Editor’s Note: To be a master of hunting extraordinary bucks, you must understand the elements required for the best ground blind and tree stand placement and the most-productive tree stand hunting.
Often no tree will be big enough or in the right place on some lands for you to set-up a tree stand to take an extraordinary buck. However, you can use a ground blind successfully to set-up almost anywhere. These tips will help you:
* set the blind up close to or on the edge of thick cover or brush;
* use natural brush to brush in the blind, as though you’re hunting ducks;
* take some type of odor killer or odor neutralizer with you to spray down the blind, once you’ve got the blind set-up to cut down on the amount of human odor present;
* use that same bottle of odor neutralizer, spray down everywhere you’ve walked, and as you leave your ground blind, spray that trail too;
* leave the ground blind in place, and don’t return there for at least 3 days or a week if possible;
* get in your ground blind the day you’re hunting an extraordinary buck, and set-up at least an hour before you think you should.
When you try to choose the best tree stand for your style of deer hunting, you must consider many factors. Picking the right tree stand is much like attempting to select the most-beautiful girl in a beauty contest. Although the first four finishers will be happy, the rest of the contestants will be mad. Usually the way one person measures beauty is different from the standards others may use. Here’s the particular types of stands I prefer,. and the reasons they are my favorites. But you must make up your own mind about what is best for you. The masters of deer hunting consider and try many different options and tactics before choosing the ones that work best for them.
* Ladder Stand – The ladder type stand that either can be chained on, strapped on or in some other way fastened to the side of a tree is my favorite kind of stand. The reasons for my choice are simple. Ladder stands are relatively safe to climb when you wear a full-body safety harness with a lifeline attached to the tree, comfortable to sit in and allow you to get into or come out of the stand making a minimum of noise. This noise factor is one of the keys as to why I like a ladder stand better than all the other types. The ladder stand does have one disadvantage, however. The ladder stand is not very portable, and moving it is often a problem. However, I still believe because very-little noise is made getting into and out of the stand, it is a superior hunting platform.
* Lock-On-Limb Stand – Although this kind of stand can be portable, I believe putting this stand on a tree and leaving it set-up is better. Then you climb in or out of it with either screw-in or strap-on steps. Once this type of stand is put up, and the steps are attached to the tree, you can move into and out of the stand much quicker, easier and quieter than you can with the climbing stands. The lock-on-limb stand has the disadvantage of not being very portable. Climbing strap-on or screw-in type steps aren’t as easy or as comfortable as with a ladder-type stand. Also, quite a bit of work is involved in putting these stands up and taking them down. But again, the lack of noise you create getting into this style of stand is why I pick the lock-on-limb kind as my second favorite choice.
* Climbing Stand – Most of us who have been deer hunting for awhile have been up and down trees utilizing climbing-type stands. These portable stands offer you much more mobility than either the ladder or the lock-on-limb stand and steps do. In my opinion, however, the climbing stand is very noisy as you climb in and out of it. It also doesn’t seem to provide as much security as the ladder and the lock-on-limb stands do. Hunters often assume having a portable stand means they need to move it numerous times to hunt effectively, rather than leaving the stand in the woods like the ladder or the lock-on-limb stands. But the noise factor is the reason I list the climbing stand as my least-preferred hunting stand.
Probably an accurate statement is that the only people who don’t fall out of tree stands are the ones who don’t use them. I’m not saying tree stands are totally unsafe; many hunters who fall out of tree stands have been sleeping in their stands without utilizing a safety harness and lifeline, both of which I consider essential equipment for any tree stand hunter. But sooner or later you have to decide whether or not you want to hunt from a tree stand. The decision I’ve made is I will hunt from a tree stand, because I think it’s one of the most-effective ways to bag an extraordinary whitetail. However, I won’t climb too high off the ground. Then even if I do fall, the chance of harm is minimized – especially due to my harness and lifeline. Be very careful when climbing into and out of your stands, which are the times many accidents occur. One of the most-successful tree-stand hunters for deer I know reduces his chances for accidents wearing a safety harness and lifeline and spending most of his hunting time standing. He believes that by standing he is more alert, more intent on hunting, more prepared for taking a shot and less likely to have an accident. If he becomes fatigued, he will sit down for 5-10 minutes to take a break and then stand and hunt again for 30-45 minutes. Anyone who hunts from a tree stand should be safety conscious by anticipating the hazards that being suspended in the air can bring.
To learn more about hunting deer with John E. Phillips’ Amazon Kindle eBooks, print books and Audible books (the latest Audible is “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro”) and Nook books, click here at http://johninthewild.com/books/#deer. You can type in the name of the book and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer. For a free download on how to make jerky from venison to provide a protein-rich snack, choose “How to Prepare Venison Jerky: The Ultimate Snack Food” at johninthewild.com/free-books.