On morning hunts how early are you in your tree and setup? Do you think it makes a difference if your an hour early or a half hour early? Do you walk in at light? Have you done all three and notice one better than the other?
I've done all three. Here's what I found.
When I was hunting with a climber or I was setting up a ladder or a hang-on, I figured on being in the stand an hour before first light. That left enough time for the scent to dissipate and the world to forget all the noise and fuss. If I was able to get in the night before and set up the stand, I would knock a half hour off that.
Now that I have permanent ladder stands and I can creep in and get set without a lot of brouhaha, I find that being in the stand right at first light is sufficient. My stands are a half-mile or less from the house. I figure leaving the house about 90 minutes before sunrise and taking my time gets me in the air, belted-in, and buttoned up right when I need to be. Most of my morning deer have been taken between sunrise minus 00:15 to sunrise plus 1:30:00 with another peak shortly after the neighbors start leaving their stands and heading in-- between 10:00 and 11:30.
One thing that I don't like to do is be on the move an hour either side of sunrise. If I'm held up getting out, I'm likely to wait until 0900 or so and slip in. It seems that when I'm trying to get somewhere around sunrise, I'm forever spooking deer.