Tips for a successful tree stand deer hunting
Deer hunting from an elevated position is very popular among hunters because they have an edge being above deer heads, and it's not necessary to spend a high energy amount walking through the bushes.
However success is not guaranteed unless you keep in mind the following tips; otherwise rookie mistakes will lead to failure.
1. Pre-season scout is mandatory
Perhaps you won't walk too much the day you are hunting from a treestand, but certainly you did that walk much time before, during the pre-season scouting. Finding deer trails, feeding areas and places with plenty deer activity is vital for success, otherwise you won't be able to place your tree stand on a proper position. Thus keep in mind you need to walk a lot before deciding the best place to set your stand.
2. Set up your stand as much before hunting as possible.
Deer are aware of minor changes on their environment, so they will notice a tree stand easily, no matters how much you cover it, they will notice the presence as well the smell of something new in their territory and will avoid the area for a while, so if you set up your tree stand only a few days before hunting, probably there will not any deer around the day you decide to hunt.
On the other hand, if the tree stand is set one or two months before, deer will avoid the area the first weeks, but sooner or later they will assume the stand as a part of the normal environment and will not consider it as a threat, so the day you decide to hunt, deer will be around the area as usual.
3. Height is crucial.
Not too low but not too high is the rule. Around 20 feet up is enough to give you the edge of hunting from above but still keeping a proper angle.
If your tree stand is set up too low (below 14 feet), it's almost the same that hunting from ground level, rendering the tree stand useless. But if the stand is set too high (above 23 feet), the shooting angle is too shrink and will be really hard to have a clear, killing shot.
4. Set up your tree stand on a tree with a lot of back cover
If the sky is the only background of the tree where you set a tree stand, deer will notice your shape a mile away and you may be sure they won't enter the killing zone, so choosing a tree with a lot of higher trees and bushes as cover will help to blend your silhouette with the surroundings, making your camo easier.
Additionally if you cover the tree stand itself with bushes and branches as well yourself (perhaps using a ghillie suit) your success chances increase dramatically.
5. Not too far but not to close
You wish to hang your stand close enough to deer trails to get a clean shot, but not so close that deer notice your presence, then you need to wisely decide how far from deer trails your stand must be set.
Doing it so far will reduce your accuracy and makes difficult a clear shot, but if the tree stand is just over deer head they will probably run away before you are able to make a single shot.
Now you know the basics about a successful tree stand deer hunting technique, but that's not all. There's still too much to learn, but at least with these key concepts, you will start with the right foot.