These Tips Can Help Hunters Bag More Deer
Many hunters have questions about tree stand placement. “How high do you go in the tree” is one of the most asked questions on the topic. Every situation is different and there aren’t any rules without exceptions. However, some general practices will help hunters select the right place to put tree stands in most situations. Here are some quick tips for tree stand placement when preparing for the hunting season.
Tip #1 Play the Wind and Thermals
Once you have your general area selected, pay attention to the wind and thermal current in the area. You want to remain downwind or crosswind of where you think the deer will be. This is the most important of the tips and if ignored is the fastest way to blow a hunt.
Tip #2 Hang Your Stands High
Every situation is different, but in most cases, it’s best to place your stand as high as you can go in a tree without limiting your shot opportunities. If you’re uncomfortable with heights, go as high as you dare. Getting up higher in the tree usually lets you see farther. It also makes it harder for the deer to see you. Most importantly, your scent isn’t concentrated at a deer’s nose level.
Tip #3 Use Available Cover
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with tree stand height. In an empty tree with no cover, you’re more likely to need to go higher than in a tree with good cover. Look for trees that lose their foliage late, clusters of trees or trees with a “Y” in the trunk for concealment. Use large trees behind you when possible to avoid being skylined or silhouetted.
Tip #4 Use the Sun
Determine where the sun will be when you want to hunt the stand. Do you like to look into the sun? Neither does a deer! In fact, we have a UV filter over our eyes, but a whitetail does not.
Tip #5 Pick the Right Tree
“Use enough tree steps or climbing sticks so that you can scale the tree easily, safely and quietly.”
Pick a tree that will be easy to climb or make it easy to climb the tree you’ve chosen. If you have a great spot, but you alert every deer within 400 yards by making a commotion while climbing into your stand, deer will likely avoid your great spot that day. Use enough tree steps or climbing sticks so that you can scale the tree easily, safely and quietly. Pay attention to how you will enter and exit the stand as stealthy as possible.
Tip #6 Prepare the Site for Multiple Shot Opportunities
So you have a good spot. You have a stand in the perfect ambush tree, but what happens if a deer walks through and you can’t possibly take the shot? This is especially true when hunting with a bow. Take the time to trim some shooting lanes or windows in several directions so you can sneak an arrow through when the moment of truth arrives.
Remember also, there’s nothing wrong with a good ground blind. However, with whitetails, especially southern whitetails, you’ll need to set the blind well in advance of the hunt or brush it well to camouflage the blind so it blends in with the surroundings.
More whitetails are harvested by archers using tree stands than by any other method. If you choose a stand that you feel safe in and use these basic tree stand placement rules, your hunts may be more successful.
Remember to take your time when hanging and placing stands. Forgetting to use the proper straps, chains or other anchoring tools to ensure the stand is secure is an avoidable mistake.