Most of the stands are commercial-made, with metal ladders and safety straps. Some will be the old-fashioned, home-made variety -- boards nailed to a tree to serve as a ladder up to a wooden platform.
Both can be dangerous.
This year's muzzleloader season didn't open until Nov. 9, almost a week later than last year. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency explained that "the permanent opening date of muzzleloader season is the third Saturday before Thanksgiving," hence -- due to a calendar quirk -- the later-than-usual opening day.
Lebanon's Tony Eckler was third after the second day of the four-day tournament, but two rough days left him 17th in the final standings on Saturday.
Another Lebanon fishermen, Daniel Johnson, finished a respectable fifth in the field of 87.
"These officers are somewhat unique in that a lot of time they're on their own," State Senator Mike Bell said. "When they've got to have an item, there's no procurement process quick enough for them to get that item when they're in the field and they need it."