John's Journal...

Tree Stand and Stalk Hunt for Buck Deer

Day 2: Understanding Why and Where to Tree Stand Hunt for Deer

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewAs I began my research, I learned that neither hunting technique – stalking or tree standing – was an absolute, surefire, can’t-miss, guaranteed method of taking a deer. However, on certain days in particular places and under specific conditions, I found stalk hunting usually a far-more-productive way to bag a buck than tree stand hunting. In other areas, on various days under a different set of circumstances, I had the most success tree stand hunting. But how does an outdoorsman know which tactic works best in the terrain and on the day that he plans to hunt? The more I studied and researched the answer to this question, the more I discovered that as in all hunting, I could find no absolutes. And to steal a mouthful of words from a scientist, many of whom like to talk in circles, “My research tends to indicate that under these kinds of hunting conditions and in certain situations, there are times when tree-stand hunting can be more advantageous, while the same is true of stalk hunting - when you consider certain variables.” Let’s look at the situations and circumstances that will help you select one technique of hunting over the other from the hunter’s point of view for more success.

The Whys of Tree Stand Hunting:

Hunting from tree stands affords the sportsman a better view of the woods – even though tree stand hunting limits a hunter’s movement more than hunting from the ground does. From a comfortable tree stand, the hunter can stay quiet and almost motionless for long periods. If a sportsman hunts from a tree stand in the morning, the movement of the air from the ground skyward will keep his human scent well above the deer’s head. The hunter can stand and move on a tree stand much more openly than he can when on the ground without the deer’s detecting him. He also can rest in a tree stand, merely opening and closing his eyes to take game.

The Wheres of Tree Stand Hunting:

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewSaddling a tree stand to the side of a tree does not insure the hunter a shot at a buck. But you’ll find tree stands most effective at some specific places in certain areas, including:

* funnel areas with habitat so constricted, that the deer from two large woodlots have to funnel through a small wooded region;
* two fields cornering and creating a bottleneck between two woodlots that also form a funnel;
* a trail leading either from a feeding area to a bedding region or to a scrape line, a creek crossing or around the edge of cover;
* the edge of a clear cut high enough for the hunter to see down into the thick cover;
* a trail that most of the deer in an area use to go in to and out of a field or another type of feeding area; and
* the center of a small hardwood bottom through which deer may meander.

Hunters often may put-up tree stands where they see deer tracks and/or deer droppings. But outdoorsmen can’t rely on just these signs to justify tree stand placement. A deer walks and runs all day, and each deer leaves many tracks throughout its habitat. Deer must excrete regularly when they eat. You also can use trail cameras successfully to identify the hot spots where deer concentrate. But just using deer signs as reasons to justify putting up tree stands may result in the hunter’s spending many hours watching trees grow and seeing very few, if any, deer.

How to Hunt Deer Like a ProThis is just a sample of what you’ll learn in the new Kindle eBook, “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro.” by John E. Phillips. Go to, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.

Tomorrow: How to Hunt Deer by Determining the Best Tree Stands and the Number Needed

Check back each day this week for more about "Tree Stand and Stalk Hunt for Buck Deer"

Day 1: Which Tactic Is the Most Productive for Taking Deer – Tree Standing or Stalk Hunting
Day 2: Understanding Why and Where to Tree Stand Hunt for Deer
Day 3: How to Hunt Deer by Determining the Best Tree Stands and the Number Needed
Day 4: How to Hunt Deer - the Whys and Wheres of Stalking
Day 5: How to Hunt Deer Successfully by Knowing Whether to Tree Stand Or Stalk Hunt

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Entry 689, Day 2