We often preach the importance of checking distances to likely shooting locations after settling in for a hunt. And while double-checking distance is always a good idea, it’s at least as important to have a good idea of general distances before you even set up a stand.
Bowhunters frequently set up too close to trails and get busted when trying to draw. If you practice at 30 yards, why set up to shoot 10 or even 15 yards? Give yourself the greatest amount of breathing room that falls within your 100-percent shooting ability.
We’ve all selected stand trees at way-too-short or way-too-long distances simply because it was the only “climbable” tree in the area. Resist caving to that temptation and consider using a ground blind or ladder stand instead. There are some great new tripod stands that can be set up almost anywhere.
Bowhunters aren’t the only guilty parties here. Gun hunters often set up in spots that offer the longest view. There’s nothing wrong with that, but gun stands should be placed within easy shooting distance of the most likely trails. It’s better to give up some visibility and be in a position to make a shot than it is to see lots of deer that are out of range or, worse, might tempt you to take shots beyond your ability.
We often worry so much about putting ourselves in proximity to a buck that we fail to think through the actual shot. Create setups that not only put you where the deer is, but also allow you to draw your bow or make a relaxed gun shot.
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