What do you look for...

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What do you look for...

Postby DoeEyed » Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:07 pm

When you are scouting for stand placement what features or signs do you look for? Is there one thing that makes it a priority for you to place a stand in a certain spot?
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Bluegrass Archer
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RE: What do you look for...

Postby Bluegrass Archer » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:14 pm

Well it depends on the land alot. But of course it just comes down to deer sign and deer sightings. I hunt where crop fields are a major food source. So i just scout the perimeters of each field and see which one has the most fresh deer droppings and then ill watch that field from a treestand overlooking the field and see where there favorite entry is and place a stand accordingly. Then ill find the path there using to the nearest bedding area and set a stand closer to the bedding area for the morning. Thats pretty much all i do in early season is find the hottest field and set up stands for different winds. Later in the season ill use a climber to hunt scrape lines. Droppings are the key for me tho in early season and then i go from there. Tracks are important but it can be hard to tell which ones are old.

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RE: What do you look for...

Postby nhdeerchaser » Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:24 am


I like to hunt ridgelines that are between bedding areas.
This can be tricky during afternoon hunts, but if you sneak in well before dawn and are in your treestand, deer will move like they always do.

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RE: What do you look for...

Postby tnt1960 » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:44 am

I look for runways that intersect at a certain point. I also look for tracks and droppings. One thing that I can`t explain is, I look for a spot that gives me a good feeling about it. It just feels like a good spot to shoot a deer from. It works for me, because when I`m out hanging treestands with my brothers, they always ask me what I think about this or that spot. I`ve killed many deer because a certain spot just felt right.
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RE: What do you look for...

Postby msbadger » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:54 am

Many factors...what I observed the year before...trails...past bedding aras...food...WIND...thats all for the ladder and hang ons...for the climber....the out of the way BIG foot prints and leaf browes....the brambles and I look head high to see what leaves are being eaten higher up..out of the way big piles of dung.

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Cut N Run
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RE: What do you look for...

Postby Cut N Run » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:59 am

It would be a good idea to get a topographic map of the area you intend to hunt. Drainages, field edges,and natural barriers (sometimes) show up on that map. Deer are creatures of edges, they like to use where one type of cover switches to another, especially if there are natural travel routes to & from those areas. Add a good food source & you should be in business.

If there is agriculture in the area you intend to hunt, find out if it is a favored food source for the deer. Don't put your stand right over the trails/ travel routes you intend to hunt, but downwind within good shooting distance. Also make sure that you have easy access to your stand so that you aren't crashing around in the woods just before dawn.

I like a good sized tree with some nearby cover to help hide me.  One of my favorite stands has a big cedar right behind it that helps cover my outline.  If you can put your stand in a shady area it will be better for you than if it were out in the open in the sun. Shade helps conceal you.  If you are in direct sun, every move will be more noticible.

If there is a place where you can watch the area you intend to hunt at a distance with binoculars, it would be wise to do so.  That way, you can fine tune your stand location to somewhere the deer already prefer to move.  Something like watching along a powerline or down a logging road can help you determine the best places to start.

Remember that water is no barrier to deer, but if they can walk around it, they will.  Look for shallow crossings or muddy trails along the bank that will show where deer like to cross. A big enough tree downwind of a good crossing has accounted for many deer that I have checked in. A pond dam is also a barrier that deer would rather travel behind versus on top of.

I look for terrain features that will cause the deer to go one way or the other.  If you can place your stand where you can effectively hunt both paths, you stand a better chance than just choosing one.

Pre-season scouting helps a lot too. Tracks don't lie.  If necessary, follow a deer trail just before a rainstorm and look for good stand sites along it. The rain should wash away your scent and limit the evidence of your intrusion to the area.  One of the best times to scout stand sites is in winter after the deer season.  Heavily used trails will stand out and you know that they will be located in favored travel areas.  Once you choose your tree in winter, cut your shooting lanes then, so the deer have the rest of the year to get used to them.  Go in there a couple of months before the season and do a little trimming (again, before a rainstorm) to get any new growth out of the way.  By the time deer season rolls around, you should be good to go.

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RE: What do you look for...

Postby NYarcher » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:08 am

What makes a priority spot for me is where several different types of vegitation come together. Fields, thickets, hardwoods, etc. corners of fields are a good place at times if you can find a suitable tree inside the cover 20 yrds or so. These are usually good transition areas and good bucks will stick to cover early and late. But of course make sure the field has a good food source that draws deer. In the woods I look for an area where a thicket and more open areas come together. Usually you'll find a good trail by one of these area. And if you can identify the type of trees, beech, oaks, etc near one of these areas you'll usually have a winner. The second thing I look for is highs and lows in elevation. In my experience deer favor high spots comming into or out of fields. This gives them a better view of there surroundings and a sense of security. If the property has alot of hunting pressure deer around here seem to use the low points for escape routes. Obviously take the time and look at the areas with varying elevation and use a common sense approach as to where more deer are traveling. And lastly when you find a promising spot take the wind into consideration when choosing your tree not to mention available cover to conceal yourself. hope this helps.
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RE: What do you look for...

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:12 pm

All good advice posted here. I would only add that you want the stand placed so that when the deer come to you from the direction that you most likely expect them, they are never looking directly at you.
For example:
If there's a trail that you're set up on, and there's a bend in the trail, try to set up on the INSIDE of the bend and not the outside, so that when the deer starts to go around the bend it's head is quartering away from you. If you're on the outside, it'll be looking right at you. The same can be said for hills and ridgelines.
You also want to pay attention to where the shadows will be at the time of day that you intend to hunt the stand, and use them accordingly. You NEVER want the sun shining right in your face. I always like to set up my portables so that I was on the dark side of the tree as much as possible.
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RE: What do you look for...

Postby GTOHunter » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:07 am

When I'm looking for a certain area for my stand placement during Rifle Season I look for well worn trails and I check for fresh rubs on the younger Cedar tree's and medium size tree's that the Bucks like to rub,then I set up a stand several yards away from it where I can watch it when I'm hunting.If I'm Bow Hunting I may set my stand or climber a little closer since I won't be able to shoot as far away as I could if I'm Rifle Hunting.If I'm hunting near a food plot I try to find a tree that has some good cover to conceal me wether I'm hunting with a Rifle or a Bow.

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RE: What do you look for...

Postby DeanoZ » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:45 am

My stand placement varies by the time of the season.  In the early season I position my stands closer to primary food sources and the trails leading to them.  I'll also position myself along rub lines/sign posts on the off chance I'll still catch one just coming out of velvet.  Just before the rut I position myself on trails leading to or from primary scrape areas.  When the rut is in full gear I try to find pinch points (saddles, shelf's, stream crossings) along well traveled corridors since the bucks will be moving a lot.  The real trick is finding the right tree to hang your stand on...  it needs to be able to accommodate the height.   I want to climb to, provide the right amount of cover and concealment so I'm not silhouetted I'll easily spend a good hour or two dissecting an area and all the possible shots/lanes from a given tree. 


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