Re: Retrieval device
The best thing to do is put on what you need to (lanyard with call, gloves, facemaks, etc.) at the base of the tree before going up so I'm not handling a lot of stuff once I'm up. I also make sure my pockets are closed so nothing falls out while I'm climbing. The open carabiner tip is a good one. I used to carry a separate hook made from a coat hanger in my fanny pack but it was just one more piece of crap in my bag. From a ladder stand it's easier and quicker to just climb down and retrieve rather than fishing for it.
The older I get, the stronger gravity becomes.