You’ve gone through all your old girlfriends, the reasons why your ex was such a loser. You remembered all about scoring the winning touchdown in a high school football game, almost making a hole in one, sinking two free throws with no time on the clock. You’ve secretly TP’d the old boss’ house, too.

Now that that hour is over, what are you going to do to keep from going bat-poop crazy sitting in that tree stand the rest of the day?

Let’s be honest: We all love hunting, but few enjoy an 8-hour shift on stand. And that’s when you’re seeing something. On those days when nothing’s moving except squirrels and tweedy birds, you have to do something to keep from imploding. Here are the Top 10 ways I keep my sanity on stand. (A word of advice to those of you who use their phone as a distraction: time to invest in a mobile charging device. They’re cheap and make it possible to use your phone all day long with enough power left over in case you need to make an emergency call.)

10. Play Games On iPhone

I’m not a real gamer — but some of you are. I might play a stray game of hearts or something, but only if I am out of other things to do. When I start gaming I am very, very desperate.

9. Listen To Music

In a ground blind I might listen to some music with the headphones on, but up a tree I need to listen for the sound of something sneaking up on me.

8. Eat Too Much

Gotta admit it, I am famous for eating all my lunch before noon. And drinking all the hot chocolate or slugging my last Diet Coke. Boredom will do that to a man.

7. Nap

When I get the “sleepies,” I have been known to climb down and take a what I call a “20-second Timeout” — which means a quick catnap — at the base of my tree. I wonder how many deer have walked right over me while I dozed…

6. Read Newswire On iPhone

Being something of a news/political junkie, I like to check the newswires from time to time. Same with the football scores on the weekends. Gotta cheer that fantasy team on!

5. Watch Wildlife

One of the coolest things about being in the woods is watching birds, squirrels, whatever, as the critters go about their day-to-day business. This is an added bonus of bringing a quality binocular along.

4. Check email On iPhone

I know you’re addicted to email, as we all are. And when you have nothing better to do, why not catch up on a little work or ping those long lost friends and waste their time, too?

3. Eat Too Much (Part Deux)

Yeah, I know, this was already listed at No. 8, but I really like to eat and a guy’s gotta keep his body fueled up and hydrated so he can keep hunting strong, right?

2. Text Your Buddies

We all do it. “Seeing anything?” “Got any lunch left?” “When you heading back?” “Bored out of your skull like I am?”

1. Read A Book

I love to read, and feel naked up a tree without some sort of trashy paperback to help while away the time. One deer season I bet I read the entire Louis L’Amour collection. I read a paragraph, then scan the perimeter then read some more. It helps pass the time, and also keeps me from fidgeting — which helps keep me from being picked off by the prying eyes of approaching game.

How about you? What do you do to keep from going bananas on stand all day? Drop me a note at and let me know.