be no issue but keeping it upright and not dumping it into one of the washouts was going to be the challenge. We gently maneuvered the blind in and out of the many mesquite bushes and across the creeks and I got to play like I was actually wheelin' a bit. Climbing obstacles was not an issue, but keeping the skidding deer blind where we wanted it to go was an issue.

Once we got the blind set at our location, we made a run back to the truck to grab some posts to anchor down the blind. Heading back, we felt we had to take a short cut. Brad had told me that he made it through the wash before in his Land Rover. Perhaps not, because we later discovered it was actually further up the creek that he had made it.

I was able to demonstrate why you don't go wheeling with a 6" drop receiver hitch on the back of your Jeep. I managed to get hung up with the back end of the Jeep resting soley on the receiver with both rear tires hanging in the air and the front bumper planted nicely into the bank on the opposite side. Can' move forward if none of your tires has any traction. We had to stretch out the synthetic rope of the Engo winch to give the little tug we needed to get my tires back on the ground and we were back in business. It was fun to get a little real wheelin in.

Once we got back to the blind, we did a little more prep work on it, got the deer feeder located and placed up into the air, it was mission accomplished.

While we were out there, we did a little maintenance on Brad's stand, moved his feeder and then winched over a friend's stand that had flopped over from a recent wind storm.

It was a great day being out in God's great outdoors, enjoying my family and getting some fresh air. Im glad to have the stand and feeder set up and out of the yard as I think it will work much better ther than in my backyard.

Now we wait for deer season...

Okie Out