To successfully hunt from a treestand, remember the three Ps: placement, preparation and patience. Incorporate these strategies and you’ll fill your tag well before the rut.
I prefer using a hang-on stand to a climbing stand, because the latter tends to make more noise and must be hauled in and out on every hunt.
Proper stand placement starts by selecting the right tree. Look for one that provides good concealment, with multiple trunks and heavy canopy, always taking into account prevailing winds.
“I’m not as concerned with the cover below me as I am with what’s behind me,” said American Archer bowhunter Tom Nelson. “I want good background cover so I don’t skyline myself.”
A good stand site is one near numerous deer trails, to give you the greatest number of shot opportunities.
Avoid alerting deer by hanging stands a couple months before the season. Never leave them up all year, as the weather and woodland critters will do significant damage.
When determining how high to hang a stand, don’t assume higher is better. Sitting 25 feet up may be necessary when hunting heavily pressured deer, but shot angles change dramatically the farther up a tree you go, making it harder to make an ethical, clean kill.
“The higher you get, the smaller your target gets,” said Dan Perez, co-owner of Whitetail Properties. “Hunters often wound or miss because they’re too high up.”
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