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chooseing you stand

723 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mike hartges
o.k time to pick your brains,other than wind direction,and the more basic things,just wondering how all of you gun and bow hunters,decide where to place your stands,what terrain features do you look for?what influnces you the most to put your stand where you do?i hunt mostly farm lands ,and hunt the edegs of fields and trails going to fields and have had ok success,have gotten some deacent bucks and does,just trying to improve my hunting a bit and see how your setups differ from mine:)
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I only hunt a field edge when I have to. I always try and find the deepest place where NOONE else likes to go. Then I will try and find the best bottleneck or funnel. This will always work with time and patience. The transition zones between woodlots on fencerows is another great ambush spot, but look for a slight depression in the area and THAT is where that big buck is going to cross.

That is what I look for when putting up my stands. Besides the basics of rubs, scrapes, trails, etc.
I hunt state land so i stay away from the fields
if its the rut I will hunt the acorns if pre rut will hunt the swamps you can tell if its going to be a bad winter by how many acorns are on the ground if theres alot the deer will since that winters coming early and will try to eat as much as possable in this case i will hunt over the most food i can find some times plant some clover
During the late pre rut, I've seen several big bucks bed and travel downwind of the doe bedding areas. They often move during mid day hours in locations that haven't been pressured earlier in the bow season.
Take a look at the Homepage of MS and scroll down through the articles that are offered. You'll find a piece by me titled, "Scoutings Perfect Ten". It will give you my idea of how to locate a likely area in which to ambush the wily whitetail.

Keep in mind, it entails many things, but WIND is the key. I refer, not only to the wind directions on a particular day, but also how terrain and tree growth cause it to swirl and change directions, totally unexpected from the compass point from which the wind blows.
Like Whit said, wind is the determining factor for which stand I will hunt, but several other things narrow down my wind decision to just a few stands, and then I base the decision on other factors, such as frequency of recent use, frequency of recent use of other stands in the area, daily deer movements, silent access for particular time of day to hunt a stand, and time of year.

Inside field edges adjacent or into brushy funnels, even just 10-50 yards inside a field can be superb places to hunt all day during the rut, as bucks cruise field edges checking perpendicular trails for doe usage. When approaching a stand like this, I like for there to be a good chunk of woods between the field and my stand, so as not to alert deer to my approach when using in the morning. I may sit in an easier stand to approach undetected for the first couple hours of an all day sit, and then sneak to a stand in a bottleneck along a field edge for sitting for the rest of the day.

Evening sits along field edges in the early season can be great, but you usually only get one chance at success before burning out the stand, unless you can get away undetected through a woodlot while deer are out in the fields.

I also like to rotate my stand usage around various sections of the property so as not to overuse 1 spot. I also like to have a couples stands in each area for various winds. If I know I may hunt a particular spot often, and have good access and entrance routes, I may even have 2 stands fairly close that can be hunted with similar winds, but different access routes, so 1 stand is not used too often.

You can never hunt a stand if the wind isn't right, but access, frequency of use, recent daily deer movement and sign, as well as undetectable entrance AND exit routes are all very important.

Basically, it's better to hunt an average stand the right way, than to hunt a great stand the wrong way.
When we talk about "field edges", it is sometimes important to distinguish exactly what lies in the field.

Example - if your field is comprised of tall grasses, goldenrod, etc., the field itself may well comprise your bedding area. My farm has several such fields, and the deer are more comfortable bedding in and travelling through them than they are in the woodlots. And with good reason! The deer have learned that danger lurks in the woods. They enter the woods only when on the way to another comfort zone (field), or on the way to a crop field or food plot, or if there is a decent mast crop that season. Even though there are many thick spots within my woodlots, the deer (especially mature ones) prefer to hang out in the old fields.

When hunting from a tree near such a field, I make certain than I am close enough to the edge that I can reach a deer in the field with an arrow, and try to have two shooting lanes directly into the field. If I didn't, I wouldn't get many kill opportunities. It's almost the opposite about what you frequently read about in the hunting advice articles; just before dark, I frequently see deer moving through the old fields, "staging up" in them before travelling elsewhere, including into the woods. They may linger in the fields until darkness completely descends, whereupon they may enter the woods to go after acorns.

I frequently hang stands between 5 and 15 yards of the edge of an old field. A lot depends on terrain and background; I've successfully hunted right on the field edge, where sometimes the best concealment is afforded at much lower elevations (8-12 ft.) than those at which I usually hunt (18 - 22 ft. to the platform).
tnks for the great advice all.im just trying to find some ways to improve my hunting a bit,like i said iv taken a fue bucks with archery gear,thay have been just advrage,and im ready to step up and go after the big muture bucks,iv had my chance,s at a couple of them,but allwasy seem to be set up wrong,just wanted to see how other,s set up compaired to me,and iv been reading alot about setting up on differnt tarraine,and finding funnels ect,ect.,like i said i hunt suthern mich,but was going to try some up north hunting around my mom,s house in missaukee county.other than acorn,s what do the deer prefer for food in bigger wooded areas?,also what is the best methode for hunting swamps?
p.s.e. man, deer in big woods eat maple leaves when they fall to the ground. They also eat browse(woody stems of trees and shrubs). Look for areas where there is growth that deer can reach. They usually eat from ground level up to 4 or 5 feet. I've seen deer stand on their hind legs to eat sumac leaves. Also, I'd look for areas with good cover. Some ridges can be real hotspots. Scout some areas before spring greenup. You'll be able to see last year's buck sign. Also, block off deer trails that are more than shooting distance from your stand. That way you will funnel the deer closer to you. In swamps, I'd look for some high ground where deer can bed, or ridges where deer may travel.
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