John's Journal...

Click to enlargeHOW TO PICK A STAND SITE

Escape Trails

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can’t bag a buck if you don’t see the animal. The key to seeing more bucks on every hunt is knowing how to choose the most-productive stand sites. Many hunters choose their stand sites using too little information.

If you hunt high-pressure areas, one of the most-consistent stand sites you can hunt is escape trails. By assuming other hunters will spook the buck you want to take before you see him, you often can pre-predict where you should hunt as Click to enlargehunting pressure builds. Whitetail escape trails usually will lead out of or into thick cover. These spots will be near or close to open woodlots, green fields or agricultural crops. To locate a productive escape trail to hunt over, determine where a buck should be during daylight hours as any other hunter will; then assume that that deer will be spooked. If you are a deer, where will you run to get away from the hunter in the shortest time and be able to move into thick cover where the hunter can’t see you? Or, how can you put some type of natural barrier between you and the hunter, like a mountain, a thicket, a creek or a swamp?

Click to enlargeThe secret to finding the best stand site on an escape trail is to look for the trail coming away from whatever barrier the buck probably has used to put between him and the hunter. For instance, on a main road with a large, open, wooded area with a thicket on the back side of the open woods, instead of taking a stand on the front side of the thicket where the buck will be entering the thick cover, go to the back side of the ticket. Look then for the escape trail coming out of the thick cover where the buck will appear. When picking a stand site on an Click to enlargeescape trail, always pinpoint the spot where the deer leaves the barrier he uses to put protection between him and the hunter. If you are hunting a hardwood bottom with flooded timber in it, cross the water, and get on the opposite bank from where hunting-pressure will come before daylight. As the hunters begin to move into the woods, the deer often will be spooked, run through the hardwood bottom, enter the flooded timber and move out on the other side where you have your stand. Often, when a deer appears on the backside of a barrier, it will be walking slowly, will be less nervous and less likely to spot you and usually will present a better shot than if you attempt to stand on the front side of the escape barrier.


Check back each day this week for more about HOW TO PICK A STAND SITE

Day 1: Stadium Seats for Bucks
Day 2: Public Land Stands
Day 3: Green-Field Stand Sites
Day 4: Escape Trails
Day 5: Water Stands



Entry 322, Day 4