John's Journal...

Advanced Tree Stand Strategies

When To Use Different Types Of Tree Stands

Editor’s Note: Paying attention to small details will spell success when tree stand hunting. The sportsman who knows where and why a trophy buck will hold and move during daylight hours often bags more deer from a tree stand than from a ground blind. Try these advanced tree-stand tactics from Paul Meeks of Tallulah, Louisiana, the developer of the API tree stand, this season, and you may take your buck of a lifetime.


Most hunters buy one tree stand and attempt to use that stand under a variety of hunting conditions. However, Paul Meeks believes that, "You'll find a climbing tree stand the most effective when you use it as a first-strike stand. After scouting and finding a place to hunt, leave your climbing tree stand there for the following morning's hunt. You probably already have enough scent in the area from scouting to spook a big deer. The more times you use a climbing tree stand in a region, the less effective that stand site will be." Meek recommends that once you've hunted you wait three days to a week before returning to the site to hunt that area again. "The less time you spend in a spot and the less noise you make, the better your chances to bag a buck," Meeks emphasizes. Meeks also suggests you hunt from your climbing tree stand in the morning and then scout until 1:00 or 2:00 p.m. If you find a good place to go up a tree while scouting, then hunt that area in the afternoon. At dark, come out of the woods with your tree stand.

"If you use a climbing tree stand, you can climb into a tree and begin to hunt immediately when you find a site with plenty of deer sign," Meeks explains. "The climbing tree stand offers the hunter the advantage of immediate accessibility to a high perch over active deer sign." If you want to hunt the same area several consecutive days or a couple of times during the season, Meeks advises you utilize a fixed-position stand. "If you can get to your stand quickly and quietly without disturbing the woods, you may consider using a fixed-position tree stand," Meeks says.

Meeks prefers a fixed-position stand when he locates a deer hot spot that:

* he can hunt throughout the season,

* he can go to without disturbing the woods,

* he can arrive at or leave by water,

* he knows no one else will hunt because of where it is,

* he can leave his stand up at all year, or

* he can watch deer coming to and going away from in any direction on the edge of a thicket where the deer can't see him.

Once you've decided which tree stand will best suit the area you hunt, you must determine the most-productive place to put that tree stand. "I've outsmarted myself on several different occasions," Meeks comments. "I'll find a deer trail in a very unlikely place, see tracks along the trail and feel sure a deer has used the trail. I then talk myself out of hunting that spot and instead will put my stand in a place with no tracks or trails. But I've learned if I place my stand in the general area where I see deer sign, no matter how ridiculous the spot may seem, more than likely I'll bag a buck."


Tomorrow: How David Hale Hunts Hot Spots from a Tree stand


Check back each day this week for more about " Advanced Tree Stand Strategies"

Day 1: What To Do With A New Tree Stand
Day 2: Where To Put Your Tree Stand
Day 3: When To Use Different Types Of Tree Stands
Day 4: How David Hale Hunts Hot Spots from a Tree stand
Day 5: Why Stay Away From The Deer


Entry 372, Day 3