|My future hunting princess!
Now for the count down! Hunting season is coming up and I have had my hands full with trying to get ready for the season. I do a lot of my hunting for white tail dear during archery season in a tree stand. Because of this, I am required to do a lot of maintenance to make sure that my location is huntable when the season starts. This work involves trimming trees and shrubs, scouting, and maintaining a good environment for the deer.
This summer I went down and did some trimming in two of my tree stands, and when I got go the third and final one that I have had the most success out of, this is what I found...
|My tree fell down...
#1 - Hunt deer not trees!!! - When searching for a tree to put your tree stand in, remember what you ultimate goal is. If you find this great spot where you have all these great shooting lanes, great cover, but for some reason no deer then the spot is useless. This may sound like common sense, but I'll admit I have done this before and it was a waste of a season. It is not good enough just to know that there is a food source to your right, a water source to your left, and a hunch that the deer will be traveling between the two. You need to look for some good sign of deer. Look for trails that are well worn down trails, rubs, scrapes, any other sign of deer. After this find a tree near by that will present you with a shot where you see the sign. With this being said, it may not be good for you to set a tree stand up where you find a lot of beds. This will often work out that you will spook your animal before you even get a chance to get into your tree. This leads right into point number two.
#2 - Accessibility - When possible find a location that you can access without walking through the same area that you are about to hunt. This may not always be possible, but when you walk through your hunting area, or even on the same trail that the deer are traveling, you leave your scent behind you for the deer to find. This is like playing hide-and-go-seek at night wearing a glow in the dark suit. If this is not possible for your hunting area, some of the options you have is to use cover scent, scent killer, or deer urine. Code Blue makes a good system if you find yourself using the same trail that deer use. This system is simply is a drag system that you attach to yourself or drag behind you with doe urine on it leaving a scent that will hopefully mask your own and attract the deer to your stand.
#3 - Placement - You need to find a tree that will get you out of the sight and smell of the deer if possible. One of the worst things you can do is find a great spot and then put your tree stand right in eye level or view of your deer. Another thing is to pay attention to the weather in your area, visit the area often enough to know which direction the wind usually comes from at certain times of the day. If possible find a tree that will place you up wind from your game and give you any advantage you can. With placement I like to use something as simple as Google maps and take a topical view of my area. I love to find areas that funnel animals into congregated areas. Examples of this are rivers and streams that funnel deer into smaller sections of land that will make it more probable for me to see what I'm after.
This is only a brief summary of some of the things I look for when putting up a tree stand, but I would love to hear what you have to say because I'll be putting these skills into practice this weekend when I replace my tree stand!