best time to hang a stand?

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best time to hang a stand?

Postby DeerCamp » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:50 pm

so i was wondering whens the best time to hang a stand?  I have heard right now (middle of july) is the worst time to hang a stand because, the bucks are changing routs and are moving into new terriority. i hunt state land and season starts on OCT 1st. ill have 5 stands i will be hanging.. 2 of them i know right where im going 1 im just gonna walk in the woods and see what happens. "ive had good lucky doing that." and then the other 2 ill be putting up about a week before bow season becuz ill be going on a hunting trip there and its an 8hr drive from home. Ill hunt those 2 stands for 5 days and then leave them till i come back during gun season.
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RE: best time to hang a stand?

Postby JOEL » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:25 am

in the state land i hunt i allready know my spots so i go and check on them late agust just to make sure nothings changed.on private property i hang them in late august preferably befor a rain storm.we look for old sign and set up nearby.deer tend to use the same trails year in year out. I like to trim my shooting lanes now so they get used to it and all my scent is washed away long before the opening bell
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RE: best time to hang a stand?

Postby shaman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:36 am

I've hung a stand at 3 PM and bagged a big buck at 6. I then went back to that same tree, put my stand up at 3 PM the same day next year and bagged a bigger one by 3:30. The truck was parked less than 100 yards away. Go figure.

That is not to say that you should not be careful.  Back in the old days, when I hunted a 1st weekend in October bow opener, I used to do all my preparations over Labor Day weekend.  That was still when I hunted with a climber.  I would get in, prune limbs and cut my shooting lanes.

Now that I'm hunting out of heavy buddy-style ladder stands,  I generally start work on a new stand site in August. July is usually too hot.  However, I did set one in late September once and had shots at deer the following weekend and two in the freezer from that stand by Thanksgiving.

There is a huge difference between hunting an area that is nearly devoid of deer and one that is crawling with the critters.  In the former case,  it will seem like everything you do will have an adverse effect. If you honk off just one deer, that may be it for the season.  In the latter, it will seem like you can do no wrong.  In reality, neither is true.  Some individuals will get wind of what you are up to and make themselves scarce. However, when facing a larger herd, you have more opportunities to screw up.

How can this be true?  First off, deer don't talk, and better yet they leave no written messages. If one deer gets wise and leaves,  it creates a vacuum that another deer may attempt to fill.  There is nothing to tell the other deer why the first one left.  Second, deer do not reason well.  There are deer that know I am up in that stand. They have looked up and seen me.  However, I do not appear immediately dangerous. Therefore, they go back to feeding.  In some cases, I have shot deer and had their buddies linger about trying to hoover up acorns.

This differs tremendously from the impression you get when herd sizes are small and hunting pressure is light.  If you have staked out the honey hole, and a doe comes by and busts you. She's gone.  She leaves and goes to the other honey hole she knows and you don't.  She takes the bucks with her. It is tag soup for you. Without any competition from other deer, individuals will go where there is the least stress.

Based on all this, when would I suggest setting a stand?  If you are in an area with high density, you may find deer coming out to watch you set the stand on November 11, and be so enraptured that they stay there long enough for you to shoot them.  If there are few deer, high hunting pressure, and little in the way of mast to attract them, I would go in sometime last April.
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RE: best time to hang a stand?

Postby Woods Walker » Wed Jul 23, 2008 4:13 am

This question has a two part answer.
1. If you were able to scout this ground and had access back in late winter/March, then the time to have hung a stand/ladder (or at least make the spot ready), would have been then.  Winter scouting reveals almost all of the sign from the past season, and the trails, beds, rubs, cover etc. would have been like you would see during mid to late season.
Unless there is a drastic land use change, then this should still be a good spot. The advantage of placing a stand at this time, is that it also gives the area 7 to 8 months to "settle down", and for the deer to get accustomed to any minor changes that you made.
The ground that I hunt, I have been on for at least a decade or more, and I can usually count on the same areas from year to year, so I basically stay out of the woods, or at least the denser areas that I will hunt, until I start hunting.
2. If the above option isn't viable, then do as much of your scouting via aerial photos and maps, and maybe a brief early/mid summer excursion or two, but DON'T hang stands or clear trails.  Wait until the day before, or even the day you want to hunt and go in, cautiously, and have at it.
I, like others here, have had a reasonable amount of success with this "lightning strike" approach, but it usually only works best on private, or some other limited access ground. If 4 other guys are doing the same thing in the immediate area, it kinda takes all bets off the table.

Part of the reason why this method works, isn't so much because the stand site itself is new, but because you have only gone in and out from the stand once or twice.
Constantly moving to and from a stand, especially if you are one of these "hunt until 9 or 10, come in and have lunch/nap, then "scout" the area, then go back for the afternoon hunt", will burn an area out faster than putting a subdivision on it!
If you DO have to move in and out during daylight, it's better to vary your travel route, so you don't go the same way twice.
During firearm season, and many times during bow season, I will stay out all day. I usually get my "woods nap" (the finest kind of sleep known to man, by the way..) around mid-day, but the difference between sleeping in the woods and back in camp, is that when you awake in the woods, all you have to do is pick up your weapon, and you are hunting again. You are walking in to make it easier for the deer to pattern you.
Hunt Hard,

Kill Swiftly,

Waste Nothing,

Offer No Apologies.....

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RE: best time to hang a stand?

Postby mag30079 » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:03 am

Be carefull putting stands on state land. A friend of mine was hunting just south of you on state land and had his stand stolen. On a fluke a state trooper pulled over a guy with a pickup truck full of stands. I guess this guy or guys had an extention latter and were stealing any visable stands. Another buddy lucked out his stand was only 100 yards to the right but hidden in the swamp. Of coarse in the U.P maybe this isn't as commen.

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