Factors to Consider when Choosing Deer Hunting Stands
Dr. John Woods 11.10.20
Food plots are planted. Ladder and climbing stands are hung and secure. Baiting sites where legal are out and ready to go. The camp is ready for hunters. Personal hunting gear is organized, maintained, and hunting supplies are readied for the hunting season. When the whistle goes off the question now remains: which hunting stands should you pick to hunt out of?
We all have our favorite hunting places and hunting stands. But what factors should be considered when making these critical choices about deer hunting stand selections? You have to play a lot of decisions all together in an attempt to choose the best possible hunting situation for any given day afield. We are all limited in our available hunting days, so you don’t want to blow an opportunity by picking a less than ideal stand for that morning or afternoon hunt. Pick wisely.
First and foremost as you have probably already guessed, the first, most primary consideration is the direction of any wind movement. You want to keep the wind in your face, not blowing from your back allowing such a breeze to carry your human scent forward into an area where you would expect deer to come from. Monitor the wind direction and its velocity. You might get away with a slight breeze especially if it is variable. Side winds are tricky. If a buck catches even a slight smell of human odor, he will most likely circle around to see if he can pick up a stronger scent to locate the source. Many bucks will just bust out of the area. Never go to any hunting stand without checking wind data. It is that critical.
Next consider stands given time of day when the sunshine works to your advantage. This usually means having the sun at your back and into the eyes of your quarry. Let them be blinded. We have some stands where the sun can catch you dead on in the early afternoon, but by about 3 P.M. the sun falls below western tree lines. Then you can hunt safely until complete dark.
What else? For sure pick a comfortable, safe stand. You want to stay in a stand as long as possible. More time hunting is an essential strategy. Some deer do move all through the day, so be there as much as possible to capitalize on all opportunity. Take a good cushion, sunglasses, water for hydration, and snacks to keep you energized. Remain alert and keep your bow or rifle at the ready. Fully use binoculars to constantly observe the area. Stand choice is the most important thing you’ll do.