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Advanced Treestand Strategies
 

Advanced Tree Stand Strategies
What To Do With A New Tree Stand

Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from longtime, avid deer hunter John Louk of Petal, Mississippi, this season, and you may take the buck of a lifetime.

"He was the biggest buck I'd ever seen in my life," Earnest McCarron, a hunting companion of mine, told me. "The buck had at least 22 inches between his main beams and well over 12 points on his non-typical rack. But somehow he smelled me. Although I’d taken a shower, left my clothes hanging outside overnight and squirted myself down with odor neutralizer, that buck still smelled me." My friend carried a brand-new, shiny tree stand on his back. I asked him when he got that tree stand. He told me with pride that he’d bought it the day before and that today was the first day he’d ever hunted with it. A hunter may destroy his chances of taking a deer when he first buys a tree stand. Often he purchases a stand the weekend before he plans to hunt. He then carries the stand to his hunting club in the box it came in and unpacks the stand the night before he will hunt. But the first time he takes that tree stand into the woods to hunt, the smells and the sounds of that new tree stand will spook more deer than a group of sweaty Sumo wrestlers trying to tiptoe through a briar patch.
"Never take a new tree stand into the woods to hunt from,” John Louk says. “As soon as you purchase the stand, carry it home, remove it from the box, and hang it in your backyard to release the new smell from the stand." Louk also suggests you spray some type of odor neutralizer such as Atsko's N-O-Dor or Hunter’s Specialties’ Scent-A-Way on your new tree stand. Too, Louk also recommends utilizing a mixture of turpentine and water as an odor killer. Spraying this mixture on your tree stand will give the stand a piney-woods scent. "The sooner you get the new smell off a tree stand, the less likely that the stand will spook deer," Louk explains. "Remember too that tree stands may rattle, pop and squeak when you walk." Before you hunt, put your tree stand on your back, and move around with it. Listen for any sounds the stand makes. Unfold the stand, attach it to a tree, fold it up, and then walk around with it once more. Hunters will spook deer when the deer smells the hunter and his stand or hears the hunter and his stand.
Often many sportsmen make the mistake when bowhunting or gun hunting of using a pull-up rope to lift bows, arrows or guns into their tree stands. Invariably, equipment bangs against the tree, catches onto a limb or falls off the rope. To solve this problem, Louk recommends that, "When you buy a tree stand, purchase some type of a gun and/or a bow rack for your tree stand that allows you to attach your gun or bow to the stand. Then your equipment goes up the tree at the same time you do with less noise."

To learn more about Atsko’s products, go to www.atsko.com . For more information on Hunter’s Specialties’ products, visit www.hunterspec.com .
Advanced Tree Stand Strategies
Where To Put Your Tree Stand
Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from longtime, avid deer hunter John Louk of Petal, Mississippi, this season, and you may take the buck of a lifetime.

Choosing the site you'll hunt from also may determine your hunting success. John Louk suggests if you hunt in unfamiliar territory that you select two or three different trees when scouting to place your tree stand in later. "Most hunters are scouting when leaves are still hanging on the trees," Louk says. "When a hunter comes back to the area he's scouted earlier to hunt two or three weeks later and the leaves have fallen off the tree he's chosen, he may be totally exposed if he climbs the tree. However, if he selects two or three trees for possible stand sites, then he'll know which tree will provide the best back cover for him, if the leaves do fall off."
Advanced Tree Stand Strategies
When To Use Different Types Of Tree Stands
Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from Paul Meeks of Tallulah, Louisiana, the developer of the API tree stand, this season, and you may take your buck of a lifetime.

Most hunters buy one tree stand and attempt to use that stand under a variety of hunting conditions. However, Paul Meeks believes that, "You'll find a climbing tree stand the most effective when you use it as a first-strike stand. After scouting and finding a place to hunt, leave your climbing tree stand there for the following morning's hunt. You probably already have enough scent in the area from scouting to spook a big deer. The more times you use a climbing tree stand in a region, the less effective that stand site will be." Meek recommends that once you've hunted you wait three days to a week before returning to the site to hunt that area again. "The less time you spend in a spot and the less noise you make, the better your chances to bag a buck," Meeks emphasizes. Meeks also suggests you hunt from your climbing tree stand in the morning and then scout until 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. If you find a good place to go up a tree while scouting, then hunt that area in the afternoon. At dark, come out of the woods with your tree stand.
"If you use a climbing tree stand, you can climb into a tree and begin to hunt immediately when you find a site with plenty of deer sign," Meeks explains. "The climbing tree stand offers the hunter the advantage of immediate accessibility to a high perch over active deer sign." If you want to hunt the same area several consecutive days or a couple of times during the season, Meeks advises you utilize a fixed-position stand. "If you can get to your stand quickly and quietly without disturbing the woods, you may consider using a fixed-position tree stand," Meeks says.
Meeks prefers a fixed-position stand when he locates a deer hot spot that:
* he can hunt throughout the season,
* he can go to without disturbing the woods,
* he can arrive at or leave by water,
* he knows no one else will hunt because of where it is,
* he can leave his stand up at all year, or
* he can watch deer coming to and going away from in any direction on the edge of a thicket where the deer can't see him.
Once you've decided which tree stand will best suit the area you hunt, you must determine the most-productive place to put that tree stand. "I've outsmarted myself on several different occasions," Meeks comments. "I'll find a deer trail in a very unlikely place, see tracks along the trail and feel sure a deer has used the trail. I then talk myself out of hunting that spot and instead will put my stand in a place with no tracks or trails. But I've learned if I place my stand in the general area where I see deer sign, no matter how ridiculous the spot may seem, more than likely I'll bag a buck."
Advanced Tree Stand Strategies
How David Hale Hunts Hot Spots from a Tree stand

Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from David Hale of Cadiz, Kentucky, a co-developer of Knight and Hale Game Calls, this season and you may take the buck of a lifetime.

Unlike Paul Meeks (see Day 3), David Hale hunts spots to take deer from his tree stand where he may not see trails entering or exiting these places or bucks in the area. However, he believes hunting these sites will help you bag the biggest bucks in the region. "I look for deep, dark, shady hollows with plenty of cover," Hale advises. "Initially, you'll see no reason for a large buck to frequent these hollows. However, when you go into these hollows, you'll discover deer droppings but perhaps no deer food. Bucks come to these kinds of places for sanctuary and to loaf. On cold, windy days the hollows provide shelter from storms and shelter and cool temperatures on hot days. The bucks can stand up, walk around and move in these areas without fear of hunting pressure. If a hunter climbs either side of the ridge, the buck easily can exit the bottom of the hollow or remain in this hidden sanctuary. But usually no hunter will climb into one of these ravines to search for deer. Since bucks arrive in these hollows to dodge hunting pressure in the middle of the day, I put up my tree stand the day I'm hunting and hunt from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m in hollows."
If Hale doesn't locate a trophy buck in one of these deep-hollow loafing spots, he'll then hunt trails in the mornings or the afternoons. But Hale doesn't hunt the main trails most hunters take. He hunts secondary trails 20 to 50 yards off the main trails. "Older-age class bucks rarely use the main trail other deer take," Hale reports. "The older-age class buck trail generally looks dim and lies well away from the main trail. I'll take a stand about 20- to 50-yards away from secondary trails." Hale also has developed a tactic to force large deer to come to him. "Big bucks and most deer hunters have one thing in common – neither wants to expend any more time or energy than required to be successful," Hale says. "The trophy buck most often takes the easiest route around obstacles. "I've learned by taking camouflage netting into an area where I expect to find a trophy buck, I can create a funnel with the netting. If perhaps a 100-yard bottleneck lies between a creek and a road, I can string the 3- to 4-foot-high camouflage netting from the edge of the road to within 30 yards of the edge of the creek. Deer easily can jump over the netting. But instead of jumping over it, 95 percent of the time the deer will walk around the netting. Using this tactic, I funnel deer in front of my tree stand and can place my tree stand where I want it, rather than where I must have it to get a shot at the deer." Hale suggests tying the netting from tree-to-tree, two to three weeks before you hunt, to have the most success with this tactic. If you own property where you can funnel deer near a lake, a creek or a stream, you have the advantage of going to and from your tree stand by water. This strategy will leave less human odor and force the deer to funnel around your tree stand without their spooking.

Advanced Tree Stand Strategies
Why Stay Away From The Deer
Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from Ray McIntyre, of Grand Island, Florida, an avid bowhunter, this season, and you may take the buck of a lifetime.
Tree stand hunters often create problems for themselves when they place their tree stands close to the place they expect the deer to appear. Ray McIntyre explains that, "The farther away you put your tree stand from where you think you'll see a buck, the better your odds for bagging the buck when hunting with a bow or a gun." McIntyre emphasizes that deer can see, hear and smell things within 10 to 15 yards of them that won't bother them 25- to 30-yards away. "A good bowhunter must be able to center a pie plate at 30 yards," McIntyre observes. "If the hunter places his tree stand to have a 30-yard shot at a deer rather than a 15- or a 20-yard shot, he more than likely won't spook the buck he's trying to take and will bag the deer. Any rifle hunter should shoot at least a 3-inch group at 100 yards. Therefore, his chances of bagging a trophy buck will increase if he sets up his tree stand 100 yards from where he anticipates the deer will show up than if he puts his stand up 30 to 50 yards from where he expects the deer."

McIntyre believes tree stand manufacturers make quiet tree stands, but that when a hunter sits in a tree stand, the combination of the hunter and the stand will make noise. The further away you set up from the deer, the less likely that the deer will hear you or your tree stand. "Also most hunters know they can shoot more accurately and spook less deer by sitting rather than standing to shoot," McIntyre says. "Gun hunters have learned to sit in their tree stands rather than stand in them when they shoot. However, bowhunters seem to think they have to stand to shoot accurately. If more bowhunters will learn to shoot from a sitting position, they will make less noise, create less movement and bag more bucks with their bows."




John Phillips

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