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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The property I hunt has been dormant (in terms of human activity) for about 12 years. The floor of the 100 acre woods on the farm is covered with dead and fallen brush. It is very noisy walking around in there because of the all fallen branches, limbs, etc.

Would it be disruptive to the Deer if I were to clear narrow walking lanes so I can get in and out of my stand locations quietly? If its something I can do without disrupting the natural Deer activity on the land then what are some do's and dont's?

Thanks!
 

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I think you can get away with that. I would go in between 11:00 and 3:00 and move things around and out of the way. It might not be a bad idea to rake a path but I would do it all in one day if possible and I would do it soon.
 

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You can do it and I would suggest it so you can get in and out of your stand quietly. If there are grasses growing, you can spray with Round. If you are concerned with disturbing the area, wait for a good rain and go in at midday and be as scent free as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I'm not talking anything major. Like you said just dragging a rake through and doing it now to give everything a couple months to settle back in.
 

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As said previously the deer will use it if you are in thick woods with many blowdowns. Use a chainsaw to cut openings in logs so you have an easier path to drag deer out and will not trip in the dark. Pick up all lose branches and brush so your entrance is quiet and build around water if you can. No use going in wet and not being able to sit. If it is cold it is no fun drying out your clothes over a fire while sitting in your birthday suit. The chainsaw will not bother the day during the middle of the day and they usually think of it as a dinner bell so they may even come in to check you out. We always start a short distance so it is not obvious to other hunters that there is a trail with a stand on the other end of it. Do it and it will make sneaking in and out of the blind a much easier experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not in a very thick woods so my travel paths can be made easily without cutting down any existing trees, brush, etc. Just need to clear some fallen branches, twigs, etc off a little path on the floor.
 

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You can get away with it. In fact, the deer will probably start to use your trails
I agree 100%.
What you really want to avoid is spreading your scent. I ALWAYS spray down with Scent Killer (Wildlife Research).
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Joe...were you at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Chesterfield Twp Saturday night? I saw a guy there and thought to myself, "damn, that looks like that Joe Archer guy".


I agree 100%.
What you really want to avoid is spreading your scent. I ALWAYS spray down with Scent Killer (Wildlife Research).
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Would it be disruptive to the Deer if I were to clear narrow walking lanes so I can get in and out of my stand locations quietly? If its something I can do without disrupting the natural Deer activity on the land then what are some do's and dont's?
This would be a good thing to do now.

Then, for stands that you'll be utilizing during the optimal archery hunting period of late October/early November (especially those which are in close proximity to bedding areas), what I would recommend is to clear your walking lanes of leaves around October 25th or shortly thereafter. The key points to doing this are:

1) Clear them at night. Go in an hour or two after dark.
2) You should be as scent free as possible, just as if you're hunting. At a minimum wear rubber boots and scent lok gloves so that if you have to move any branches by hand you don't leave unnecessary scent.
3) Use a leaf blower. In addtion to being much more efficient than a rake, deer don't in any way associate power tools with danger. By going in at night it creates a great likelihood that any deer which were bedded in the area have cleared out, and for any deer that are within hearing range of the leaf blower you won't have provided them with any reason to avoid the area in the upcoming days.
4) Make certain that the leaf blower is full of gas so that you don't run out in the middle of your work. What I do is I get as close possible to where I'm going with my vehicle, and then once I get out of the vehicle and am ready to clear lanes I fire up the leaf blower and it runs continually from the time that I leave until I get back. Whatever's within hearing range only hears a roaming power tool, no human footsteps crunching through the leaves.
5) Create a little extra width to your path when blowing away the leaves.
6) If you don't already have one get a quality light weight head lamp to wear and make certain it has fresh batteries in it when you're undertaking this project.

The net effect is that when you come back in a couple of days or a week to hunt those stands your path will have accumulated only a small amount of additional leaves, which will permit you to enter and exit your stand locations in a much more stealthy fashion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I did it yesterday. Pretty much broke every rule below! No scent blocker or rubber boots used, was picking up sticks by hand etc. Damn I hate being a beginner!
Hopefully since the season is still a couple of months away things will settle down by then. Hopefully I haven't created some permanent disruption! :confused:


This would be a good thing to do now.

