The best time to set up depends on the type of stand you’re using.
QUESTION: Our bow season is two weeks away, and I haven’t had time to set my stands yet. Do you think it’s too late? When is the best time to set stands?
ANSWER: There are pros and cons to setting stands early and late. Whenever possible, I prefer to set my stands well ahead of when I hunt. That gives deer time to forget about whatever disturbance I caused and to get accustomed to the stand. That’s especially true for ladders, shooting houses and ground blinds.
If you’re using a portable climber or in some cases even a lock-on, you might be better waiting until just before you hunt. In the case of the climber, having a destination in mind and carrying in the stand when you hunt it for the first time can be very effective. Your best chance will most often come the first time you hunt the stand. After that, deer become increasingly aware of your presence.
All of the above applies mostly to private land. When hunting public land, you might not be able to set stands in advance, if at all. Always check your state regulations regarding stand use, especially on public land. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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