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Tips for Finding the Perfect Deer Hunting Stand
Many stands will offer little more then a pretty view, while others will produce big bucks every year. Here are the 10 most important components a hot Whitetail stand.
This is one of those spots in the deer woods where everything comes together. The two wooded ridges, the creek, fence lines, the wash-all of the most likely travel corridors-point to or lead to this location. It won't matter if bucks are routinely moving from feed to bed or unpredictably hunting for does during the rut, they're bound to pass by this spot. This makes it an important one any time during the season.
Look for intersections of ridges, skidder trails, habitat edges, creeks, logging roads. Any good deer hunter knows to look for travel corridors. But only the best ones will find these perfect areas from which buck routes run like the spokes of the wheel.
You can shower, spray yourself down, or even shell out for that new fancy carbon clothing if you like. The best way to keep your smell away from the buck's nose to position your stand with a sharp decline straight downwind. By taking advantage of this, the prevailing wind will carry any sent well above any deer approaching from that direction. Don't expect it to always work if thermals are falling on those dead days. You can also set up where a steep bank, deep water, open fields, or other similar obstructions discourage bucks from being directly downwind from you the first place.
Even the best stand is worthless if you miss the shot. So be sure to boost your odds of shooting at a standing, broadside buck but positioning yourself within easy range of the place where the deer will likely slow down or halt for a brief time. It will often stop at an isolated food source such as a berry bush or a fruit tree. They may also pause for a drink at a small pond or stream, or hesitate before making the jump over a fence or creek. In a pinch, you may consider digging a small pond, or putting in a mineral lick where legal. You can even create some false scrapes in order to encourage bigger bucks to stop for a moment and give you then perfect target.
Easy in, Easy out
it doesn't matter how perfect they stand is if you can get in without spooking all the deer in the area. Take advantage of farm roads, creek beds, skidder trails, or irrigation ditches that can lead right up to the backside of your stand area. They should allow you to quietly sneak in and out. The goal is to avoid all feeding or bedding areas and to keep from leaving any us any cents where deer are likely to travel.
Any funnel is a good one-but hard funnels are by far the best. A line of dark timber or a brushy swale will encourage bucks to move along a certain direction. However, face steep rock face, sheer drop-off, or deep River essentially requires it. Such obstacles just about force deer along a specific route-right to where your stand should be located.
A buck is more likely to move during daylight when he can travel with the breeze. But you and that buck can both have the wind, right? As a matter of fact, you can. If you look hard enough, many times you can find a slight bend in a buck's route that will allow you to have it both ways-or at least close enough to nail him. For example, a buck bedding on a far ridge will quarter as he descends, then once it makes the turn in his path, you have the advantage.
if you are a hunter that makes use of calls or rattles, place your stand well above the deer, where he your sounds will travel far. Locate the stand where the noises of your fake fight can be heard in the fields, where the deer will be grabbing the last few bites of the day; as well as into doe bedding areas, were bucks will be lingering looking for the hot does as the new day chases them out of the open feeding fields.
it really doesn't matter whether it's composed of brier thickets, dense conifers, tangled blowdowns, or clumps of cattails. Heavy cover always provides comfort for big bucks, especially as hunting season progresses and the pressure on them builds. This doesn't mean that they will be hiding in there all day long. But they'll be close by, and you should be to.
Many stands are only worthwhile either in the evening with the morning. But the perfect stand is a great place to sit all day long. The most important thing to keep in mind is to set up so that the prevailing winds blows perpendicular to the overall path of deer travel. This not only lets he said all day long-it means that any does or smaller bucks that happen to walk past your stand won't be directly downwind of you. This keeps them from accidentally spooking that big buck you are waiting for.
Your stand located on a nice hub of funnels will see some good action during the rut, but if it is also located downwind of some prime doe bedding or feeding areas, you may just have the hottest spot in the woods. During the rut, bucks will often scent-check in open feeding areas for hot does. Keep an eye out for similar scent-checking locations off of beaver pond openings or clear cuts in the big Woods.