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Thread: Treestand Placement

  1. #1
    Getting the hang of it

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    Default Treestand Placement

    It's that time of year to review the last season, and determine what worked/what didn't and possibly make some adjustments.

    One thing I've always wondered is benefits/drawbacks to stand placement between a field edge vs deep in a hardwood forest on a travelling path or potential bedding area.

    I've typically only hunted field edges near crops or at the edge of forests, and one property in particular I have not had success. This year I setup in the edge of a pasture on a travelling path bordering a 10 acre hardwood forest. Have tons of photos of does and bucks at night with little movement during the day.

    The only time I was out was Dec controlled, and was an absolute bust this year. Not 1 deer was seen nor a shot heard on neighboring properties during the 4 days I was out. We stayed out of the forest for most of the week thinking we didn't want to bump anything bedding, but did a push on the last day. There were tons of tracks and a big rub line with lots of large trees beat up from something.

    Wondering if there would be benefit to setting up in the woods to catch a bruiser coming through earlier in the bow season with some foliage still on the trees. My thoughts are there may be benefits as the bucks like to stay more well hidden than open fields, however I'm not sure if a 10 acre hardwood bush is large enough to hold anything.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Borderline Spammer

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    Hang multiple stands in different spots. Have a stand for pre rut full rut and post rut and hunt each according to buck behaviour based on what their doing most at that time of year ie feeding or breeding...only the closed minded hang 1 stand and hunt it all season long hoping and praying to see a deer...i have shot deer every year coming from 5 acres of hardwood out to feed in the fields so if you dont know whats in your bush you should concentrate on post season scouting as deer parrern well year after year they are creatures of habit.

    you have to move around more on a smaller property so you dont burn out any areas...maybe read some books on deer behaviour youve got the right idea it sounds like but I wont be able to explain in length like a well written book will....Look up the Eherharts books they have a few good ones, Steve Bartylla, John Ozaga, Charles Alzheimer etc...lots of good info out there that will support what you saw this year and what to do better next year....as I keep telling my group, a $10 ebook will put more deer in your freezer than any $100 gizmo or gadget so save your money on the newest call or better optics etc. until you read some books and understand deer behaviour better. your hunting experience will go from a random fumbing around in the dark to a more efficient and enjoyable pastime with less frustration amd wondering "where are all the deer at". An educated guess will give you more confidence as well...also try some spot and stalk..that got me my 2 deer this year I spent very little time in a treestand compared to other years.
    Last edited by Deer Wrastler; January 18th, 2018 at 12:39 AM.

  4. #3
    Getting the hang of it

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    Appreciate the tips, and I'll correct your statement about the close minded to less experienced... which is more accurate.

    I have multiple stands on this property and utilize them at different periods of the season, as suggested. I have been successful in them, just not this particular one.

    I was looking for more of the differences between a field hunt vs forest hunt, and if the style changes based on the landscape seeing as I have little experience with setups in a forest.

  5. #4
    Post-a-holic

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    I hunt out of ground blinds that I have made up, I have on in about 30yds, another in the middle in a thick area and the 3rd on the far side of the bush covering the field and just in side the bush. I saw deer in all 3 spots this year. The early morning was best for the edges and the middle of bush little bit later. But never saw a buck just lots of does and fawns. So where I hunt doesn't seem to matter.

  6. #5
    Apprentice

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    In my experience, some spots are 'morning spots' or 'evening spots' where they see more action at a particular time of day.

    I also feel that pressured deer are more likely to delay feeding until after dark, which seems to be the behavior you are describing. If you didn't hunt the location until December, there's a chance they are feeling pressured from an adjacent property or another hunter that may or may not have permission to hunt there. Trying earlier in the season is certainly recommended, specifically during the pre-rut and rut.

    No matter what time of year you hunt the property trail cams are a fantastic tool. If all the pictures are coming at night, the likelihood of a deer randomly showing up during legal shooting hours on the day you happen to be in the stand is pretty low. Try moving cameras around to see where daylight activity is occurring.

