Treestands give you the edge in ultimate invisibility, but only if you set them up appropriately. At the moment, my treestand setup wasn’t providing me the “invisible man” qualities I’d hoped for.
The buck beneath me had sauntered into my mock scrape setup with comfort, but once in the trap, he did an owl-like neck swivel that landed him and me in a stare-down duel.
Seconds later, without having my having a chance to draw back an arrow, the buck bolted like a looter carrying a new widescreen Television. What triggered the buck to abruptly look up from the steaming estrous scent I had placed in the mock scrape upon my arrival? I hadn’t moved. The wind was nevertheless in my face. Did I stand out that much in the creaky cottonwood?
Higher stands might be unnerving, but they do provide positive benefits. Deer have a wide field of view with their side-mounted eyeballs, but even that benefit only goes so far.
Following climbing down from the perch at midday, I looked back up from the buck’s point of view. My treestand stood out like a bison blocking site visitors on New York’s 42nd Street. With my form in it, how could a buck have missed the misplaced ambush website? Putting my bow down, I instantly began looking for an additional tree and got busy moving the stand for a later hunt.
Treestands are the trail cameras of their time. When they had been initial introduced commercially, they supplied the ultimate in ambush concealment. Archery whitetail accomplishment soared, and like modern trail cameras, they created you a greater hunter.
But as deer become educated to hunting pressure and in fact begin looking for hunters in trees, you need to place more emphasis on hiding your treestand over basically hanging it in a solid tree.
The placement of your treestand plays as essential a part in your overall camouflage as the actual camouflage pattern you don. Hide it right, and you’ll be in a position to get away with a lot more movement. Deer will have fewer possibilities to spot you hiding in the foliage, and your shooting possibilities will enhance.
For a surprise whitetail attack to succeed, location is almost everything. Your scouting will reveal terrain characteristics such as creeks, ridges, saddles, hedgerows, mast trees, and other elements that attract and funnel whitetails.
Narrow necks of timber connecting big woodland blocks, plus whitetail-gratifying croplands, can be scouted firsthand or through Google Earth.
A major place is crucial, but obtaining a network of backup stand web sites inventoried gives you possibilities for unpredictable winds, sudden whitetail pattern modifications, and unaccounted-for surprises, such as a landowner’s ambition to abruptly cut firewood close to your honey-hole. Once you have several hot areas scouted, start shopping for that textbook-excellent tree.
When purchasing for that ideal tree, it should sit along a key trail or pinch point. Use your trail cameras to verify travel consistency near the tree.
Ideally, it ought to sit along a significant trail or pinch point. Use your trail cameras to confirm travel consistency close to the tree. If at all possible, point your trail camera to the tree candidate to see which direction of travel the deer exhibit the most. This offers you data on how to set up for a quartering-away shot.
Exemplar trees need to be 10 to 20 yards from the trail. If you have it also far from the trail, you threat losing shooting lanes due to other vegetation and tree obstructions. Clip a tiny branch with a broadhead, and your arrow could zip off target. If you have it as well close, you might set your self up for a straight-down shot, which can be fatal, but could also outcome in a hit that only requires out a single lung.
Your tree ought to be in a position to advantage from seasonal, prevailing winds. As you scout, be conscientious of compass points and how they relate to autumn winds. Your backup scouting can cover areas when the wind decides to do a 180-degree twist, but your principal trap should be set for the winds that take place nearly day-to-day during the season.
The tree should be mature, with an umbrella-like canopy. Trees with octopus-like limbs give you ample alternatives on exactly where to location your stand. They also provide a lot more cover. Big limbs can obstruct the view of deer beneath, and the leafy canopy also conceals until Mother Nature removes the leaves at midseason.
Ultimately, mature trees don’t sway as much as younger trees supported by spindly tree trunks. If and when a powerful front blows via with gusty winds, you don’t want to have to be judging both range and lead from a swaying tree.
Focus ON CLUSTERS
After location, you require to begin pinning down the tree that has “the proper stuff.” You’ve likely heard the phrase “melt into a crowd,” and that very same philosophy holds accurate with treestand placement.
Placing your stand up in a single tree in an opening, or even along a field edge, may possibly set you up for scrutiny from below. Alternatively of risking a lost shot chance, appear for a cluster of trees.
A group of trees, regardless of whether in the open or in the middle of a timbered pocket, gives you added camouflage and makes it possible for you to blend into the crowd. Clusters have more limbs, much more leaves, and far more cover for a whitetail to have to choose via to discover you.
If you hang your treestand effectively, it will melt into the current backdrop and not create alarm like the time I hung a treestand in a lanky ash tree out of sheer frustration more than failing to uncover a far better option. The 1st doe to come under the stand looked straight up, snorted, and raced away as if the Wolf Man was in pursuit.
“The location of your treestand plays as crucial a role in your general camouflage as the actual camouflage pattern you don. Hide it correct, and you will be capable to get away with much more movement.”
Clusters of trees offer more than just a very good hideout they also open up choices for shooting possibilities.
Despite your efforts to hide your treestand, you must be ready for all of a whitetail’s senses to root you out, particularly as you draw an arrow for the shot. By setting up your stand in the midst of a cluster, you generate blind spots for arrow-drawing opportunities.
If I cannot set up in a cluster, I often try and set up with at least one particular tree amongst me and the expected meeting location. That one tree serves as my focal point, and when a buck actions behind it, I’m drawing an arrow so I’m prepared when he measures out on the other side of it.
