Should You Walk or Drive to Your Tree Stand?

Bushnell optics bowhunter

“I probably would have seen more deer, if I didn’t jump some walking in,” is a pretty common line for any deer hunter. How you enter and exit your hunting spot can dramatically affect the deer movement and sightings on your property.

By Jeremy Flinn

Just because it is dark does not mean you don’t spook the deer. Some hunters choose to silently walk to their spots; others choose to ride motorized vehicles. So what is the best approach?

Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. For instance, it is obviously quieter to walk than to drive a truck or UTV, even those that are electric. However, it will usually take you much longer to pass through an area sneaking in by foot than by vehicle.

The walking advantage is pretty straightforward. Less noise will likely lead to not spooking deer, especially those further than 100 yards. But the longer it takes to walk through an area the more scent that is left behind and longer the disturbance occurs.

Many hunters who primarily hunt field edges will often enter and exit their spot by having someone dropping them off and picking them up. They have, in a way, made deer on their property accustomed to vehicles moving through the fields, whether it is a tractor, UTV, or truck. As you move further into the woods this becomes less effective.

Wooded areas are used by whitetails, not only for food but also for cover. Deer, especially mature bucks, will choose cover based on it being undisturbed and secure. Having loud, motor vehicles passing through this landscape will likely cause the mature buck to look for a bedding area elsewhere.



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