    When hunting the bush, I always avoid bedding areas. Pressuring deer in their 'safe place' is a good way to get deer to vacate the property, in my opinion. I focus on pinch points and travel corridors. Climbers are a great way to hunt deep in the bush without the disturbance of setting up a stand when you are looking to change up your game plan mid-season. In the bush, the trees have far fewer low branches that make climbing stands difficult.

    Lastly, always play the wind. As a field-edge hunter, you are likely used to hunting the leeward side of the field so that your scent is not blown in front of you. In the bush, deer come from 2 or more directions. Either let your camera tell you which way the deer will be coming from at that time of day, or try to predict it based on bedding areas and food sources.

  7. #6
    Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks - I guess this is the best time of year to pattern the travel routes with a bit of snow on the ground.

    Too bad it will be all gone by the weekend!

    I've typically brought my camera in this time of year, but maybe it's worth while to leave it out or move it around.

    I've always had lots of doe activity and sightings all year, and the bucks typically don't show up till rut time. Makes you wonder where they are roaming around unseen the rest of the year.

  8. #7
    Has too much time on their hands

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    Hunt in the bush near bedding areas in the early mornings and trails leading to feed in the evenings

  9. #8
    Apprentice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridger View Post
    Thanks - I guess this is the best time of year to pattern the travel routes with a bit of snow on the ground.

    Too bad it will be all gone by the weekend!

    I've typically brought my camera in this time of year, but maybe it's worth while to leave it out or move it around.

    I've always had lots of doe activity and sightings all year, and the bucks typically don't show up till rut time. Makes you wonder where they are roaming around unseen the rest of the year.
    I love walking my hunting grounds in the winter to see exactly what's up, but you have to take it with a grain of salt. Winter patterns can be very different than fall. Lots of bushes will clear out as deer look for lower ground to overwinter as well.

    My cameras stay out year-round. I only go through 1-2 sets of batteries a year in each cam and I figure they are more likely to get stolen in hunting season than the rest of the year. Who doesn't want a shot of that nice buck in velvet??

    Lastly, the properties I have cameras on are exactly the same way. You get does, fawns, and yearling bucks (1.5 year-olds, last year's fawns still hanging out in their natal range) in velvet. Then the yearling bucks dissipate in the pre-rut to find new territory, and those bucks who have been gone all year show up to breed the does. I have friends that have bucks all year round hanging out in bachelor groups and then they bugger off for the rut. They say you're better off to have the doe property, but I still don't manage to get the big guys in front of me!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dutchhunter View Post
    Hunt in the bush near bedding areas in the early mornings and trails leading to feed in the evenings
    That's the key...do a good recce and find those type of transition trails and you'll never need to call, use scent lures or bait piles...just find a spot with favorable winds , get up off the ground and then sit on them and wait for them to use the trail.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

  11. #10
    Getting the hang of it

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    Quote Originally Posted by sabmgb View Post
    I hunt out of ground blinds that I have made up, I have on in about 30yds, another in the middle in a thick area and the 3rd on the far side of the bush covering the field and just in side the bush. I saw deer in all 3 spots this year. The early morning was best for the edges and the middle of bush little bit later. But never saw a buck just lots of does and fawns. So where I hunt doesn't seem to matter.
    I actually came to love ground blinds this year. I have always stuck to high points for scent, but a buddy of mine made a single man ground blind and covered it with hay to look like a faux haystack this year and it is one of the best spots I've ever sat in! I had multiple deer within 10 yrds this year with no wind and they didn't smell a think because the hay was masking my scent... it was unbelievable.

    I greedily passed on 2 young bucks within 15 mins of each other in mid-Nov, holding out for a massive 10 pt that had been cruising the area around the same time.

    I learned my lesson and won't make that mistake again!

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