Deer get used to permanent stands, but they also learn to avoid them.
QUESTION: I put up a shooting house this fall in a location where I found several heavy trails crossing. Then I noticed during bow season that most of the deer I saw passed by some distance out of range. Do you think they are avoiding the stand, and should I move it?
ANSWER: There could be several reasons why deer are not approaching closer. If the stand is new, it might take them some time to become accustomed to it. The farther in advance of hunting season you place blinds and stands and cut shooting lanes, the better. In time, they will become accustomed to it.
That said, studies have shown that deer, especially mature bucks, learn to avoid permanent stands during daylight, so it is certainly in your best interest to reduce your activity in and around the stand, especially when coming and going.
You might be better off using something a little more temporary or portable during bow season, like a climber, lock-on or ladder, and save the shooting house for firearms season. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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