Hunting Strategies – Treestands

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37.jpgStand hunting is the most effective method of deer hunting and accounts for the majority of harvested deer. Stand hunting is a relatively simple way to hunt. The hunter stays in one spot and watches for deer movement. And since he’s not moving, the hunter usually can usually spot a deer before it sees him.

The experienced stand hunter never relaxes or quits hunting. He is always looking for movement in the woods that might materialize into a deer, or glassing thickets and shaded areas for deer movement that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

However, the greatest asset of the stand hunter is patience. He knows that a buck will sooner or later walk within range of his stand, and he is determined to be there when the buck shows up.

It is not unusual for a dedicated stand hunter to spend the entire day watching one area. Of course, he doesn’t actually “stand” on his feet all day. In fact, an experienced stand hunter usually gets into a comfortable sitting position and stands up occasionally to stretch his feet.

The Art of Stand Hunting

Hundreds of thousands of whitetails are harvested by tree-stand hunters each fall. The reasons are clear: A human predator stalking on the ground is easily heard, seen or smelled by keen deer. But a hunter up in a tree stand is quiet and essentially invisible, and best of all he is above the whitetail’s superior olfactory compass. The tree-stand technique can position a big buck right under your nose.

Stand hunting works in any weather-calm, rainy, snowy or dry times when the leaves are crunchy as Corn Flakes. Tree-stand hunting is one of the only methods that can be applied in all conditions and all habitats all season.

The stand hunter must acquire 3 major skills. The first and most important is where to position a perch. If your stand is not in high-use deer area you can’t score. Secondly, how you enter and exit a stand area without disturbing the environment is critical. If a buck hears, sees or smells you before you get into your tree you will be lucky to glimpse that buck for the rest of the day-you might never see him again! Thirdly, you must learn how long to hunt a particular area until it’s time to give up and relocate.

Tree-stand hunting demands a lot of patience. Do not quit an area until you have exhausted all hopes of spotting a good buck. Tree-stand hunting is an effective way to hunt adult bucks. However, a lot of planning goes into the process. Finding the right stand location is a complicated procedure. It starts out with discovering an area deer like. Then you must discern the pattern of a mature buck, and finally set your stand in a spot where the buck is likely to show at a particular time of day. That’s difficult because no plan is foolproof.

The whitetail deer is among the craftiest animals in the world. Its senses are far superior to yours and mine. The tree stand is an ingenious hunting device that can help level the playing field.

Locations

The theory behind stand hunting is simple: A hunter waits motionless in one spot and watches over an open area until a deer walks by and then shoots it. In reality, there are many places in the woods where a buck is not likely to pass by. Consequently, the successful stand hunter will have carefully studied his hunting area and choses a stand location that offers the best opportunity to see deer.

Generally, a stand should be placed in one of two locations. The best place to stand hunt is overlooking one or more main game trails that the deer use to move from feed to bed areas. A rifle hunter can often get on a high point and watch over several game trails in different draws because of the long ange capability of his firearm. On the other hand, a bowhunter should look for a place where main game trails cross and make his stand close to this intersection.

location.jpgThe other location to stand hunt is at the deer’s feeding area, such as an old apple orchard or crop field. The reason for this is because the deer sometimes spread out to bed down and do not use a particular game trail to move from the feeding to bedding area.

A major consideration for any stand location is wind direction. If the wind is blowing from the stand toward the direction of the deer, you’re not going to see a single doe. For that reason, experienced hunters usually have a few alternative stand locations. If the wind is wrong at one stand, they can move to another location where the wind is in their favor.

How High is Too High?

There is no one proper height for a tree stand. How high varies depending on the hunter, the terrain and the situation. Some hunters like to be high, 20 feet or more up a tree. Other hunters feel more comfortable at 15 to 18 feet. But don’t hang a stand much lower than that or you’ll hunt eyeball to eyeball with a buck, which is prone to look up and bust you.

Consider cover when setting up. Try to hang a stand where limbs, leaves or vines will help break your outline. Also, low tree limbs and ground foliage come into play, especially when hanging a bow stand. Set your stand at a height where you can clearly see incoming deer and get a good shot. Saw or clip at least 4 good shooting lanes if you must.

Remember, no matter how high your stand is always wear a safety belt or harness!

Treestand Techniques

Once you have selected the perfect location to tree-stand hunt, there are many techniques you will need to master in order to successfully bag your trophy buck. Tree-stand hunting is thought to be one of the easiest ways to hunt. Taking an adult buck, no matter what the circumstance, is not an easy task. A hunter must assume an active roll in evaluating every facet of their hunting techniques. These evaluations need be done consistantly in order to find the major deficiencies and eventually convert them into powerful means of procuring your prize.

The first major dilemma that all hunters need to overcome is human scent. Deer have such keen olfactory glands that they are able to smell the sweat off of human hands. If a deer gets a whiff of your scent from when you were walking to your stand site, you probably won’t find success that day. In order to keep the deer from becoming alarmed, hunters need to take every precaution in avoiding the spread of human scent. Fortunately, tree-stand hunters do have the advantage of being elevated. The major thing that a tree-stand hunter must understand is wind patterns. Deer travel down wind. If the wind switches and you find yourself upwind, switch to a different location. Also, it is important to remember that adult bucks living in an area know every inch of their territory. If a hunter disturbs their turf in any way, they won’t hesitate to leave. Stand-hunting should not be a fixed placement process. The best stand hunters only use their stand sites two to three times a year. This gives the deer a chance to return to normal after a human predator was spotted in their habitat.

Another very important frailty in hunting is noise polution. Deer have the ability to hear far greater than their human predator. Noise is definitely a disturbance that will hinder your hunting expedition. If you walk to your stand site making all kinds of racket you will have no chance of catching a trophy buck. Sneak to your stand when it is still dark in the morning. Take any route poss


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