While you are out shed hunting, don't take your tree stands down. Now's the best time to move them and put new tree stands up.
With the 2016 hunting season coming to an end, everyone begins to pack away their gear and wait for opening day. Often times, outdoorsmen and women will take up fishing, camping, or turkey hunting in the off season to pass the time. For those who live and breathe whitetail deer hunting, the season never ends.
Often times, those people are out shed hunting come late February or early March. The social media #shedrally begins flooding their newsfeed, and hunters are excited to see what bucks are making it through the winter.
Most people tend to take this time to go and take down their tree stands and pack them away. This is where I come in and tell you not to do that. Now is the best time to hang your late season tree stands, and the video below will explain why.
1. Get a good feel for what the area looks like in the late season.
So, as I mentioned in the video, February looks just like it does in November, for the most part. As you head out shed hunting in February or March, the trees are still without leaves. This gives you a good idea as to what it looks like in November.
Why is this important? Well, your shooting lanes, for one. You can get an idea if you need to take extra measures to cut yourself shooting lanes. On top of that, though, you are able to get a good grasp at your surrounding area. In the late summer and early fall, you may not be in this particular stand, but if you were to try to hang it then, you could potentially hang the stand in the wrong spot because you had no idea what it would going to look like when the leaves drop.
2. You're less likely to disturb the deer herd.
This is a big one. The deer are looking for food now. Their mind is back on eating, and the thought of hunters has mostly faded. Sure, there are predators like coyotes and such, depending on your location, but the pressure of human hunters has come and gone. The deer are looking for food. If you are to travel through their sanctuary area now it will do much less damage than if you were to walk in during the hunting season. Deer often times may leave the area for a few days and come back after being scared away from a human. During the hunting season, however, larger, more mature bucks will recognize the presence of humans and can turn nocturnal almost instantly. You really want to leave the timber and sanctuary locations to hunt during the rut, which is why you need to hang your tree stands now.
3. You are fresh off of hunting season and will remember the most information you gather now.
That's the truth. The 2016 hunting season has come to an end and all the information is fresh in your mind. Whether you screwed up and learned from your mistake or just found new information, now is the best time to put that knowledge to use.
If you were to go the entire spring and summer without writing down any of the information you gathered, there's a good chance you will forget. You don't want to run the risk of forgetting something that could bring you success for the next hunting season. Put it to use; grab your stands and hang them where you've discovered they need to be.
Shed hunting is very fun for me and each year I seem to be getting better at it. What I'm also getting better at is using every minute I'm in the woods to scout for deer. While I'm shed hunting, I'm not only looking for sheds. I'm looking for old rubs, game trails, deer tracks and droppings. I'm taking note of the wind direction and looking for deer beds. If there are any openings in the timber where deer could bed and still get the warmth of the sun, I mark that location.
Deer hunting is a 365-day task. When you live and breathe deer hunting, you want to always do better than the year before. Take notes the next time you go in to the woods, and if you're out there shed hunting, take your tree stands.