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The Top 10 Ways to Hunt Successfully From a Tree Stand

Nov 6, 2007
The vast majority of hunters wait for their game in tree stands.

That waiting might be for several hours, or even a whole day at a time.

It can be a very effective technique, especially for the whitetail deer which are the most hunted species in North America.

The key to success or failure lies in being in the right place at the right time.

Sounds easy!

But it's what separates the consistently successful hunters from the rest.

So how do you go about being in the right place at the right time?

When hunting deer, almost all activity revolves around:
* Food
* Cover
* Travel routes between food and cover

The following 10 steps should increase your success when hunting from a tree stand.

1) When looking at deer tracks, note the direction of the tracks. Trails or runways being used to reach the feeding areas are likely to be most productive during afternoon or evenings.

Those leaving the feeding areas often produce the best results in the morning.

Trails with tracks going in both directions should be good at any time

2) The wind direction. You should site your stand downwind from where you expect the deer to come from.

Alternative sites should be chosen to accommodate different wind directions, so that no matter which direction the wind is blowing, you have a location to hunt

3) If using a bow your stand should be sited within your accurate shooting range of where you expect to see the deer.
If using a rifle, you can be farther away to reduce detection

4) The route in to the site. Try to choose a site that allows you to reach it without getting busted by the deer on your way in

5) Location of other hunters. If you are close to other hunters your success rate drops due to more scent, noise, etc in the area

6) Availability of trees. Finding the right type of tree for your stand, and in the right location can be a challenge

7) The type of stand you hunt with. You may have to change your type of stand to suit the environment

8) The height you are confident shooting from. Its no good climbing to a height that puts you out of your confident bow range

9) The height you are comfortable climbing to and have the skills to shoot from

10) Choose several sites so that if the wind changes or deer movements change, you have an alternative site that meets the above criteria.

Your consistent success depends on the pre-season scouting you do to identify the highest success locations, and then following these 10 steps.

If you do that, you can expect consistent hunting success.
About the Author
Steve Nickson has hunted deer for over 40 years. Learn how you can bag the biggest buck of your life at Hunt For Deer
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