Deer Stand Location

With many years of experience hosting media deer camps, I have compiled a few tips or steps that have helped me be successful throughout the years. I have scouted, located and place thousands of deer stands during that time.

An important factor to keep in mind is to “keep every thing very simple,” use a lot of common sense, and be careful not to over evaluate situations during hunting, or over analyze scouting. It really can be quite simple, watch and learn from the deer. Allow deer sign to teach you how and where to hunt them in your area.

I always place three to fours stands in an area I am going to hunt. I set those stands in regard to the prevailing wind direction. Predominate wind is usually from the Northwest where I hunt.

I set two stands dependent of that wind direction. One of those stands more so for wind out of the North. The other two locations or set for wind out of the South. This way, I can hunt my area every day, but I only hunt the stand that the wind is right on for that particular day.

Maintain limited human pressure and activity in your hunting area before and during the hunt. After hunting a stand or area, rest it and hunt a different area. When scouting or hunting, always use the wind to your advantage. If the wind is wrong for a particular stand location, do not hunt it. Wear sent free clothing, and use sent free products from Hunter’s Specialties, keep noise and excessive movement to a minimum,

I always glass deer from a safe distance prior to my hunt. I log deer movement. Combine this information with deer sign and terrain structure, and then select my stand site. During the hunt you can fine tune stand location dependent of any change in deer movement.

To locate deer and a good stand location, find the food source the deer are using at the time your hunt. Locate the food, you find the deer. There is a wide variety of food for Whitetail deer, acorns, especially when they are dropping and a wide variety of crop fields like corn, beans and clover or good choices.

The food source could change overnight and deer will move into a different area as quickly as the next day. Finding the food the deer are using at the time of your hunt is imperative.

Locating crop fields deer or using, edge cover, saddles and funnels or “pinch points” where structure dictates deer movement thru, like a narrow place between a creek and a bluff, between bedding and feeding areas.

Search out and locate, trails, tracks, droppings, rubs, scrapes, food source, bedding area, and study the lay of the land. Scouting never ends, prior to your hunt, during your hunt and after the hunt.

If you are targeting bucks only, save time, condense your scouting for buck sign only. Concentrate your efforts on rub lines. Locate the current food source; find trails, scrapes, tracks, and poop, however you should concentrate on a rub line that is coming to, or going from the feeding area.

When you set up for an evening hunt, deer are coming to the food source from the bedding area, place your stand away from the field on a rub line with the shinny side of the rub facing away from the field. It is important to set up dependent on terrain structure and wind direction. Early in the season, if there is not much pressure on the area, you could set up right on the field.

Hunt a rub line that is facing the field or food source in the morning, if you can make it to your stand site without spooking deer from the field. Place your stand, depending on the wind direction where the rub line going away from the field meets additional rubs and trails in a saddle or funnel area.

You may hunt the same farm every year, if so you have a pretty good idea of deer movement on the property, if the food source and habitat stays the same, the deer movement usually remains the same.

There are really no short cuts for a good deer stand location. Nothing replaces hard work, time in the field and a commitment to hunt hard and stay in that stand. Have a great deer season, a safe and successful hunt and share our wonderful outdoors with others.

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