A tree stand is the best way to bow hunt whitetail deer. A well-placed tree stand will outperform a well-placed ground blind every day, even though everything is equal. Here are 10 tips to help you get your trophy whitetail hunting experience up to the next level.
Tip number 1 – First find the best location, then make it work.
Bowhunting whitetail deer whitetails is a game of inches and not yards or feet, as I often say. Sometimes, a single inch can make all the difference between success or failure. This is why you should always seek out the best possible location to get your trophy buck. Find the tree that best suits that particular location. You may have two trees five feet apart, but one tree is more convenient to hunt from than the other. Choose the safest one to place your stand.
Tip 2 – Make Sure You Have Enough Tree Stands To Cover Wind Direction
Many hunters don’t worry about the wind direction as they climb into their tree stands. This is a huge mistake. This stand may have worked well for them or other hunters in the past, and they hunt it almost every day no matter what. The ideal spot for a stand is in the best wind direction. If the trophy buck you want is following your scent, then the jig will be up for a while.
Tip 3 – The Tree Should Not Be Too High or Low
When deciding on the height of your hunting stand, consider all factors. You should not hunt too low so that the buck can see you or smell you. Also, don’t hunt too high so that your target is restricted by the steep shooting angle. Consider the exact location from which the buck is coming. Although you may be sitting 15 feet above the ground in your tree, he may be climbing up a hill near your location.
Tip number 4 – Clear all your shooting lanes
Every year, make sure to trim your shooting lanes. Bowhunting is a game that is measured in inches. This is where the inches part comes in. Your arrow will hit its target if it is one inch higher, if it hits a branch that you haven’t pruned, you can either miss the animal completely, or worse, you can wound the animal.
Tip 5 – Don’t be discovered entering or leaving your tree stand
You should take extra precautions to ensure you don’t get caught entering or leaving your tree stand. This was something I taught my boys as soon as they began hunting whitetails. They would come in like an elephant herd and then walk out. They would slam the car door and clatter their feet as they walked. They were obviously young hunters (these bad habits could be easily corrected), but I’ve seen adults make similar mistakes.
Tip 6 – Do not hunt someone else’s tree stand without permission
Although this should be obvious, it has happened so many times to me that I feel it is important. It is frustrating when you are hunting in the perfect conditions and someone else is already there. It is rude and offensive, and it could also result in you losing your hunting permit.
Tip 7 – Make sure your tree stand is secure
OSHA rules dictate that construction workers must be secured if they are more than six feet above the ground. This rule should be followed when hunting from a treestand. You should ensure that you are securely tied in a hunting safety harness system. Also, make sure the tree is strong enough to bear your weight. You should inspect your permanent stand every year to ensure that the materials are not damaged or that they have strong connections to the tree.
Tip 8 – Predetermine Your Shooting Distances
There are many range finders on the market that are very good. Some range finders can even measure your shooting angle directly from your tree stand. Don’t wait until the trophy buck is in view before you determine the shooting yardage. It’s hard enough to get your bow ready, without having to mess around. You can use a range finder to locate objects in the shooting areas. If you don’t have one, you can use a tape measurer for the exact same purpose when placing your stand. These locations can be marked with natural objects instead of marking them with highly visible tape, which could scare deer. To mark these areas, place a small log or stick on the ground.
Tip 9 – Use Funnels to Locate the Perfect Places for Your Tree Stand
A funnel is any natural topographical feature that funnels deer through an area. You can find it in saddles, bottlenecks, or ridges. These features are important to identify in your hunting area. They will help you establish your shooting lanes by providing more predictable areas for deer movement.
Tip 10 – Use Natural Covers to Keep Yourself Concealed
Try to locate a tree stand that offers natural cover from the deer’s perspective. It is not ideal to have a single tree that you are sticking out of. They will be able to tell if something is wrong. As much as possible, blend in with the natural covering behind you.
Hunting from a treestand can be difficult and time-consuming. It is worth the effort because of the many advantages it offers over hunting from the ground.