If you want to enjoy consistent action, don’t be predictable.
It’s been said your odds of shooting a buck are best the first time you hunt from a given stand. I don’t think there is any concrete data to back that up, but I definitely experience a steady decline of deer sightings when hunting from a stand throughout a season.
There is data that backs up why that happens. Several studies have shown whitetails, especially older bucks and does, learn to avoid permanent stands. What’s worse is the adult does then teach their offspring to avoid those stands.
That’s the bad news. The good news is deer generally don’t leave a property. Instead, they simply alter their travel patterns to avoid the stands.
Permanent stands still have a purpose. Many are situated overlooking greenfields where bucks drop their guard and chase does during the rut. They’re also great for taking youngsters hunting, providing shelter from the elements and reducing the movement and sound giveaways of restless kids.
But if you want to have more success and see more deer, mobility is your friend.
That’s not to say you can’t put up a lock-on or ladder stand and hunt from it throughout a season. But having multiple stands (and hunting less from a particular stand), reduces the avoidance factor dramatically. It’s also best to pull and relocate your stands before each season.
The amount of time it takes for deer to learn to avoid a given stand depends largely on the care you take in setting it up, and whether you can get in and out without being detected.
Because it takes time for deer to learn to avoid a stand, you can get away with hunting from fixed-position stands throughout a season. You just don’t want to hang those stands from the same tree the following year. Moving just 75 yards or so is enough to keep whitetails from patterning you. Read Recent Tip of the Week:
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