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John's Journal... Entry 71, Day 1

Tree Stand Placement

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Will Primos, the founder and president of Primos Hunting Calls, lives in Jackson, Mississippi. His company, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2001, has produced "The Truth Video Series" since 1986.

Question: How did you get started in the game-call business?
: I've always loved to hunt and be outside. I just wanted to get closer to game, and I wanted to call ducks. I was intrigued by duck calls at an early age. In 1976, I started selling my custom-made turkey calls. One thing led to another, and I decided I could get out of the restaurant business and make a business selling game calls.

Question: Do you hold any calling titles?
Answer: No. That's a very unique fact to my company and me. I don't make calls for the contest stage, although many people do win contests with my company's calls. But I'm a hunter first, and I win contests with animals and birds in the woods.

click to enlargeQuestion: What other interests do you have?
Answer: I'm very conservation-minded. I'm not a tree hugger, by any means, but I'm very tuned in to the loss of habitat. Everybody can complain about hunting all day long, but loss of habitat kills the most animals. I hold memberships in organizations that try to take care of the habitat and conserve what habitat we've got left.

Question: Let's talk about hunting. Where do you place your tree stand?
Answer: First off, you can't hunt a whitetail where he stands, especially if you bowhunt. You have to hunt him where he'll go. You must have the ability to move there undetected and get in position to ambush the deer or get close enough to call him. I have the greatest expertise in calling, using rattling horns, grunts and estrous bleats to get deer within range. You can't always put a stand or a blind where you want it because of the terrain features, etc. I always try to use the terrain to an advantage. Too, I always stay very tuned-in to what the wind does.

click to enlargeI stay as scent-free as I can. The new scent-blocker type suits work very effectively at containing your odor so you don't alert the whitetails to your location. When I finally decide on an area where I think I can have success, I always put up my stand in a site with some type of terrain feature around the tree, because more than likely I'll try to call the deer to me. I'm primarily talking about bowhunting here, The deer won't naturally approach within close enough distance. Behind me I want a ditch, a cliff, a drop-off, a fallen tree, a cane thicket or something that keeps the whitetail from seeing perfectly that no deer is standing there when he looks in my direction. If he sees there's no deer, he'll turn around and go the other way. Some of my crew went to South Dakota in late November, and they rattled a buck and got him in to 90 yards. They hunted in an open field with a lone cottonwood tree. When that buck got to where he could see everything, he stopped and looked around, walked sideways, looked, and when he didn't see anything, turned around and left. You have to make the deer hunt you when you call to them. To make them hunt you, they can't see any deer around.

Question: You talked a little bit about scent-blocker suits. Tell us more about how you keep deer from smelling you when you hunt close.
Answer: No. 1, you always want to watch the wind carefully and use it to your advantage. Try your best to hunt downwind from where you think the deer congregate so they won't smell you. But you never can tell when the wind will swirl or switch or when a deer will come the way you haven't planned on him coming. These new carbon-impregnated suits that absorb your odor are absolutely great. You have to use them like the manufacturers say.

click to enlargeThe other day, we hunted a bunch of deer downwind from us. They couldn't smell us because we had our suits on, including the hoods. We took our hoods off to see what would happen, and the deer freaked out. So, even one small uncovered part of your body allows your odor to reach the air and travel to the deer. You've got to use the suits correctly, but they can be very effective. And sometimes they're a pain to use because, although manufacturers do make some lightweight suits, the medium- and heavy-weight suits prove difficult to use in warm, early weather like we have in the Southeast in October and sometimes November.

Tomorrow: Calling Bucks




Check back each day this week for more about Will Primos--How To Get Close To Bucks ...

Day 1 -Tree Stand Placement
Day 2 -Calling Bucks
Day 3 -Knowing When to Shoot
Day 4 -What to Do When You Spook a Deer
Day 5 -Ten Secrets of Hunting Close

John's Journal