Tree Stand Placement a Mystery
Dr. John Woods 03.02.17
Mother Nature loves to mess with us. It’s like those beef jerky commercials about “MessN with Satchquach.” It’s just something you don’t do. And if you do, you have to know you are likely to get the short end.
A topic of seasonal debate around many deer hunting camps and even when a solo hunter owns or leases a parcel of land to hunt is where to put the hunting tree stands. In the planning process the reality eventually sinks in as to the multiple factors that contribute to an ideal placement of a tree stand to maximize hunting success.
First is locating a decent tree growing in just the right place. It has to be a good, strong, healthy tree with a straight trunk capable of handling a climbing stand, a lock-on with climbing sticks, or a ladder stand. It has to be spotted over a place where deer travel, feed, or bed, and have good visibility on the one hand, but a measure of concealment on the other. Finding just the right tree can be a tricky proposition.
Regardless of how you plan your tree stand site, the wind factor will always defeat you at one time or another. This is the reason a hunter should choose two or even three optional stand sites over a really hot hunting area. This could be a larger planted food plot with several different positions to post stands, a big cutover timber cut area offering multiple stand sites, a long, narrow stand of timber through feeding and bedding areas, or perhaps along the winding course of a creek with numerous deer crossings. Then hunters can assess the wind before each hunt and thus pick the best place to hunt.
A good tree stand location will need a quiet, secret access point and exit route. This factor cannot be emphasized enough. It makes little sense to have a good stand placement, then stink up the trail coming in or going out. Try to pick a stand position where a hunter can come in from the back side, or along another deer obstacle. Of course, applying a scent killing spray is a must to fool a buck’s sensitive nose.
In the actual placement of a stand, make sure it is installed correctly and safely. Always wear a safety harness and use a haul up line for your gear.