It’s chic to take a stand these days, and that’s certainly true in the deer woods.
With all due respect to still-hunters, the most effective way to hunt white-tailed deer is to take a stand in a productive spot and sit there quietly.
Stands work for a number of reasons. We play a cat-and-mouse game with whitetails. Deer are using all their senses to detect danger, and we’re using our senses – mostly sight – to locate them. What generally attracts your attention to a deer? Movement. Your eye is attracted to the movement. When you are moving through the woods, it is the movement that the deer sees as well. If you sit perfectly still, a deer can look right at you and not recognize the danger.
In this game, whichever side is moving is at a disadvantage. That’s one reason sitting still is so effective. When you hunt from an elevated stand, you’re also getting your scent above the deer. Climbing stands, fixed-position stands with ladder sticks, and ladder stands all provide sight and scent advantages.
Just don’t get the idea that being 20 feet up a tree makes you invisible. Deer will look up, and they will see you in a treestand, especially if you move often.
Elevated stands aren’t immune to scent issues, either. Air currents can carry your scent down to the deer, particularly in the afternoon when the temperature is cooling and the air currents move downhill. In the mornings, your scent generally rises.
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