First post; been lurking for about a month since I discovered this site. Here's my story....
Been bowhunting about 10 yrs now, no luck so far. I've only taken 2 shots at deer and both were admittedly past my bow range back then, but I was younger and foolish then. Didn't hit either deer.
I do most of my hunting close to home in SE Michigan, on public land. There's a lot of hunting pressure here, and there's not an overabundance of deer by any means. For example, if I even see deer during a morning hunt I consider myself lucky. There are also a lot of hikers and mountain bikers using the trails throughout the recreation area.
This morning I was in my treestand before light. About 830 am 3 deer came over the ridge and started slowly down the trail toward my stand. They were walking single file, very slowly, really cautious it seemed. They were coming from my right, and close enough that I couldn't stand up and turn; being right handed, I could not shoot to the right without standing up and turning my body 90 deg. to the right. So I hoped they would pass by my stand and then maybe I could get a shot. But when the first deer wasstill 15 yards from me,she looked right up at me. I tried to avoid eye contact, but needed to see where she was looking. Eventually I saw she was looking right at my eyes, and it was all over.
I am using a tree with no branches. The only trees with branches in this small area I am hunting are mature pines with a million dead branches up to about 50 feet, after that there are live branches. Anyway, how do you climb a tree with branches using strap on treesteps?
After climbing down later, I went to the spot where the deer saw me....I figure I must stick out like a sore thumb sitting in the stand. Full camo, net face mask and all, platform about 12 feet up, not moving and perfectly quiet, and she still saw me like she had a sixth sense.
This is not the first time I have been busted in a treestand. Any advice you experienced bowhunters have would be greatly appreciated.
I also hunt in SE MI and I try to get at least 20 ft. Deer here know to look up and I have fond 20 ft(at least) will give you a chance to draw your bow without being seen. Public land is even harder, try to find a setup were you can get high in the tree.
Just my thoughts
"it's not that I am lazy, I just don't care"
12 if pretty low. I have gotten busted at 20 earlier this year by a small eight. The tree I was in did not have any back drop and I stood out like a sore thumb. Find some cover brother if you are going to be that low. The tree I hunt now I had a doe look right up at me after she smelled my flashlight that fell on the ground. I closed my eyes and she carried on like it was no buddies business. She was looking at me and I was looking at me for a good minute and I just sat there. Good luck
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I have to hand it to you for your hanging in there for so long without a harvest. you da man. It is guys just like you that I would love to be there and help out. Get you a climbing stand and get higher up. If you can't do that make a natural ground blind. I hunt on the ground alot with just as much success as in a tree. Deer are keen survivalists, They knowto look up in trees. I'm sure you know to play the wind by now. When I make a natural ground blind I make it about 20yds off the trail and build it so the deer can't see me until they are right in front of me. By then I am already at full draw and the arrow is on the way. Make it thick on your right and left sides with peek holes for you to see them. When you see them draw.When it walks in front of you the deer usuallywill stop and stare right at you. Oblidge it with your broad head. If it doesn't stop make a mouth grunt. Good luck bud
12 ft. is very touchy. It's ok, but you MUST have a great backround and in a cluster of good sized trunks or branches. One of my favorite stands is just like this and I have never been seen, even after being winded. I have seen hundreds of deer from this stand. On the other hand, a stand you can easily get busted 20 ft. up without any backround camo. Good luck and I admire your determination!
I'm with MOTOWNHONKEY. Try the ground and you'll be surprised. I think they spot you more in trees in heavily hunted areas. As you know, always avoid direct eye contact. They can bust you blinking from a ways out. Good luck!
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Sometimes overlooked and you maybe know it but make sure your stand is facing the direction you think deer are coming from. That way you are not silhouetted and your outlined is masked by the tree. Sounds like mostly pines by youbut what I do sometimes is, cut oak branches from an oack tree that still has leaves. I buy a few littleconduit"U" holders and screw them into the tree trunk and place the leafy oak branches in them. Breaks up your outline and oak branches then hold their leaves
A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone. "Hear that?" you say. "That's dynamite, baby.".
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