Learn how to give your treestand extra cover with these easy tips.
Some hunting outsiders just don't understand the never-ending quest to find the perfect tree. When you start hunting, it's easy to go in with the assumption that every tree is the same when it comes to setting up a stand. After all, how complicated could it possibly be? You pick a tree, climb up, set up your stand, and start shooting.
Sadly, finding the perfect tree is never quite this easy. On the contrary, there are many qualities that must be looked for and found before a hunter is satisfied enough to set up his or her treestand and get to work.
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The tree needs to be strong and secure, with a straight trunk that makes it optimal for setting up a stand. The tree needs to have good vantage points in all directions. The tree needs to be positioned near a pathway that sees regular traffic from whitetails, preferably between the bedding area and the food source. And finally, the tree needs to have a canopy of branches and brush that can give you the cover you need to remain out of sight of deer.
However, while all of these qualities are important in a tree, not all of them can be found on any given hunting day - particularly if you intend on leaving any time to actually hunt. When picking a tree, the most important consideration is obviously that you can set up your treestand and hunt from it safely and securely. A dead tree with unstable limbs should be avoided like the plague. But while safety is the most important thing, a strong tree with terrible vantage points and an awful location still won't do you any good. In other words, both safety and location are essential to any treestand tree.
Which leaves the natural cover the tree presents as one of the lesser considerations when choosing a spot for a tree stand. That's not to say that cover isn't important: no hunter wants to deal with a buck spotting them and bolting for the hills just seconds before the trigger is pulled.
However, the fact is that there are things you can do to add extra cover to your treestand; there's nothing you can do to fortify a dead tree and turn it into an advisable treestand spot, and there's nothing you can do to move your favorite tree closer to where the deer are bedding and eating this year. So pick a durable tree with great location, then set to work making sure it has cover.
Set to work trimming branches on surrounding trees to provide better sightlines to where you think/hope you will be seeing deer.
Then, gather up those branches and carry them up to the treestand with you. With some clever use of clips, zip ties, ropes, and even a bit of duct tape, you can easily provide yourself with a natural canopy of cover that will render you all but invisible to the eyes of deer.
If you are setting up a treestand spot for the first time, you may have ticked "safety" and "location" off your list, but your vantage point could still be a bit dodgy thanks to surrounding trees and brush. Luckily, you can turn those obstacles into strengths for your treestand.
Have any more advice for covering a treestand? Leave it in the comments below.