There is 1 remedy if you can’t uncover a cluster of trees — look for a fork in the tree. Huge forks in the center of the tree are pretty frequent, specifically in mature trees. The different forks give the identical blind-spot qualities as several trees in a row.
I arrowed this whitetail from a higher treestand that was hidden in a group of trees and sandwiched in a cluster of forks.
A farm I hunt in northern Kansas has scattered oaks inside the interior woodlands, and they supply the perfect ambush web site with their massive-girthed limbs. In a very good year, they are also a coveted meals source.
To make certain a buck pauses right after passing behind a blind spot, I ease over to shooting lanes and mist estrus or deer urine in the exact location exactly where a buck would step out from behind a tree. That way I can draw an arrow without having becoming noticed or sensed, and when the buck emerges on the far side he stops in a distracted fog, providing me precious seconds to release.
Do you have a place in mind? Is there an ancient oak nearby? If so, it’s time for setting it up, and your next decision is how high to go.
It by no means ceases to amaze me how low some bowhunters hang their stands. Higher stands might strain your acrophobia limits, but they do provide positive outcomes.
1st, they place your type out of a whitetail’s peripheral vision. Elevation also puts your scent in a stream slipping higher and away with the proper wind. Even if your scent does ultimately pool down to deer level, it will most likely be hundreds of yards away, and not alarming a buck appropriate beneath your stand.
Location is every thing for a productive treestand assault. Look for terrain functions and meals sources that will attract and funnel whitetails inside range of your stand tree.
Lastly, greater up implies farther away, and distance can make the creak of a stand or the clink of metal mix harmlessly with the rustling leaves and whistling winds.
Given that I have the privilege of functioning on a number of hunting shows, I also have the responsibility to camouflage my videographers and their platforms. Maintaining that in mind, I traditionally location my stands a notch larger than average to aid conceal twice the movement present on a single-hunter site.
To see how out of whack I was with the true globe, I polled a number of of my outfitter buddies on the average height they location treestands to hide customers. I discovered out I wasn’t too out of touch with reality.
The most frequent height was around 20 feet, with a handful of reaching up to 25 feet. Couple of exceeded 30 feet in height, and if you have ever sat in a stand that high up, you know why — it is freaking higher!
In addition to the phobia possibilities, intense heights create intense shot angles, which can outcome in much less-than-lethal shots. One-lung hits are a distinct probability.
Even if you do not place a treestand 30 feet up in the tree, you could unintentionally put it that higher by placing it along a steep hill or ridge, escalating the height distance to the target. Preserve terrain in mind considering that it will add height and distance to the target.
In many of my hunting hotspots, I in fact nudge the treestand higher as the season progresses. Why? In the early season, thick foliage limits my shots, so I like to be reduce exactly where I can duck, bend, and lean to shoot in between leafy limbs. As frost invades and the leaves fall, I bump my stand up a handful of feet to use height over foliage as my main concealment veil.
You can further add to the concealment character by just holding in your inner gardener. By trimming less and leaving more of the foliage intact, you offer yourself additional camouflage for blending purposes.
Of course, this leads to a give-and-take proposition. By taking a lot more vegetation, you open up additional shooting possibilities. It doesn’t spend to stay concealed if you cannot get a shot at a passing buck. Taking also a lot vegetation opens up the possibility of being spotted.
Removing foliage and then getting hit with the crash of leaves later in the fall can leave you feeling nervously naked in the woods. My solution is to trim early when the foliage canopy is at its peak.
An early ruckus in the woods, say in late-summer time or early autumn, is also forgettable to the nearby deer population. In the course of this chore, open shooting lanes adequately, but only cut adequate for ethical shots and to steer clear of arrow deflections. By leaving the majority of flora in place, you will keep hidden, even when the last leaf drops.
No matter whether erecting or hunting treestands, be confident to make security a best priority. Always let someone know your place, and always put on a complete-physique harness certified by the Treestand Manufacturer’s Association.
For massive trimming chores, I like to use a telescoping saw and pruner. This tool comes in varying lengths and can attain branches 12 feet or greater, plus you can strap yourself into your stand and use the tool to cut branches at treestand level that are just out of attain from the ground.
For last-minute trimming, I constantly preserve a top quality trimming saw like Gerber’s Exchange-a-Blade in my daypack. Team that up with a ratchet-style pruner, accessible at hunting stores or gardening centers, and no limb stands a chance.
The following season right after my stare-down disaster, I moved my stand into the fork of a giant cottonwood surrounded by a cluster of younger trees. Three trails merged just ahead of the stand, giving me possibilities on bucks arriving from several places.
Older cottonwoods have minimal trimming specifications due to their weak limbs that snap in abnormal winds, so trimming took only minutes to make certain my bow didn’t bump anything for the duration of the shot. Nonetheless, the crotch held a dozen leafy branches to preserve me hidden.
How properly did the setup work? A bachelor group of bucks sauntered by a single October morning, and even though two split off of the major trail, 3 passed underneath. Despite my ideal efforts to blow the trap by possessing to turn 180 degrees with a mature buck underneath and bumping my binoculars and knocking them onto my treestand seat, the bucks by no means spooked, and seconds later a 16-yard shot cemented my newfound skills for a treestand disappearing act.
There is nothing at all like the satisfaction of slipping into a effectively-scouted spot and setting up the ideal stand months befo…
The secret to killing huge bucks for most hunters boils down to performing a lot of perform. Thats it. Its not a new contact, or the…