Five things to consider when setting up deer stands
Trying to increase your chances of taking down that big buck this year? Have you been scouting out that 8-point’s territory and think you have just the right spot for a deer stand? There’s no doubt a deer stand can increase the chances of bring down the big one. The following are a few guidelines for first time stand hunters.
Always number one safety. It can’t be said often enough. You may not get a chance to make a second mistake. Whether you’re on the ground or several feet in the feet, the single most important thing for a hunter is safety. It should go without saying; please follow all the standard safety rules. Please exercise caution when climbing in to and out of a deer stand. Never climb with a loaded rifle. If you are using a tree stand, check for any weak branches near your climbing path.
2) Know the area
For your sake, and for the safety of others, know the area you intend on hunting in. As with any hunting, know where buildings are located and get an idea where different trajectories can take your bullet. Assuming you already have learned there are deer trails in the area where you intend to put your stand, make sure to put your stand where you will be facing the trails.
3) Plan ahead
See number two! Setting up a deer stand isn’t something to do the day before the first day of buck season. Scout out the deer trails, get permission from private property owners as necessary. Pick your spot and set up your stand well in advance of hunting season. Don’t forget to consider your exit path for dragging that trophy buck out of the woods!
4) Stay Downwind
Deer have a keen sense of smell. If they smell a human, they will change direction. Find out which direction the wind normally blows and pick a spot for your stand that is downwind of the trail. Deer scent in a bottle is not going to completely mask a human smell.
A prime spot for a deer stand will allow you a good view while still affording you some concealment. The leaves still remaining on any deciduous trees at this time of the year won’t be there for long. Those that do remain may fall at any time. The last thing you want is for that big buck you’ve been scouting for weeks to be spooked out of your sights at the last second by falling leaves. Getting close to a pine tree may help conceal you and your human scent as well.
A tree stand should never be erected on private property without the owner’s express permission. Even using a portable stand can cause some minor damage to a tree. Attempt to find out if other hunters will be in the same area. Please make sure someone else knows where you intend on hunting. Ah, I can smell the venison roasting already!