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Monster Buck stand locations

March 30, 2011 by  
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When it comes to shooting Monster bucks, its all about location! For the past few weeks I’ve written about scouting for giant bucks during this time of the year, figuring out where their core areas are, deciphering their travel patterns, and locating weak spots along these paths. This week were going to take a look at picking the right location or “tree” for your ambush.

Along a bucks travel pattern, there may be multiple areas to hang a stand, so what I’m going to be thinking about when picking a tree is the distance from his bedding area. The location of my stand site is going to have to be close enough to a bucks bedding area that he can reach me in a reasonable amount of time ( before dark), and also close enough that he can hear me if I want him to, but far enough away from him that I can reach my stand undetected. To elaborate, If I’m set up on a giant bucks travel pattern, along his rub or scrape line, and I want him to think an intruder has entered his domain, I want him to be able to hear me doing a light rattling sequence. This may be all  a mature buck needs to get up and head my way. My stand location has to be within earshot of him in his bed, but not so close that he hears me entering the area and climbing my tree. Usually, this stand location is going to be closer to the food source than the bedding area.

A stand site is only as good as your ability to enter and exit it without alerting the animal to your presence! Its vitally important that you use any available terrain or cover to conceal your approach. On numerous occasions I have used creeks and drainage ditches to wade in, thus avoiding a noisy approach. Think about the surroundings and what they will be like during early bow season. Crunchy leaves or standing crops can make a quiet entry nearly impossible! Don’t forget that your ability to vacate the area after dark can be just as critical. Remember this, the deer that were bedded when you came in will be in the field when you leave, so walking through the food source to get back to your truck probably won’t be an option. Its not rocket science here, It’s really all about the element of surprise and keeping the deer from knowing your hunting him.

When it comes to my stand locations, I also take into consideration the height, available cover, and what the sun will be doing at the time of the day I will be in each specific tree. I used to carry a 30’ rope with me for pulling my bow into the tree, and I wouldn’t hang my stand until my bow was dangling just off the ground. Times have changed and so has the height of my tree stands. After 30 years of bow hunting, I’m more concerned about being concealed in the tree with the available cover and not being silhouetted. I also like to keep the sun at my back, I believe it helps my “woods vision”, and hinders an animals ability to spot me with the sun in their face. And lets face it, you have a larger kill zone to hit when your 18’ off the ground as opposed to 30’!

When a mature buck decides its time to get up and  head to his favorite stand of oaks or to freshen his scrape line, he may pass 20, 30, or even 100 trees. Its our job to pick the best one that allows us to get within bow range of him while he is unalarmed, going about his daily routine. If you will take the time to find the right tree in a bucks weakspot, one that allows quiet access and exit routes along with good concealment, you will be one step ahead of Mr. BIG!

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