I expect the deer to approach from the north, right?
My first question will be, what wind am I hunting? If I am going to hunt that stand on a west wind, for example, I want to be on the east of the of the trail.
So in that case, would position my stand on the northeast side of the tree so that the deer approaches me from just off the point on my left shoulder.
Not that it ever really works out that way.
Sorry I guess I should have been more specific. Wind is out of the North, Deer is coming down a trail from the north in southerly direction...does not matter which side of the trail you decide to hang your stand in (but I see your point if the wind is coming from the east or west). All things remaining constant what I'm really getting at here is would you hang your stand dead on (facing North) to the approach of the deer, or facing the flanks (east/west) perpendicular to his approach, or on the back side of the tree (southern side) to mask you and your stand relative to the deers approach. I've done all three..and as you mentioned..it never really works out that way..but I did find keeping the tree between me and the deers approach works best.