Non Traditional Treestand Tactics

SUNP0297 (2)You don’t have to look far to find numerous hunting-related materials that preach about the importance of limiting the pressure exerted on your stands. After all, it is one of the most commonly misused tactics and usually comes back to haunt the hunter later in the season in the form of uneventful hunts. It’s no secret that a mature deer can pattern a hunter much better than most give them credit for. Like most hunting situations, there is an exception to this rule, but it only applies if a few conditions are met. So the question is, when is it acceptable to repeatedly hunt a stand?

The rut is a magical time of the year for us deer hunting fanatics. The amount of time bucks spend on their feet and the distances traveled during November are exponentially higher than any other time of the year. This tips the odds in the hunters’ favor. If you are capable of locating a doe bedding area, a travel corridor, or a combination of the two situated near a feeding area, you have a rut hunting hotspot. You will notice that bucks frequently check the nearby area for does in estrus. Because of the unpredictability of these bucks, you can hunt these areas repeatedly until a buck shows up. Normally, your chances of tagging a buck is much greater your first time hunting a stand, but your target buck or any shooter buck may not visit the area due his seasonal excursions. If he is alive, at some point he will revisit the area. This is unlike hunting in the early season when a buck is keeping a pattern that is somewhat predictable on a day to day basis. During the rut, a buck may be miles away on Tuesday and you can harvest him on your property on Wednesday. Eventually a buck will show up to check out these areas. Of course, there is a twist.

Your buck isn’t going to show up every day, but it is important that the does feel comfortable enough to show up regularly. They are what you are using to draw in rutting bucks. In order to do this you must be able to enter and exit your stands quietly and efficiently in order to keep the does from becoming skittish. If you are spooking every deer in the vicinity when entering and exiting your stand, you have essentially shot yourself in the foot and will seldom experience successful or eventful hunts. Also, using the wind to your advantage is a must. Always keep the wind in your face. Many hunters insist on using scent eliminating products, others are adamant that they are unnecessary. I figure that it isn’t but roughly five dollars a bottle and it isn’t going to hinder me, so why not? There have been many successful studies that have proven you increase your chances of being in close proximity of a deer with scent eliminating spray as opposed to not using it. After all the time and effort we put into hunting, what’s an extra five dollars? Especially when it has the potential to keep you from getting busted.

It may sound like a long shot to get all of these contingencies to add up, but stand sites such as these are easy to find if you scout properly. Funnels, pinch points, and ridges can also be applied to this stand hunting tactic. The key is, once you have located an area that does are frequenting, hunt it as much as you can until you find your buck, but be careful not to pressure the does. Hopefully, this unusual tactic will assist you in hunting your property during this very exciting time of the season. Hunting stands repeatedly day after day is usually thought to be taboo and a definite way to ruin stand sites, but under the aforementioned circumstances, burning out your tree stand sites may be just what you need in order to tag your buck.

 

Andrew Walters

awalters@mossyoakproperties.com