Everyone knows that hunting from a tree stand will undoubtedly increase your odds when hunting deer. It offers concealment, scent dissipation, and a good view of your surroundings, but picking the right spot isn’t as easy as finding a straight sturdy tree. Knowing where to set up your stand may be the most important task of the hunting season. Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years for picking that perfect location for your stand.
Finding a well traveled deer trail doesn’t automatically mean it’s a great spot to hang your stand. Many mature bucks prefer the “road less traveled” and often avoid these super deer highways. Finding a secondary trail may be a better option when looking for a mature buck. Scout it well, looking for scrapes, rubs and dense cover. Look for pinch points where the trail funnels deer into more predictable areas. I’ve had success setting up off trails that pinch between a fence line and a steep hillside.
Fields are often loaded with a food source. When hunting fields find the quietest, most distant corner and set up just inside the woods. Bucks often won’t enter fields until dark but you may be able to ambush him in his staging area as he waits for night to fall.
A deer’s nose will beat you nearly every time without proper preparation. Scent blocking clothes, cover scents and other products help but setting up a stand without considering the wind is foolish. Take note on the direction of the prevailing winds in your area and set up accordingly. Always place your stand on the downwind side of the expected travel path of deer.
I’ve hunted the same private land for several years now and thru the years have found great spot. Just inside the corner of a corn field where multiple trails run thru dense thickets merging into one trail leading to the field. I’ve shot a deer from this stand every year. Last year started like all the others. Right away I was seeing deer- just one problem. They were 100 yards away. The deer had stopped using the trails I had been targeting and were accessing the field at the adjacent corner. After a few frustrating days of watching the deer from a distance I decided to move locations. I set up off the other corner and the next morning I had meat for the freezer. Always consider having a back up stand ready to hang up at a moments notice for these types of occasions.
Good luck and happy hunting!