Some tips for helping hunters set up a tree stand
If you're a bowhunter, you have a mere month before the Sept. 20 start of the archery antlerless deer-hunting season in WMU's 2B, 5C, and 5D.
And because of that, the folks at Mossy Oak Camo's Gamekeepers, say this is the time to put up your treestand so deer get used to its presence and your scent will eventually wash off it before the season opener. That and the disturbance you make in the woods erecting it will also be forgotten by then.
So if you haven't done so already, and if you're uncertain about stand placement, perhaps these suggests from the Mossy Oak gang will help.
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding treestand placement is "how high to go in the tree." Mossy Oak says every situation is different and there aren't any rules where there aren't exceptions. However, here are some general practices that will help in most situations when placing a treestand.
1. Play the wind and thermals: Once you have your general area selected, pay heed to the wind and thermal current in the area. You want to remain downwind or crosswind of where you think the deer will be. This is the most important of the six suggestions.
2. Place your stand high: Every situation is different, but in most cases it's best to place your stand as high as you can go in a tree without limiting your shot opportunities. If you're uncomfortable with heights, go as high as you dare. Getting up in the tree higher usually lets you see further, makes it harder for deer to see you and most importantly, your scent isn't concentrated at their "nose level."
3. Use the available cover: This kind of goes hand-in-hand with treestand height – in a bald tree you're most likely to go higher than in a tree with good cover. Look for trees that lose their foliage late, clusters of trees, or trees with a "Y" in the trunk for concealment.
4. Use the sun: Determine where the sun will be when you want to hunt the site. Do you like to look into the sun? Neither does a deer. We have a UV filter over our eyes, a whitetail doesn't.
5. Tree selection: Pick a tree that will be easy to climb, or make it easy to climb the tree you've chosen. If you have a good spot, but you alert every deer within 400 yards by making commotion while climbing your stand, your great spot will go for not. Use enough tree-steps or climbing sticks so you can scale the tree easily.
6. Prepare the site: So you have a good spot, have a stand in the perfect ambush tree, what happens if a deer walks through and there's no way you can take a shot. Take the time to trim some shooting lanes or "windows," so you can sneak an arrow through when the moment of truth arrives.
Remember, there's nothing wrong with a good ground blind. But with whitetails, you'll need to set the blind well in advance of the hunt or "brush it in" well and camouflage it to blend in with the surroundings.
Lastly, it's a fact that more deer are harvested by archers using treestands than any other method. So use them to your advantage.