John's Journal...

How to Take More Predators

Why Take Your Tree Stand to Hunt for Predators

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: At this time of year, many hunters turn their thoughts to predators. Hunting from a tree stand, especially in the East, gives outdoorsmen much-more visibility than hunting from the ground. In many places in the East you can set up your stand close to thick cover and a feeding area. You also can hunt on the edges of cane thickets, briar thickets, young pine plantations and croplands – spots where you may see both deer and predators. You can turn a lousy deer hunt into a successful predator hunt and possibly take bobcats, foxes and numbers of coyotes, if the regulations in the state you’re hunting allow you to hunt predators from tree stands. From the success of combo deer/predator hunts, hunters have learned that in the East, climbing into a tree using a portable stand provides the best opportunities for hunting predators.Click to enlarge

You can hunt predators effectively and purposely from a tree stand. If you'll set up your stand 12- to 15-feet off the ground as quietly as possible, give the woods a chance to settle-down before you start calling and remain there for a sufficient time, then you can come down the tree with your portable stand on your back and move to another location, if you don't pinpoint any predators.
Predator hunters in the East have hunting experiences far different from western predator hunters. Generally eastern hunters can't drive 100 miles in a day, picking out calling sites and/or hunting due to the differences in land ownership in the East from the West. In the East, anyone with 1000 acres to hunt, or better yet, 2000 acres, has plenty of land to hunt, whereas in the West, if you have only 1000 to 2000 acres to hunt, you're probably hunting a relatively-small ranch.Click to enlarge

Some of the best places to tree-stand hunt predators in the East include wildlife-management areas, state game lands, national wildlife refuges and national forests, places where you'll usually locate large amounts of land that many predator hunters often overlook. Too, many national waterfowl refuges permit predator hunting, and tree stands may provide you with the best way to hunt these predators. Oftentimes national waterfowl refuge managers will welcome predator hunters to help keep varmint numbers low to protect the waterfowl on these regions.  Fully camouflaged in a tree stand, you quickly and easily can see the ducks and geese, call predators with your predator calls and usually watch as those predators come down the shoreline. Although not a traditional western way of bagging coyotes when you hunt predators from tree stands, you can enjoy very-productive hunts in the East for coyotes, bobcats and foxes on smaller tracts of lands containing a vast expanse of thick cover where the predators can feed and hide. In places like these, often predator hunters on the ground won't take as many predators there as tree stand hunters will. Coyote, bobcat and fox populations Click to enlargehave grown nationwide by learning to adapt to hunters' ways and thereby dodge hunters. We all like to read about western tactics for taking predators, however, often these techniques won't work in the East. Just like western deer hunters and big-game hunters most often use spot-and-stalk tactics to take game, in the East, rarely can you see far enough to spot an animal. That’s why tree stand hunting in the East has proven a much-more effective way to take deer, bear and other big game. And, eastern predator hunters will have more success when they use tree stand hunting for predators.

Don't Be Stupid:
When you hunt from a tree stand, you won't spend any better money than when you buy a full-body safety harness to wear from the time you leave the ground until you return to it. According to John Woller, the past president of the Treestand Manufacturers' Association (TMA), "We believe that if a hunter puts his tree stand harness on, wears it and uses it properly from the time he leaves the ground until he returns to the ground, we can prevent more than 95 percent of all the tree stand accidents that happen in the USA today." Hunter Safety System, makes very safe and comfortable tree stand harnesses for both children and adults. The Hunter Safety System Pro Series harness is made of super-tough mesh for ventilation, saddle-style leg straps for quick and easy recovery in the event of a fall and plenty of pockets for storage.

For more information on the Hunter Safety System, visit  To learn more about U.S. Army Corps of Engineer lands, go to  You can go to the USDA Forest Service site at for information on hunting in national forests.   

Tomorrow: How to Take More Predators with Gerald Stewart

Check back each day this week for more about "How to Take More Predators"

Day 1: Hunt High for Predators
Day 2: Why Take Your Tree Stand to Hunt for Predators
Day 3: How to Take More Predators with Gerald Stewart
Day 4: Using the Johnny Stewart Attractor for Predators with Gerald Stewart
Day 5: Gerald Stewart: Tips for Calling Predators


Entry 549, Day 2