There is a wide ridge in the middle of our property thickly covered with Witch Cane. Sometimes called Cane, Bamboo, Switch Cane, Owl Cane, etc. but down here they call it Witch Cane. However you call it, through the middle of this cane thicket is a narrow track made by loggers 70-80 years ago that you can barely see, but if you follow it and get through to the other side, there is a little hidden valley that I discovered was filled with big buck sign. So yes, I took my climber in there after lunch and worked my way as quietly as I could through the thick cane, having to turn sideways and almost on my knee some of the way, but I made it through and set up my stand in a nice hickory tree and waited. That afternoon was bright and sunny and I saw deer after deer but not the big buck I wanted and after a great hunt, I got down out of my stand after dark and headed back. I found my flashlight and turned it on. Now flashlights are not my specialty and they are supposed to work when you need them and worrying about batteries is not something you think about until you need them. I turned it on and a feeble yellow glow was all the light I had. I headed up into the Witch Cane.
I don’t know when I got off the trail but it was pretty quick, all I could see was the faint glow around me and the thick cane. The mistake I made was cutting back and forth trying to find the trail, and suddenly I was completely turned around. I’m carrying the climber on my back, sweating and a little panicky and I decided a straight line was best. I had to come out somewhere. The cane got thicker and thicker as I pushed my way through and suddenly I fell out into a small opening about 5 feet around. I was holding the small flashlight in my mouth so I could use my hands to fight my way, so I fell almost to the ground and the dim light caught something right below me. Half covered in leaves and dirt was a broken tombstone. Everything went quiet like in a horror movie, and the moon suddenly rose giving a faint light. I brushed the dirt away in the dim light and could make out some faint writing inscribed. I brushed away more, then scraped the moss away with my knife. I could see the word in capital letters on the grave marker. W-I-T-C-H . Witch! I froze, but my mind was screaming at me to run, to get away. I stood up listening. No sound, no wind, nothing. It was deathly quiet.
Then a soft breeze touched the top of the cane, or maybe they moved themselves as it seemed a slight whisper went through them, a muttering stretching out as far as I could hear through the tops of the cane, then I heard it louder coming back, and a slight fog seemed to slowly start forming over the grave.
Unlike the horror movies, I did not wait any longer. I took off wide open, leaving my climber behind. I did not let up until I broke through the can a few hundred yards from my truck. I caught a breath, changed gears and made it to the truck in record time.
If you are looking for a great used climber, I can tell you where to get one free of charge, I’m sure it’s right where I left it.