Then, for stands that you'll be utilizing during the optimal archery hunting period of late October/early November (especially those which are in close proximity to bedding areas), what I would recommend is to clear your walking lanes of leaves around October 25th or shortly thereafter. The key points to doing this are:

1) Clear them at night. Go in an hour or two after dark.
2) You should be as scent free as possible, just as if you're hunting. At a minimum wear rubber boots and scent lok gloves so that if you have to move any branches by hand you don't leave unnecessary scent.
3) Use a leaf blower. In addtion to being much more efficient than a rake, deer don't in any way associate power tools with danger. By going in at night it creates a great likelihood that any deer which were bedded in the area have cleared out, and for any deer that are within hearing range of the leaf blower you won't have provided them with any reason to avoid the area in the upcoming days.
4) Make certain that the leaf blower is full of gas so that you don't run out in the middle of your work. What I do is I get as close possible to where I'm going with my vehicle, and then once I get out of the vehicle and am ready to clear lanes I fire up the leaf blower and it runs continually from the time that I leave until I get back. Whatever's within hearing range only hears a roaming power tool, no human footsteps crunching through the leaves.
5) Create a little extra width to your path when blowing away the leaves.
6) If you don't already have one get a quality light weight head lamp to wear and make certain it has fresh batteries in it when you're undertaking this project.

The net effect is that when you come back in a couple of days or a week to hunt those stands your path will have accumulated only a small amount of additional leaves, which will permit you to enter and exit your stand locations in a much more stealthy fashion.
 

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Well I did it yesterday. Pretty much broke every rule below! No scent blocker or rubber boots used, was picking up sticks by hand etc. Damn I hate being a beginner!
Hopefully since the season is still a couple of months away things will settle down by then. Hopefully I haven't created some permanent disruption! :confused:
The key point that I was making was regarding leaf removal in late October, especially for sensitive sites that are in close proximity to bedding areas. What do to in late October is a radically different scenario than early August site prep. The most regimented of the scent control guys would probably disagree, but personally, I wouldn't worry in the slightest regarding scent introduction and activity in early August. At some point soon I might try to wrap up all activity for sites that you're going to hunt when the season opens, but whatever you did this past weekend should not be a concern.

If it's any consolation to you we did a final trimming on Saturday of four stand sites that won't be used until early November. Along with me were four boys who were climbing trees, seeing who could pee the farthest, etc. From past experience I can tell you that these stands will be very productive for older bucks in early November, affirming the fact that the chaos we created for a few hours in August just doesn't matter.

Keep in mind that many of the considerations are different when it comes to targeting older bucks during archery season. There's considerably more strategy and restraint that comes into play. If I were in your shoes as a beginning archer I'd be more interested in tagging any buck, regardless of age. If that is the direction you're going you can get away with a lot of activity in your hunting area and still have a likelihood for solid opportunities. In Ohio we hunt a 40 acre woodlot where the sole purpose is to take kids hunting. We utilize that property quite heavily, beginning with squirrel hunting in September, right on through crossbow hunting through January. Even though the property is heavily used it's proven to be very productive in terms of creating opportunities for does and young bucks for the youngsters. Point here is that all of the "advanced stuff" regarding scent control, saving stands for the rut, etc. really has its primary application when it comes to focusing on older bucks, and is not as integral when it's a matter of just wanting to get out there to do some hunting and hopefully shoot a deer.

As a new archer you're asking a lot of good questions. I think this upcoming season is going to be a good one for you.
 

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Radiohead,

I noticed in the first post that you said farm. Is there anyway to enter from a cornfield or beanfield. Then set up a few treestands a long the edge and not disturb the hardwoods. If they bed down in the woods it might be beneficial to enter from the field and exit the field and ambushing them a long a trail to and from the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I have 3 stands. 2 are about 50 yards into the woods, 1 off a bean field and 1 off a corn field. The stands are set up off of what I believe to be travel routes the deer are using in and out of the woods to access the bean and corn fields.

The 3rd stand I set up deeper into the woods and plan to use it later in the season (Dec 1 - Jan 1), based upon what I saw last year (my 1st year) hunting, the 2 stands in front closer to the bean and corn fields saw little to no activity from Dec 1 - Jan 1. I'm not sure if it was due to the food source being gone,, or the pressure of firearm season or both.

But early in the season I won't be going very deep into the woods with all the beans and corn planted (almost 200 acres of planted food), I will be set up and letting them come to me. I took some video of the property back in February and posted it here. I was going to take some video of the farm and where my stands are set up on Sunday but it was raining the whole time I was there so I didn't want to get my camera wet. I've got a week of vacation to burn yet this year, in addition to the weeks of 11/2 and 11/16 that I already have off. I need to get out there with a weed mower and clear some weeds so I might take a day off this week and do that. I'll try to get some videos shot if I get out there this week.


Radiohead,

I noticed in the first post that you said farm. Is there anyway to enter from a cornfield or beanfield. Then set up a few treestands a long the edge and not disturb the hardwoods. If they bed down in the woods it might be beneficial to enter from the field and exit the field and ambushing them a long a trail to and from the field.
 

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Without getting to in depth. You may want to try and figure out if your stands are good in the morning or afternoon. It's rare that I find a stand to be both but it can happen.

Obviously wind direction, is the key component here a long with bedding areas. If you can slip into a stand in the morning when the deer are in the field feeding, you may find a spot between the field and the bedding area to set up a stand. (here again, make sure the wind isn't blowing into the field where the deer are) I personally love morning hunting, watching the forest come alive is half the fun.

