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Tradslinger

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Reply with quote  #1 
Chuckc reminded me of this LOL. Back in the early 80s was when I first saw a Baker tree stand and had to have one. Up to that point, I was mainly standing on tree limbs and even tying myself to the tree with rope. So I got one, seemed simple enough and boy would this allow you to be mobile. Well, my first one was without any form of a seat or any other device to help with the climbing. You bear hugged the tree and started up. And as I quickly found out, the down button on one of these was very exciting stuff. Usually totally unexpected and un wanted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   It was opening day of archery season in Ark, think it was 81. Our weather forcasts weren't so hot and we had had a very warm summer. So I was ill prepared for the sudden drop in temps, a hard freeze. I had gone to Muddy Creek Wildlife Management Area with a friend and camped out for that morning. Like I said, I was ill prepared for the last minute hunt. So, in the mountains, we made our way to this food plot that he knew of. He went to the far end and climbed up a stand that he had brought previously.                                                                                                                                                                                                All I had to choose from were pine trees and I quickly found one. I managed to bear hug my way up about 8 or 9 feet when the bottom fell out of the stand and I was sliding hard and fast to the ground. I was bound and determined to get up this tree and so began the bear hug thing again. So, after the 3rd attempt, my arms were so chewed up by the pine bark that I decided to heck with it and just hunted from the ground. My friend was watching and laughing the whole time. this was before I had heard of safety belts but after the second "drop" from up high when that Baker lost it's grip (due to me moving my feet to wrong spot), I made one.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I also made the mistake of putting carpet on the floor of the stand to quieten it. Did not go well with my boots at all. After trial and lots of errors, I finally figured out how to used a bungee cord to keep my stand in place. While those stands were awesome in their moment, they led to a lot of tremendously better designs that were hands down better. Better safety, easier climbing, better seats, quieter climbing and more. With a good climber on my back, early October meant walking the woods and hunting the first good white oak dropping acorns that I found. Being mobile was a wonderful thing back then. 
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Lbhunter63

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Reply with quote  #2 
I still have one! LOL I haven't used it in years because I prefer spot and stalk...
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stickandstring

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Reply with quote  #3 
Ive heard about baker stands but never seen one. A good friend bought me a loc on in 1987.
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James Donahue

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Reply with quote  #4 
I had one  early on, if you steped  too far into the tree  a black bear couldn't climb down any faster -I was one big scab from my navel to my chin

Mine is probably still around a pine tree in the George Washington National Forest

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longcruise

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have one of those in the basement.  I can't, in good conscience, sell it or give it away so it just sits there.  Also have the handle climber.  I never had any real bad experiences with it but decided that my number would come up if I kept using it. 
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Dale Rohrbeck

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Reply with quote  #6 
Sometime in the late 1970s, Michigan legalized bowhunting in trees. I purchased a Baker Mighty Mite stand. While climbing, if you didn’t put your weight on your heels, you were likely to slip down the tree. I call it the “dreaded Baker slide”. It was a blessing that I never got seriously injured, other than scraping my belly and chest from the rapid descent.
Clydebow

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Reply with quote  #7 
The Down side of the old Baker tree stands


There was no "Up side"  LOL! Getting soaking wet from head to toe climbing a wet tree was a bummer!


Sam

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Reply with quote  #8 
My favorite story about the Baker involved a close friend of mine. As you know, these stands were not known for remaining securely situated in a tree. Well, Charlie decided to set up on a telephone pole (can you see where this is going?). Well as he was trying to get into the stand, it slipped. It was a warm day, so Charlie was only wearing a thin cotton shirt. When he grabbed around the pole, he slid all the way back to the ground, He was skinned up and had numerous creosoted splinters on his chest, arms, and face. The thing that really drew the laughs from the deer camp crowd was the big splinter square on the end of his nose. It could have been a very serious event, but luckily the injuries were minor. That convinced me to stay away from the Baker.
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Sam McMichael

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Orion

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yep.  I don't have any scars on my chest, but I did have some pretty good bruises from sliding down the tree.  Opening day of gun season many years ago, it took me three tries to finally get to the height I wanted.  Had sleeted the night before and the side of the slightly leaning tree that I needed to climb was covered in about a quarter inch of ice.  The trips down were rather quick. I tied it in place once I got to the height I wanted, about 10-12 feet as I remember, and shot a small buck a few minutes later.  Though I even made a couple of my own Baker style climbers in the early days, I converted to better designs as soon as they became available. Started using a safety belt as well.
James Calamaris

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Reply with quote  #10 
They were junk and a disaster waiting to happen.
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Jim Calamaris 
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Duncan Warren

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Reply with quote  #11 
Yes, I was a tree hugger too. Tricked mine out with a camo dove stool with the zippered bag underneath, even had a small pillow I stole off the couch and covered it with camo. Then I swapped out the screws that held the plywood deck and replaced them with nuts n bolts and thru bolted for obvious reasons. I did use the safety belt such as it was. I was not a big guy, a wiry little fellow if you will. So climbing with it was not a problem. The only time it ever slipped was on a poplar tree with smooth bark. Never had a problem with trees with soft bark such as pines or ash trees. Soft bark is also easier on your belly and arms than say an oak tree. Killed a bunch of deer from it. I'm not advocating the use of them now as there are much better options just saying that for those who say they were just junk, remember back then it was a Baker or build a permanet stand. There was no other option until the Loc-On Lem arrived on the scene which I quickly migrated to. 
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