As the heat of August begins, our addled brains turn to the sport we love so much: deer hunting. Now is the the perfect time to place a new deer stand or maintain an old one.
Why now? Changing the environment is disruptive, and deer need time to adjust before hunting season. Also, many hunters are in the field scouting and tending food plots anyway. You might as well get two distractions out of the way at once.
Here are five ideas about deer stands and stand placement.
1. Deer are not stupid.
And they are far from blind. If you see a camouflage blob in the air, they can see it better. If your stand is over an open field or food plot, move it back from the edge.
You need to put a few trees and some undergrowth between you and the deer. If this is not an option, cut some material and create some coverage.
2. Flags will fly.
A critical mistake is picking a spot solely for the best view of your anticipated hunting area. It may be a great spot, but consider how you will get there.
Nothing is more frustrating than reaching the seat of the stand only to watch flags disappear over the horizon. Consider building in some concealment to help you get in and out unnoticed.
3. Winds of change.
Lets face it – winds can change on a moment’s notice. However, we can take some precautions. Account for your prevailing wind direction, and place stands on what will be the downwind side most of the time.
Also, consider temperature change. On a cold morning, smell travels downhill even without wind. Your scent trail changes as the temperatures rise. If it’s primarily a morning stand, lower elevations are better.
4. Where’s the party?
In your mind’s eye, you see exactly where the deer will come out and present the best shot. I find ladder stands and climbing stands are better quartering away from the anticipated party zone. This allows the tree to provide some concealment and better possibilities for a rest for a long rifle shot.
5. Deer know squat about stand placement.
You have picked your party zone. Now take notice of what else is around you. Does your stand limit you to shooting in just one direction? Deer can come from anywhere and everywhere. What options do you have for a deer directly under you? It happens.
When it comes to deer, give yourself every advantage, and then be ready for anything.