In the afternoon set up a long the field and get them coming from their bedding area to the field (paying attn. to wind direction, make sure the wind isn't blowing towards where you believe they are bedded down.) Entering from the field and not walking through their bedding area, obviously.

Hope this helps.
 

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Without getting to in depth. You may want to try and figure out if your stands are good in the morning or afternoon. It's rare that I find a stand to be both but it can happen.

Obviously wind direction, is the key component here a long with bedding areas. If you can slip into a stand in the morning when the deer are in the field feeding, you may find a spot between the field and the bedding area to set up a stand. (here again, make sure the wind isn't blowing into the field where the deer are) I personally love morning hunting, watching the forest come alive is half the fun.

In the afternoon set up a long the field and get them coming from their bedding area to the field (paying attn. to wind direction, make sure the wind isn't blowing towards where you believe they are bedded down.) Entering from the field and not walking through their bedding area, obviously.

Hope this helps.
Excellent tips. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments that most stands are either more productive in the morning or afternoon but usually aren't optimal for both.
 

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Joe...were you at the Dick's Sporting Goods in Chesterfield Twp Saturday night? I saw a guy there and thought to myself, "damn, that looks like that Joe Archer guy".
Nope, I wasn't at Dick's at all this weekend. We were hoping to get out and do some fishing but the weather sucked so bad that we mostly just stayed in and watched the Olympics.
I think the one thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread about noise made getting to your stand is probably the most important consideration in my book. Long ago a good friend of mine who was a traditional hunter told me "Joe, everything makes noise when walking through the woods. Deer make noise, porcupines make noise, coyotes, partridge, turkeys, mice, skunks, and even people make noise. The key to successful hunting is not sound like a predator". Take your time getting to your stand. Take short steps, sneak and walk quietly. I try to sound like a deer. Inevitably, deer will hear you. Every single time I get to my stand I assume that deer have heard me and are trying to figure out what I am. As soon as I am all set up and ready to go I take out my deer call and let them know that I am either a young buck, a fawn, or a doe... I can't tell you how many dark quiet mornings I have heard deer resume normal activities and start moving again immediately after I hit the call. Last year on November 13th I got to my stand on State land at 6:40 am. Right after I gave the traditional "coast is clear" young buck grunt, a heard a deer move from north to southeast. In the dark, it crossed to my right to head down the trail I came in on. When it started getting light (just before 7:00) I picked up my call and did my best imitation of an adult doe in heat. IMMEDIATELTY, I heard a different deer charging from over 500 yards to the west. It took him about 15 minutes or so, but the 3.5 year old buck crossed within 15 yards of me. I ate his heart for dinner!
In any case, when you can&#8217;t be completely silent, try to not sound like a hunter moving through the woods, control your scent, and use the noise to accentuate your deer calling technique. During the rut if the dominant buck is in hearing distance he will come over and check you out. :corkysm55
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I can tell you from personal experience that clearing a path on 100 acres is a bigger job than you might think.

Finding the path of least resistance, marking with paint or tape, clearing off debris, trimming any hanging limbs that will cause a noise, and then hanging stands is a big job. ALSO, right now is a horrible time to do it because of the damn insects. I just spent a day on the 80 I hunt and it feels like I barely made a dent.

Use the wind when moving about, fire up the chain saw as you walk so you don't jump any unsuspecting deer, and wear long sleeves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I placed the stands based on what I observed of the deer last year while in the woods. I had a stand on the east end of the property. Every morning I saw activity as the deer came from the fields of the adjoining farm to the east. I never saw deer from that stand in afternoon/evening hunts. But everytime I came out of the woods at dusk, I saw anywhere from 6 to a dozen Deer feeding in the bean field on the west end of the farm. So based on that I plan to hunt the east tree stand during morning hunts, and the west for evening hunts. Based on what I observed last year the deer patters were to enter the woods from the east, travel west and north, bed up for the day, and then come back out to feed on the west end of the property.
The only thing I'm not sure of is will the deer pattern differently since the farmer flipped the crops...this year corn is on the east half and beans on the west, opposite of last year.
Thanks for the tips!


Without getting to in depth. You may want to try and figure out if your stands are good in the morning or afternoon. It's rare that I find a stand to be both but it can happen.

Obviously wind direction, is the key component here a long with bedding areas. If you can slip into a stand in the morning when the deer are in the field feeding, you may find a spot between the field and the bedding area to set up a stand. (here again, make sure the wind isn't blowing into the field where the deer are) I personally love morning hunting, watching the forest come alive is half the fun.

In the afternoon set up a long the field and get them coming from their bedding area to the field (paying attn. to wind direction, make sure the wind isn't blowing towards where you believe they are bedded down.) Entering from the field and not walking through their bedding area, obviously.

Hope this helps.
 
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