Setting up a deer stand is an involved process that requires some forethought and dedication. Several factors should be taken into consideration once you’ve decided to pursue this form of hunting. The following five tips will assist you in your quest to ambush that buck who continues to prove elusive, year after year.
Locate a hunting area that’s rich with trails and deer sign. Notice where trails intersect, and find smaller, and less traveled trails, as these are generally used by older, more mature bucks. Optimally, you’ll want to locate a tree that’s downwind of the trail, as your scent will push the deer in the opposite direction. Find a tree that’s far enough away to help with camouflage, but close enough for your skill level. Also, make sure the tree is rugged enough to handle a stand, and if possible, is surrounded by brush and other cover. Do not select a dead tree, as this could prove to be dangerous, despite how sturdy it may appear.
There are three types of stands for use in hunting. Climbing stands are made up of two parts; the standing platform, and the seat. These two parts are normally connected with straps, and the climbing stand can connect to the tree with a cable, or piece of metal fastened with a pin. A climbing stand allows the hunter to move the stand up the tree while climbing, and is easily transported from one tree to another. A ladder stand is made up of a seat with attached ladder for climbing. This type of deer stand is usually stationary, due to the bulk and size. Ladder stands come with one or two-person ladders, and are a very stable choice where safety is a concern. A hanging tree stand may also be used as a stationary stand. In order to climb up, a hunter must devise his own method, either by using large branches, spikes, or a separate ladder. This type of deer stand is much lighter to carry, and usually hangs on a chain or cable, therefore making it easier to relocate, if necessary or desired.
Limit the amount of gear you take. Wear your clothing in layers. Walking in could warm you up, while it may be rather cold up in the tree. Wash your clothing in a non-scented detergent, and you might opt to wear rubber boots for your walk into the woods.
Enhance your chances for a successful hunt Set up your stand well in advance of your hunting plans. Add rags, or any moving object to catch their attention. Once they are used to seeing this foreign object, and any movement from your stand, they’ll be less likely to notice when the hunter is present. On each subsequent visit during the season, try to access the location from different points. Never use the deer trails, despite the convenience factor. If you must, use one of the heavier traveled trails. Grab some branches and leaves to add to the camouflage of your stand. You can use multiple stands to increase the likelihood of success.
Carefully read all instructions on any purchased equipment. Use your haul line to pull up your gear, after you are properly harnessed into your stand. Never climb with a load of equipment, or your gun. Most importantly, tell someone where you’ll be. Have fun on your hunting trip, be safe, and best of luck in scoring that trophy buck.